In Tech Vision 2020, the I in Experience trend covers a new model to collaborate with people on their digital customer experiences—or what Accenture calls “cooperative experiences.” According to our survey of 6,000 business and IT executives globally, 85 percent agree that to compete in a world with digital everywhere, organizations need to elevate their relationships with customers as partners.

What’s particularly exciting to me with this trend is how the emergence of 5G technology and Extended Reality (XR) in both consumer and business settings will enable people to choose their own adventures as they collaborate with companies on digital experiences. This opens so many growth opportunities for enterprises to build deeper customer relationships!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let me explain what’s behind the I in Experience trend: the necessity for personal agency in the digital journey. As businesses strive for hyper-personalization, they’re gathering vast amounts of data for analytics to feed the algorithms underlying recommendation engines. However, in the process, they’re leaving no room for people to participate in their own digital experience creation. Think how many times you get the same book, movie or song recommendation from your favorite providers—and you can’t make it stop. It quickly gets old!

By baking choice into the digital customer experience management, organizations can solve two problems at once.

  • First, they can give people personal agency in the moment to become co-creators of their experiences, based on their current location or evolving needs.
  • Second, when customers actively participate in their experience choices, businesses do not need to gather and store as much data to create that highly customized experience, which reduces the risk of cybersecurity breaches.

Delivering human-centered technology
Clearly, customer experience transformation is becoming an enterprise imperative. It’s also an important response to what people need and want from more human-centered technology going forward. According to our Tech Vision research, two-thirds of consumers (66%) report they are just as concerned about the commercial use of their personal data and online identity for personalization purposes as they are about security threats and hackers. Providing personalized digital experiences helps to address this issue.

Companies are starting to recognize this trend with moves toward offering collaborative experiences. Uber, for example, is giving riders more control over the in-car aspect of the Uber experience. In May 2019, the company added a “quiet preferred” option to its luxury Uber Black and Uber SUV rides, allowing passengers to avoid unwanted small talk. Later in the year, the company expanded that strategy to more riders, launching Uber Comfort, a new option that features a slew of customer preference choices—including quiet mode and temperature controls.

Filtering reality in the post-digital era

Looking ahead, this trend has longer-term implications beyond replacing aging customization models. It’s about treating people as individuals and enabling them to shape their own experiences and ultimately their realities. To do this successfully, your company will need to take on a new role—shifting the focus from simply making sales or providing entertainment, to how to best utilize customer input, guidelines and choices.

This capability will become even more essential as XR, a digital experience technology, serves as a filter between people and their experience of the world. Case in point: Huawei is using 5G and augmented reality (AR) to change what people see as they navigate daily life. Its “Cyberverse” technology integrates AR with physical reality, using spatial computing, 3D and ultra-high definition maps, ultra-realistic immersive rendering and 5G to build AR map overlays that people can view through their mobile devices. As this example reveals, companies increasingly must understand and work with people to create the experiences they want.

So get ready to partner with your customers on experience creation. Provide an array of choices and become a guide, not just a provider. And emphasize personal agency to transform your customers into active participants in the experiences.

Join the global conversation! Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @accenturelabs #TechVision2020and access our report and other materials here:

Marc Carrel-Billiard

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Technology Innovation and Accenture Labs

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