The word that best describes the future is “Effortless.” The progression of on-demand technologies combined with our increased ability to control these technologies puts us all on a trajectory toward the future of effortless. However, effortless experiences will not just happen, they must be composed. New AI-based experience platforms are emerging that provide the foundation for this composition.
Look around – everything has changed and continues to change. Activities that took a lot of time and effort in the past now take only minutes or seconds. No longer must we travel to a movie store to rent a movie that we then take home and put into a player – this effort has been replaced with only a few clicks of a mouse or a few words to our intelligent assistant. And does anyone remember when making a mixtape for your friend took a few hours of finding and copying or recording? Now that friend has been replaced by AI technology running behind our favorite streaming service. The world has certainly changed and you can bet that will continue, and if your business isn’t prepared to address those changes in technology and the experiences customers expect, you’ll be left behind.
And if it feels like this technological advancement is accelerating – that’s because it is, according to this essay by the inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.
Let’s say we could time travel 10 years into our future. What does our world look like in 2031? We see a whole new set of experiences that we had not even dreamed of in 2021. Entirely new business models will have developed. The daily activities of today such as shopping, healthcare, or even working will take on brand new forms. And what then does your business look like in 2031? Or even in 2026?
Instant Gratification Has Become the Expectation
Effortless is defined based on the amount of physical or mental exertion required to achieve the desired outcome. Effort is the work it takes to do something. If something is effortless, it takes no work at all to do.
The democratization of services control combined with the advancement in the ability of today’s technology to provide on-demand experiences is rapidly decreasing the amount of effort in the terms of investment of our time and thought to obtain and use these services.
This has tremendous implications for businesses as they seek to continue to win the attention and drive the loyalty of their customers. No longer can businesses dictate which segments they will serve and how these segments will be served.
In the future, all of us as consumers will expect to self-segment, self-serve, and self-compose our experiences. We will also expect tasks to be completed immediately with little or no effort expended on our part. The key attributes of successful self-service as identified in a recent survey by Gartner will soon apply to every customer experience with your business and brand.
Ad-Hoc Communications Have Evolved into Meaningful Experiences
From dial-tone to hook-flash to caller ID, the advancement of communications has always been about obtaining more control. And in the case of the latter, concerns with the sharing of personal information began to surface.
Fast-forward to today, and we all now choose who we communicate with, and how. Real-time communications have expanded to many more choices and modes. Communications-related tasks of the past are now performed by automation and fit-for-purpose apps that deliver a consistent experience across mobile, web, wearable, conversational, and immersive touchpoints. With this, privacy concerns have become increasingly paramount.
The combination of increased consumer control and the contextual application of on-demand technology across modalities, personas, and touchpoints is transforming the ad-hoc communications of the past into more meaningful experiences.
This shift also has significant implications for business and customer interactions. Gone are the days in which consumers will tolerate business communications that don’t fit their schedule or lifestyle, or that don’t deliver “in the moment” as expected. And employees will expect the contextual communications capabilities of Workstream Collaboration solutions rather than just one-off video meetings.
Why You Need an AI-powered Experience Platform
Going forward, “effortless” experiences will become the norm. This will include the consumer having complete control of the services that are employed, receiving these services in context and at the exact desired time, and expending little or no effort to use these services.
Most of us are now using AI technology every day in the form of our intelligent assistants. These are very real applications of artificial intelligence that is increasingly integral to our daily life.
Unfortunately, many businesses today are trapped in the technical debt of monolithic applications that cannot support adding AI technology or quickly crafting and delivering innovative services to their customers.
Delivering these expected experiences to customers in the future requires the composability of an AI experiences development platform. Low-code or no-code development capabilities now make it easy to create and deliver customer experiences. When combined with AI technologies, customers can now feel as if the business really “gets” them – as they consciously and unconsciously control and self-compose the services they receive.
Experiences that Matter
You may say that the ability to quickly access digital content is convenient, but not exactly world-changing. And, it is true that some experiences matter more than others.
What if the pandemic would have happened 10 years ago? Our ability to suddenly shift to virtual “everything” would not have been possible! Today as we all navigate these uncharted waters, “effortless” technology is enabling patients to instantly access the health information they need to survive and citizens to be instantly contacted to be notified of outbreaks, or to be instructed to quarantine.
When employees send e-mails to their IT teams thanking them for implementing new technology… and when this technology is “saving lives” everyday… Then we see we have entered a new era in which businesses are using “effortless” technology to compose new experiences that really matter.
But-- in reality-- every experience matters to your customers. Especially when it comes to wooing them and keeping them happy. Gartner has coined the term “Everything Customer” to describe the customer of the future. To borrow a phrase from a popular 1980’s song – tomorrow’s customers will want you to “love them, feel them, and wrap your arms around them.” Customers will expect an “effortless” relationship with your business – and will expect your business services to make their lives more “effortless” by meeting their multiple needs and expectations that may even seem contradictory at times.
What the Future Will Look Like
We are only at the tip of the iceberg of composing “effortless” experiences as is outlined in this report. The primary focus of these new technologies today is on “getting and staying connected” with customers. Next up is “orchestration” of the customer journey and the allocation of your business resources to more effectively serve each customer. Finally, the ability to better serve your customers will be taken to new levels by analytics and AI technologies.
Avaya OneCloud is an AI-powered Experience platform. It enables you to connect with customers, orchestrate processes, and manage resources based on continually increasing the knowledge and understanding of each customer. It provides a solid foundation that includes a future-proof architecture and applications ecosystem designed to enable you to wrap your arms around each of your customers to win their attention and loyalty – every day – at every moment. It will enable you to provide them with the “effortless” experiences they will expect – to address the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.
Find out how you can compose your business around your customers with AI-powered experiences from your Avaya representative or by attending the Avaya Customer Experiences “Masterclass” at the Collision 2021 conference.