Consumers are set to demand more digital interactions with brands, with the preference for ‘Uber-style’ digital interactions growing stronger and defining totally new expectations of broader brand experiences.
According to Oracle research titled ‘Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?’, emerging technologies are set to surge by 2020 with 78 percent of brands expecting to provide customer experiences through virtual reality in the next four years, while eighty percent expect to serve customers through chatbots.
The survey of 800 senior marketing and sales professionals across EMEA, found that despite this eagerness to embrace new technologies, many brands are still struggling to make use of valuable customer and prospect data, with 60 percent not currently including social or CRM data in their customer analytics.
Virtual reality and chatbots are therefore set to surge as brands are looking to implement innovative technologies that allow their customers to continue interacting with brands on their own terms.
Daryn Mason, Senior Director, CX Applications at Oracle said: “While virtual reality may be seen as a passing craze by some, the commitment of some of the world’s biggest companies to develop VR products for consumers suggests otherwise. Brands will always look to experiment with new technologies as they try to find ways of delivering innovative and memorable experiences for their customers.”
Despite the ongoing race to innovate, the reality is that many brands are still struggling to unify, organise and process the growing volumes of customer data they have coming into their business, which makes it difficult to truly understand and deliver a personalised experience for customers.
Already, 41 percent agree smarter analysis of customer data will have the biggest impact on the experience they deliver to their customers.
Mason added: “Brands are at a crossroads. There’s an early-mover advantage to experimenting and launching innovative services while others wait and see, but they need to walk before they can run. The reality is that many brands are still unable to get a complete view of each individual customer so the immediate priority needs to be to organise and get value from the data they already have. Customers will value a quick, helpful, personalised interaction regardless of how it’s delivered so there’s hope for us humans yet.”
Overall, the relationship brands have with their customers is set to undergo a technological revolution and this is expected to cause the number of human-to-human interactions to fall significantly.
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