RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Today’s customers demand seamless experiences across all channels—and businesses that fail to deliver, could risk losing relevance and market share.
  • Thanks to advances in AI, the growth of IoT and greater data processing power, a new platform approach—System of Intelligence (SoI)—has emerged.
  • The SoI platform connects data from multiple sources to generate real-time contextual information, enabling better, more personalized experiences.
  • Learn more about the platform and how businesses can create and measure a successful user experience journey.


Building a seamless customer experience across the important touchpoints is necessary for enterprises to thrive in the post-digital era. The majority of organizations know this—Accenture’s 2019 Tech Vision report showed that 85 percent of executives agree that integration of customization and near real- or real-time delivery could be the next big wave of competitive advantage.

Experience in the post-digital era might not only be dictated by the ability to anticipate customer needs, but also by putting customers in control of the experience businesses create and for businesses to analyze and support these tailored brand journeys.

85%

Of executives agree that integration of customization and near real- or real-time delivery could be the next big wave of competitive advantage.

61%

Of customers stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer experience.

But research also reveals that consumers feel digital experiences continue to fall short of expectations. In the last year alone, 61 percent of customers stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer experience. And by 2020, more than eight in ten buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, signaling a shift away from price and product towards customer experience as the key brand differentiator.

Accustomed to a seamless multi-channel experience, today’s users—both customers and employees—expect a truly seamless experience, with interactions that can be initiated in one channel and completed in another. Increasing access to data as well as new, cutting-edge analytics technologies and an interconnected ecosystem are very important to embracing this shift.

In short, the customer experience now is the product.

Leading companies are paving the way down this road, moving from one-off, transactional exchanges to building customized relationships with their customers—and reaping the rewards.

With the help of AI, the SoI platform connects data from various sources to provide businesses with real-time contextual information and the meaningful insights needed to service customers across their preferred channels.

Build seamless experiences with AI

Historically, enterprises understood their customers based on past buying behavior data they collected and analyzed as part of their system of records (SoR). This evolved to a system of engagement (SoE) approach with the addition of data from third party sources such as social media and partner channels as methods of interaction, still relying heavily on SoRs.

Nowadays, thanks to advances in AI, shifts in the use of newer multi-modal interactions across channels, the exponential growth of IoT and wearables, and enhanced data storage and processing power, enterprises are able to deliver on experience demands to a greater extent than before. This has led to a system of intelligence (SoI) approach—a digital platform approach to driving better customer insights and personalization for superior experience.

Customer journey analytics plays a big role in supporting these new capabilities. By discovering potential bottlenecks in the customer experience, customer journey analytics can help enterprises create experiences that are fit for customer.

View the evolution of platform approaches, from System of Record to Engagement, to Intelligence.

The evolution of platform approaches, from System of Record, to Engagement, to Intelligence.

With the help of AI, the SoI platform connects data from various sources—such as enterprise backend data, third-party data, IoT data streams and data from connected assets—to provide businesses with real-time contextual information and the meaningful insights needed to service customers across their preferred channels. This is a win-win for businesses and customers.

To drive this, the platform needs to have six core capabilities, which help by enabling it to:

  1. Create seamless customer journeys. It might be able to quickly create collaborations and experiences that reflect different customers’ preferences, with intuitive sequencing of events, actions, and services to support a dynamic journey.
  2. Assess existing customer journeys. The platform could measure the impact of user journey behavior against experience KPIs, enabling businesses to understand pain points, entry points, skipped steps, periods of inaction, time elapsed, and drop off points.
  3. Provide future-proof multi-channel support. The platform might have adapters to support different channels, connecting various screen sizes and other specific characteristics, evolving and adapting as new channels arise.
  4. Support intelligent services. To deliver valuable, actionable insights, the platform can support cognitive services such as search functionality, text, image and speech analysis as well as the ability to connect with other intelligent systems.
  5. Support decoupled architecture. To support the easy creation of new services—for both customer and enterprise—it should be able to decouple the front-end channels from the backend. In other words, decoupled architecture can enable businesses to easily change the components of different applications depending on the use case.
  6. Support real time data flow. The platform should have the ability to process real-time events from multiple sources such as IOT devices, wearables, mobile and desktop applications, combined with artificial intelligence to support business users to make real-time decisions.

By using an AI-powered platform, businesses can create the seamless experiences customers are after, boosting satisfaction and loyalty, and even growing their net customer base.

To help businesses stay ahead and deliver intuitive, human brand engagement, Accenture has developed the Experience Builder for living services. This component of our AIP+ offering allows businesses to create innovative, real-time customer journeys by combining existing micro data (such as IoT, location, activity, gesture, sentiment, and vision data) to understand the overall impact on customer experience - and ultimately, pursue to stay one step ahead.

By using an AI-powered platform, businesses can create the seamless experiences customers are after, boosting satisfaction and loyalty, and even growing their net customer base.

Measure customer journey success

So how can businesses tell if they have succeeded in delivering a seamless and engaging experience? Three core components help understand how successful a user experience journey has been.

Firstly, the user experience interacting with brand through various channels could highlight engagement. Metrics such as time spent on each channel, most visited pages, drop off zones and wait time may help analyze the user experience in each specific channel. If the experience has been successful, for example, the user would have spent more time on a specific page and perhaps even made a purchase.

The perception of the brand derived as a result of the experience is another core metric. How the customer perceives the brand post-interaction can determine if the customer remains loyal to the brand, becomes a brand advocate, recommends the brand, or if the customer decides to switch to a competitor.

And finally, businesses should assess the success of their customer journey efforts against the overall business objectives and experience KPIs, including ROI and revenue increase. This may enable them to have a holistic view of the success of the journey.

Below, we give a real-life example of a practical application of the customer journey building process.

An enhanced customer journey in action

An airline company wants to deliver a seamless experience to its customers on its Cape Town flight. The various experience touchpoints the company needs to consider go beyond the actual airport and in-flight experience; they begin from the moment customers step outside their homes and try to find a cab to the airport, to going through check-in and boarding, to receiving their luggage in Cape Town and travelling to their hotel.

Each of these touchpoints represents a moment where things could go wrong—and it is those companies that anticipate the pain points the customer might experience and try to proactively prevent them that succeed in delivering seamless journeys to their customers.

On the day of the flight, the customer analytics platform can use third-party data and predictive analytics to send taxi coupon notifications to the airline’s customers, helping them get to the airport on time.

Using geolocation data, the platform can see when those customers reach the airport and provide real-time information about the expected time to go through security and reach the boarding gate. Once customers have crossed the shopping zone, the platform will also send them tailored offers and video recommendations, based on browsing data from their mobile device.

Finally, when the customers land in Cape Town, they will each receive a notification of the location of their luggage—if it has arrived with them or if it hasn’t, where it is and when it will be with them.

An example customer journey with an airline.

VIEW FULL INFOGRAPHIC

Trace the future of customer experience

Analyzing the user journey and investing in the right technologies to create a seamless and interactive customer experience is the bedrock for customer loyalty and satisfaction.

To be among the leading companies, business leaders need to consider the following:

  • Building a contextual, tailored relationship requires a digital platform.
  • Tailored and intuitive experiences across all channels and touchpoints will support to enhance the customer journey and contribute to achieve customer satisfaction.
  • Using data, both historical and real-time, and services from multiple systems is very important to drive this collaboration.
  • Collaboration with partners in the ecosystem can give businesses a competitive edge in delivering a seamless customer experience.

The post-digital era is here. The companies that recognize the opportunity this holds—and begin to explore possibilities, investments and partnerships with strategic focus—will be leaders in a brand-new competitive landscape.

Rakesh Raghavan

Senior Manager – Accenture Digital


Karthik Srinivasa

Global Lead – AIP+ Experience Builder, Applied Intelligence

MORE ON THIS TOPIC


Subscription Center
Stay in the Know with Our Newsletter Stay in the Know with Our Newsletter