Accenture: 9 developments that shape digital winners

09 February 2015 Consultancy.uk

Digitalisation is encroaching on everything, creating a demand on how businesses design services and products, finds a recent report by Accenture. Companies that create more personal interactions with consumers, create produces that connect smoothly with the outside and build anticipatory, and perform unobtrusive services, are likely to be winners.

In the “Design and Innovation Trends 2015” report from Fjord, Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive, the impact of digital on the real world is highlighted and the authors explore how the impacts will shape both consumer expectations and service design over the coming 12 months.

Accenture Digital

According to Fjord’s chief client officer Mark Curtis, creating successful service and product designs will involve “three overarching themes which are shaping what experiences consumers will welcome and what they will reject.” Curtis acclaiming that, “Experiences will become more personal, for example through the return of real people in some customer service areas as opposed to entirely automated systems. Organisations will better manage and finesse connections between services, devices and places. Intelligent services will anticipate our intent and automatically perform routine, underlying transactional tasks.”

These themes can be broken into a number of different developments, which, when followed by businesses, will shape the creation of digital and digitally-enabled customer experiences. A brief summary:

Omni-Colleague - Bridging online and offline - Aggregation of services

Omni-Colleague – The New Heroes of Digital: Human beings will be back, the move to digitalisation and automated robotic based engagements with customers will be selectively replaced by a personal touch with highly informed service agents with cognitive computing capabilities.

Mind the Gap: Smooth movement between online and offline needs to be attained. The most important gap to address will be when customers switch between devices. Key will be businesses identifying inconsistencies across modes and devices and understanding how their devices or services are being used.

Aggregation Moves to Services: Customers sometimes meet fragmented services without a flow between points of exit and entry to the service. By businesses looking at the complete journey the customers are on, they may be able to create seamless movement between moments thereby resulting in integrated customer experiences.

Digital Dieting - Emotional Interfaces - Data-driven physical actions

Digital Dieting: There is an increase in tension between the digital world and people’s need to focus on their surroundings not mediated by screens. Digitals need to carefully consider the demands made by their services on consumers needing to navigate both worlds and thus avoid irritation. This may spawn physical manifestations of digital services.

Emotional Interfaces – From Commands to Conversations: With advances in computer learning and understanding of human responses, interactions between man and machine may become more natural. There may be a change in the emotional connection with machines, something businesses can consider by adopting emotion and gesture-based responses user interfaces.

Digital Disruption Goes Physical: Many physical actions and devices will become data-driven services. Digital disruption is challenging the way many businesses can meaningfully engage with their potential customers – technological advances may soon allow businesses to learn about their customers in ways that radically disrupt current business models.

Digital money - Device ecosystem - Anticipation

Money Talks: The combination of chat and ecommerce, where payments and shopping is done through chat may come to disrupt more tradition ways of paying for items. Banks and retailers are already reconsidering what happens when money meets chat, embedding pricing in chat services may have wide impact to a variety of players.

Be Effortless – Interactions in Connected Systems: Wearables are expected to become mainstream in 2015, with the rise of “hearables” – smart hearing devices – and “nearables.” Smartphones and apps could come to engage with a wide range of sensor enabled objects. 

The Sixth Sense: More and more services are able to anticipate what their users might be after, reacting to provide the need before the user needs to make a move – using smart design and data mining. To be more predictive requires a solid data strategy be in place to address emerging data sources and ethical conduct for use.

Digital winners
“Digital is changing which experiences users perceive as engaging and relevant,” explains Brian Whipple, Senior Managing Director at Accenture Interactive. “They expect them to be intuitive, more personal and responsive. Considering many marketing leaders are also dissatisfied with the experiences they provide to customers, design needs to be at the heart of how companies shape and innovate around their services and products. Those embracing the transformative potential of service design in today’s digital age have tremendous opportunities for growing their customer base and customer loyalty.”

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