The Future of Customers and Consumers predictions for 2022 from the International Data Corporation (IDC), a provider of market intelligence and advisory services, show that technology will be the cornerstone of brands that try to reestablish relationships with customers and consumers in a new version of the physical and digital world. Organizations that focus on resiliency in systems, processes, and business models that influence how companies and brands engage with customers will find success in the future of customers and consumers.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the lack of resiliency in many organizations, specifically in how companies and brands engage with customers and deliver differentiated experiences that keep customers coming back. As the pandemic forced an accelerated rate of digital transformation, it became obvious that most companies had done little to build out good customer engagement models. This showed business leaders how essential it is to establish loyalty through contextually relevant, differentiated experiences that will help avoid chaotic disruptions in the future.
"COVID-19 caused significant shifts in almost everything, including how companies and customers interact, engage, and transact," said Alan Webber, program vice president, Digital Strategy and Customer Experience at IDC. "The key finding is that so many companies spoke about how far along they were in the digital transformation, but this didn't include digitally transforming how to engage customers and consumers. When the pandemic forced their hand, it became obvious that they might have digitally transformed their ERP system or components of their procurement system but had not done the hard work necessary to really engage digitally with customers."
Organizations must adopt and employ customer engagement and experience technologies, services, and strategies based on whether they improve customer experience or make customer engagement more resilient. IDC's ten predictions address the most urgent technology issues and concerns that companies must master to differentiate themselves and maintain engaging relationships with customers.
IDC's Future of Customers and Consumers 2022 top 10 predictions are:
- Prediction 1: By 2024, 35% of brands will openly incentivize consumers to share personal data in exchange for cash rewards, services, and exclusive experiences.
- Prediction 2: By 2024, 25% of brands will partner to build shared customer data hubs to deliver innovative connected experiences and reduce data acquisition costs.
- Prediction 3: By 2023, 25% of global banks will use AI-based sentiment analysis to improve customer experience on current and future products and services.
- Prediction 4: By 2025, 50% of the Global 2000 will increase data scientist diversity by 50% to improve trust in customer engagements, driven by data privacy and trustworthy AI regulations across the globe.
- Prediction 5: By 2026, B2B companies will use AI interactions and analytics technology to deliver deeply personalized journey engagement, eliminating 40% of marketing and sales human touch points.
- Prediction 6: By 2023, 25% of companies will offer tracking transparency for customer complaints, and this will become a best practice and a driver of brand choice, causing broader adoption by 75% of companies by 2025.
- Prediction 7: By 2024, 30% of Fortune 2000 companies will deploy next-best action across their omni-channel environment, driving demand for CDPs, omni-channel management, and customer service solutions.
- Prediction 8: By 2024, organizations will be forced to revamp their customer authentication process to reduce friction and recognize and authenticate customers securely within five seconds of connection.
- Prediction 9: By 2023, to counter digital fatigue, 60% of leading organizations will look to differentiate by delivering trusted and memorable engagements that recreate physical experiences.
- Prediction 10: By 2025, more than 65% of luxury hotels worldwide will have deployed a customer-facing smart assistant that leverages AI to drive a better customer experience.
These predictions are discussed in greater detail in a new report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Customer and Consumer 2022 Predictions (IDC #US48297321), which is available for download at: www.idc.com/events/futurescape?tab=latest-research.