AI and machine learning have lessons for customer experience

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be used by the world’s biggest businesses to build brand loyalty and fresh revenue, says new research

Almost half of the world’s largest companies will be using artificial intelligence and machine learning to transform their customer experience (CX) within the next four years, according to new research.

The prediction emerged in IDC's Future of Customer Experience report which explores 10 of the most urgent business and technology issues that  C-suite customer experience executives must address to prepare themselves for the next era of customer experience.

The IDC report found that by 2026, 45 per cent of the Global 2000 are expected to use AI/ML to nudge customers into unfamiliar and novel experiences in order to improve sentiment metrics and potential for brand upselling.

Customers are demanding greater control over how they engage with business, and are looking to become equal stakeholders in the customer experience ecosystem, says IDC.

Customer-centric business resilience will require enterprises to move beyond transactional-level experiences and tie business outcomes to relationship-based experiences that will be fulfilled by delivering customer value and trusted customer outcomes.  Building and scaling these desired outcomes will require CX executives to leverage strong technology foundations comprising customer data, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), and zero trust architectures.

"In a world of accelerated uncertainty, the next era of CX innovation will be led by those brands that improve value for the customer through empathy and delivering outcomes for customer success," says Sudhir Rajagopal, Research Director, Future of Customer Experience at IDC. 

IDC's top 10 predictions for the Future of Customer Experience are:

  1. By 2027, one-fourth of global brands will abandon CSAT as a measure of customer experience and adopt a Customer Effort Score correlated to outcomes as a key indicator of journey satisfaction and success.
     
  2. By 2024, 50 per cent of the G2000 will adopt customer data platforms (CDPs) as the enterprise customer data service for real-time customer interactions like a central nervous system, increasing CX metrics and revenue by five per cent.
     
  3. To foster loyalty and a competitive edge, 64 per cent of the G2000 will own online communities by 2027 and core IT application integrations will enable a new wave of collaboration and outcome-based insights.
     
  4. By 2026, 40 per cent of the Global 2000 will incorporate employee experience (EX) initiatives into their core CX strategies to compete in CX, talent acquisition, and retention, but will struggle to measure EX+CX.
     
  5. Adopting Web3 technologies will drive 45 per cent of global brands to create new immersive experiences, accessible content, and engaged communities and grow the CX creator economy into a US$300 billion market by 2024.
     
  6. By 2026, 45 per cent of the Global 2000 will use AI/ML to elevate context and nudge customers into unfamiliar and novel experiences that simultaneously improve sentiment metrics and brand upselling potential.
     
  7. By 2024, at least 30 per cent of organisations will introduce new success metrics to track and measure the internal and external flows of customer value creation.
     
  8. By 2025, 50 per cent of G2000 enterprise customers will primarily select their CX platform provider based on the efficacy of the vendor's customer success services.
     
  9. By 2024, 30 per cent of organisations will be forced to expand data management and privacy measures to mitigate risks of data breaches caused by ecosystem partners costing US$4.6 million per breach.
     
  10. By 2026, 40 per cent of G2000 companies will build safe communities to foster interpersonal guardrails for future metaverse platforms — and collect first-party data.

"Thrivers will share and apply intelligence at the speed of customer engagement, create new customer engagement models and metrics for a digital business, and tap into the power of decentralisation/Web3 to create equitable value parity in customer and business outcomes alike," says IDC’s Rajagopal.

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