According to research by The Economist, 75% of marketers say that in three to five years’ time, they will be responsible for the customer’s entire experience, as marketing "takes the lead in the customer experience".
Straight-up marketing ploys are no longer creating lasting brand memories. It is brands that are providing users with continued solutions to their problems that are achieving cut-through.
According to Paul Kemp-Robertson, co-founder and editorial director of Contagious Communications, a new generation of consumers is raising the bar for customer experience, which he references as "Uber’s children," a concept raised in Adam Morgan and Mark Barden's A Beautiful Constraint.
Consumers who have grown up accustomed to effortless one-click apps, such as Uber and Domino’s, no longer deem traditionally adequate digital customer experience to be cutting the mustard.
Apps requiring users to turn their phones to landscape or enter their details twice, for example, will be remembered as time-consuming and unhelpful. According to Kemp-Robertson, this is the audience that marketers need to impress.
Avinash Kaushik, author and Google digital marketing evanglelist, champions Hilton Hotels’ ‘HHoners’ app , as it simplifies his planning, check-in process and acts as a digital room key. The app enables Kaushik to retain control over his stay every step of the way - and means he stays loyal.
SYZYGY’s in-house psychologist and digital strategist, Dr. Paul Marsden, says there are steps brands can follow to replicate that sense of ease and convenience. He says that human happiness comprises of an "ARC": Autonomy, Relatedness and Competence. Brands whose customer experience fulfils these three aims results in a contentedness that the user associates with the brand.
We have seen this through apps such as Airbnb, where users operate autonomy when choosing their accommodation and preferences, relatedness by connecting with the owner of the property and loading travel companion profiles into the app’s trip itinerary, and competence throughout the stay, putting to use any local knowledge secured from the owner.
The future of customer experience is a completely personalised experience, according to Kaushik. He uses the example of Spotify's beat-matching running playlist which detects the user's tempo and curates a playlist suited to the run. It uses technology to provide services that humans can't recreate, and it is the brands innovating in this area that will be at the front pack.