Future of the Experience Economy:​ Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​

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In recent years, organisations have had to swiftly transition to providing digital experiences due to limitations on physical interactions; competed fiercely based on the customer experiences offered; and invested significantly in the latest CX technologies. However, in 2024, organisations will pivot their competitive efforts towards product innovation rather than solely focusing on enhancing the CX. ​

Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​: Shifts in Business Priorities

This does not mean that organisations will not focus on CX – they will just be smarter about it! 

Ecosystm analysts Audrey William, Melanie Disse, and Tim Sheedy present the top 5 Customer Experience trends in 2024. 

Click here to download ‘Ecosystm Predicts: Top 5 CX Trends in 2024’ as a PDF.​

#1 Customer Experience is Due for a Reset

Organisations aiming to improve customer experience are seeing diminishing returns, moving away from the significant gains before and during the pandemic to incremental improvements. Many organisations experience stagnant or declining CX and NPS scores as they prioritise profit over customer growth and face a convergence of undifferentiated digital experiences. The evolving digital landscape has also heightened baseline customer expectations. ​

In 2024, CX programs will be focused and measurable – with greater involvement of Sales, Marketing, Brand, and Customer Service to ensure CX initiatives are unified across the entire customer journey. 

Organisations will reassess CX strategies, choosing impactful initiatives and aligning with brand values. This recalibration, unique to each organisation, may include reinvesting in human channels, improving digital experiences, or reimagining customer ecosystems. ​

Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​: Customer Experience is Due for a Reset

#2 Sentiment Analysis Will Fuel CX Improvement 

Organisations strive to design seamless customer journeys – yet they often miss the mark in crafting truly memorable experiences that forge emotional connections and turn customers into brand advocates. ​

Customers want on-demand information and service; failure to meet these expectations often leads to discontent and frustration. This is further heightened when organisations fail to recognise and respond to these emotions. ​

Sentiment analysis will shape CX improvements – and technological advancements such as in neural network, promise higher accuracy in sentiment analysis by detecting intricate relationships between emotions, phrases, and words. 

These models explore multiple permutations, delving deeper to interpret the meaning behind different sentiment clusters. ​

Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​: Sentiment Analysis Will Fuel CX Improvement

#3 AI Will Elevate VoC from Surveys to Experience Improvement  

In 2024, AI technologies will transform Voice of Customer (VoC) programs from measurement practices into the engine room of the experience improvement function. ​

The focus will move from measurement to action – backed by AI. AI is already playing a pivotal role in analysing vast volumes of data, including unstructured and unsolicited feedback. In 2024, VoC programs will shift gear to focus on driving a customer centric culture and business change. AI will augment insight interpretation, recommend actions, and predict customer behaviour, sentiment, and churn to elevate customer experiences (CX).  ​

Organisations that don’t embrace an AI-driven paradigm will get left behind as they fail to showcase and deliver ROI to the business.

Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​: AI Will Elevate VoC from Surveys to Experience Improvement

#4 Generative AI Platforms Will Replace Knowledge Management Tools

Most organisations have more customer knowledge management tools and platforms than they should. They exist in the contact centre, on the website, the mobile app, in-store, at branches, and within customer service. There are two challenges that this creates:​

  • Inconsistent knowledge. The information in the different knowledge bases is different and sometimes conflicting.​
  • Difficult to extract answers. The knowledge contained in these platforms is often in PDFs and long form documents.​

Generative AI tools will consolidate organisational knowledge, enhancing searchability.

Customers and contact centre agents will be able to get actual answers to questions and they will be consistent across touchpoints (assuming they are comprehensive, customer-journey and organisation-wide initiatives).​

Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​: Generative AI Platforms Will Replace Knowledge Management Tools

​#5 Experience Orchestration Will 
Accelerate

Despite the ongoing effort to streamline and simplify the CX, organisations often implement new technologies, such as conversational AI, digital and social channels, as independent projects. This fragmented approach, driven by the desire for quick wins using best-in-class point solutions results in a complex CX technology architecture. ​

With the proliferation of point solution vendors, it is becoming critical to eliminate the silos. The fragmentation hampers CX teams from achieving their goals, leading to increased costs, limited insights, a weak understanding of customer journeys, and inconsistent services. ​

Embracing CX unification through an orchestration platform enables organisations to enhance the CX rapidly, with reduced concerns about tech debt and legacy issues.

Top 5 CX Trends in 2024​: Experience Orchestration Will ​
Accelerate
Ecosystm Predicts 2024

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Building a Cyber Resilient Financial Organisation

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The Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) industry, known for its cautious stance on technology, is swiftly undergoing a transformational modernisation journey. Areas such as digital customer experiences, automated fraud detection, and real-time risk assessment are all part of a technology-led roadmap. This shift is transforming the cybersecurity stance of BFSI organisations, which have conventionally favoured centralising everything within a data centre behind a firewall. 

Ecosystm research finds that 75% of BFSI technology leaders believe that a data breach is inevitable. This requires taking a new cyber approach to detect threats early, reduce the impact of an attack, and avoid lateral movement across the network.  

BFSI organisations will boost investments in two main areas over the next year: updating infrastructure and software, and exploring innovative domains like digital workplaces and automation. Cybersecurity investments are crucial in both of these areas.

As a regulated industry, breaches come with significant cost implications, underscoring the need to prioritise cybersecurity. BFSI cybersecurity and risk teams need to constantly reassess their strategies for safeguarding data and fulfilling compliance obligations, as they explore ways to facilitate new services for customers, partners, and employees.  

The primary concerns of BFSI CISOs can be categorised into two distinct groups:

  1. Expanding Technology Use. This includes the proliferation of applications and devices, as well as data access beyond the network perimeter.
  2. Employee-Related Vulnerabilities. This involves responses to phishing and malware attempts, as well as intentional and unintentional misuse of technology.

Vulnerabilities Arising from Employee Actions

Security vulnerabilities arising from employee actions and unawareness represent a significant and ongoing concern for businesses of all sizes and industries – the risks are just much bigger for BFSI. These vulnerabilities can lead to data breaches, financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal ramifications. A multi-pronged approach is needed that combines technology, training, policies, and a culture of security consciousness. 

Training and Culture. BFSI organisations prioritise comprehensive training and awareness programs, educating employees about common threats like phishing and best practices for safeguarding sensitive data. While these programs are often ongoing and adaptable to new threats, they can sometimes become mere compliance checklists, raising questions about their true effectiveness. Conducting simulated phishing attacks and security quizzes to assess employee awareness and identify areas where further training is required, can be effective.  

To truly educate employees on risks, it’s essential to move beyond compliance and build a cybersecurity culture throughout the organisation. This can involve setting organisation-wide security KPIs that cascade from the CEO down to every employee, promoting accountability and transparency. Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting security concerns is critical for early threat detection and mitigation. 

Policies. Clear security policies and enforcement are essential for ensuring that employees understand their roles within the broader security framework, including responsibilities on strong password use, secure data handling, and prompt incident reporting. Implementing the principle of least privilege, which restricts access based on specific roles, mitigates potential harm from insider threats and inadvertent data exposure. Policies should evolve through routine security audits, including technical assessments and evaluations of employee protocol adherence, which will help organisations with a swifter identification of vulnerabilities and to take the necessary corrective actions.  

However, despite the best efforts, breaches do happen – and this is where a well-defined incident response plan, that is regularly tested and updated, is crucial to minimise the damage. This requires every employee to know their roles and responsibilities during a security incident. 

Tech Expansion Leading to Cyber Complexity

Cloud. Initially hesitant to transition essential workloads to the cloud, the BFSI industry has experienced a shift in perspective due to the rise of inventive SaaS-based Fintech tools and hybrid cloud solutions, that have created new impetus for change. This new distributed architecture requires a fresh look at cyber measures. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) providers are integrating a range of cloud-delivered safeguards, such as FWaaS, CASB, and ZTNA with SD-WAN to ensure organisations can securely access the cloud without compromising on performance.   

Data & AI. Data holds paramount importance in the BFSI industry for informed decision-making, personalised customer experiences, risk assessment, fraud prevention, and regulatory compliance. AI applications are being used to tailor products and services, optimise operational efficiency, and stay competitive in an evolving market. As part of their technology modernisation efforts, 47% of BFSI institutions are refining their data and AI strategies. They also acknowledge the challenges associated – and satisfying risk, regulatory, and compliance requirements is one of the biggest challenges facing BFSI organisations in the AI deployments.  

The rush to experiment with Generative AI and foundation models to assist customers and employees is only heightening these concerns. There is an urgent need for policies around the use of these emerging technologies. Initiatives such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Veritas that aim to enable financial institutions to evaluate their AI and data analytics solutions against the principles of fairness, ethics, accountability, and transparency (FEAT) are expected to provide the much-needed guidance to the industry.  

Digital Workplace. As with other industries with a high percentage of knowledge workers, BFSI organisations are grappling with granting remote access to staff. Cloud-based collaboration and Fintech tools, BYOD policies, and sensitive data traversing home networks are all creating new challenges for cyber teams. Modern approaches, such as zero trust network access, privilege management, and network segmentation are necessary to ensure workers can seamlessly but securely perform their roles remotely.  

Looking Beyond Technology: Evaluating the Adequacy of Compliance-Centric Cyber Strategies

The BFSI industry stands among the most rigorously regulated industries, with scrutiny intensifying following every collapse or notable breach. Cyber and data protection teams shoulder the responsibility of understanding the implications of and adhering to emerging data protection regulations in areas such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, SOC 2, and PSD2. Automating compliance procedures emerges as a compelling solution to streamline processes, mitigate risks, and curtail expenses. Technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), low-code development, and continuous compliance monitoring are gaining prominence.  

The adoption of AI to enhance security is still emerging but will accelerate rapidly. Ecosystm research shows that within the next two years, nearly 70% of BFSI organisations will have invested in SecOps. AI can help Security Operations Centres (SOCs) prioritise alerts and respond to threats faster than could be performed manually. Additionally, the expanding variety of network endpoints, including customer devices, ATMs, and tools used by frontline employees, can embrace AI-enhanced protection without introducing additional onboarding friction. 

However, there is a need for BFSI organisations to look beyond compliance checklists to a more holistic cyber approach that can prioritise cyber measures continually based on the risk to the organisations. And this is one of the biggest challenges that BFSI CISOs face. Ecosystm research finds that 72% of cyber and technology leaders in the industry feel that there is limited understanding of cyber risk and governance in their organisations.  

In fact, BFSI organisations must look at the interconnectedness of an intelligence-led and risk-based strategy. Thorough risk assessments let organisations prioritise vulnerability mitigation effectively. This targeted approach optimises security initiatives by focusing on high-risk areas, reducing security debt. To adapt to evolving threats, intelligence should inform risk assessment. Intelligence-led strategies empower cybersecurity leaders with real-time threat insights for proactive measures, actively tackling emerging threats and vulnerabilities – and definitely moving beyond compliance-focused strategies. 

The Resilient Enterprise
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Ecosystm VendorSphere: Salesforce AI Innovations Transforming CRM ​

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Organisations are moving beyond digitalisation to a focus on building market differentiation. It is widely acknowledged that customer-centric strategies lead to better business outcomes, including increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, competitiveness, growth, and profitability.

AI is the key enabler driving personalisation at scale. It has also become key to improving employee productivity, empowering them to focus on high-value tasks and deepening customer engagements.

Over the last month – at the Salesforce World Tour and over multiple analyst briefings – Salesforce has showcased their desire to solve customer challenges using AI innovations. They have announced a range of new AI innovations across Data Cloud, their integrated CRM platform. ​

Ecosystm Advisors Kaushik Ghatak, Niloy Mukherjee, Peter Carr, and Sash Mukherjee comment on Salesforce’s recent announcements and messaging.

Read on to find out more. ​

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5 Actions to Achieve Your AI Ambitions​

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5 Strategies for CX Leaders

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In good times and in bad, a great customer experience (CX) differentiates your company from your competitors and creates happy customers who turn into brand advocates. While some organisations in Asia Pacific are just starting out on their CX journey, many have made deep investments. But in the fast-paced world of digital, physical and omnichannel experience improvement, if you stand still, you fall behind.

We interviewed CX leaders across the region, and here are the top 5 top actions that they are taking to stay ahead of the curve.

#1 Better Governance of Customer Data

Most businesses accelerate their CX journeys by collecting and analysing data. They copy data from one channel to another, share data across touchpoints, create data silos to better understand data, and attempt to create a single view of the customer. Without effective governance, every time create copies of customer data are created, moved, and shared with partners, it increases the attack surface of the business. And there is nothing worse than telling customers that their data was accessed, stolen or compromised – and that they need to get a new credit card, driver’s license or passport.

To govern customer data effectively, it is essential to collaborate with different stakeholders, such as legal, risk, IT, and CX leaders – data owners, consumers, and managers, analytics leaders, data owners, and data managers – in the strategy discussions.

#2 Creating Human Experiences

To create a human-centric experience, it is important to understand what humans want. However, given that each brand has different values, the expectations of customers may not always be consistent.

Much of the investment in CX by Asian companies over the past five years have been focused on making transactions easy and effective – but ultimately it is the emotional attachment which brings customers back repeatedly.  In creating human experiences, brands create a brand voice that is authentic, relatable, empathetic and is consistent across all channels.

Humanising the experience and brand requires:

  • Hyperpersonalisation of customer interactions. By efforts such as using names, understanding location requirements, remembering past purchases, and providing tailored recommendations based on their expectations, businesses can make customers feel valued and understood. Understanding the weather, knowing whether the customer’s favourite team won or lost on the weekend, mentioning an important birthday, etc. can all drive real, human experiences – with or without an actual human involved in the process!
  • Transparency. Honesty and transparency can go a long way in building trust with customers. Businesses should be open about their processes, pricing, and policies. Organisations should be transparent about mistakes and what they are doing to fix the problem.

#3 Building Co-creation Opportunities

Co-creation is a collaborative approach where organisations involve their customers in the development and improvement of products, services, and experiences. This process can foster innovation, enhance customer satisfaction, and contribute to long-term business success. Co-creation can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, drive innovation, enhance brand reputation, boost market relevance, and reduce risks and costs.

Strategies for co-creation include:

  • Creating open innovation platforms where customers can submit ideas, feedback, and suggestions
  • Organising workshops or focus groups that bring together customers, designers, and developers to brainstorm and generate new ideas
  • Running contests or crowdsourcing initiatives to engage customers in problem-solving and idea generation
  • Establishing feedback loops and engaging customers in the iterative development process
  • Partnering with customers or external stakeholders, such as suppliers or distributors, to co-create new products or services

#4 Collecting Data – But Telling Stories

Organisations use storytelling as a powerful CX tool to connect with their customers, convey their brand values, and build trust.

Here are some ways organisations share stories with their customers:

  • Brand storytelling. Creating narratives around their brand that showcase their mission, vision, and values
  • Customer testimonials and case studies. Sharing real-life experiences of satisfied customers to showcase the value of a product or service
  • Content marketing. Creating engaging content in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, and more to educate, entertain, and inform their customers
  • Social media. Posting photos, videos, or updates that showcase the brand’s personality, to strengthen relationships with the audience
  • Packaging and in-store experiences. Creative packaging and well-designed in-store experiences to tell a brand story and create memorable customer interactions
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Helping customers understand the values the organisation stands for and build trust

#5 Finally – Not Telling Just Positive Stories!

Many companies focus on telling the good stories: “Here’s what happens when you use our products”; “Our customers are super-successful” and; “Don’t just take it from us, listen to what our customers say.”

But memorable stories are created with contrast – like telling the story of what happened when someone didn’t use the product or service. Successful brands don’t want to just leave the audience with a vision of what could be possible, but also what will be likely if they don’t invest. Advertisers have understood this for years, but customers don’t just hear stories through advertisements – they hear it through social media, word of mouth, traditional media, and from sales and account executives.

The Experience Economy
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3 Phases from VoC Insights to Action

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In her earlier Ecosystm Insight Melanie Disse spoke about how to measure customer experience (CX) success through an effective Voice of Customer (VoC) program.

In this Ecosystm byte, Melanie talks about why every VoC program needs to have an Insight to Action framework at its core, to detect and drive continuous improvement opportunities and positively impact organisations’ bottom line.

Read on to find out more about the “Listen – Analyse – Act” VoC Insights to Action framework. Each phase of the framework has its own challenges, and the success of the entire framework depends on the quality of each phase.

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The Experience Economy
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Putting Data at the Core of CX Transformation

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In today’s digital world, data is an essential part of almost everything we do. From making informed business decisions to providing the best customer outcomes, data plays a crucial role in shaping organisations’ actions and strategies. With the increasing availability of customer data, companies can now gain valuable insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and expectations; and offer personalised experiences to build long-lasting relationships.

Ecosystm Principal Advisor, Audrey William talks about 5 things to keep in mind when working on your data strategy to improve customer experience.

  1. Build a data-driven CX culture. If you don’t have a Chief Experience Officer, appoint one.
  2. Understand your data needs. Blindly gathering data without evaluating significance or utilisation, can cost you.
  3. Evaluate your data repositories. Invest in a CDP or an Intelligent Data Platform for a unified view of customer data.
  4. Use Speech Analytics to truly understand your customer. Go beyond traditional metrics to gather data-driven insights.
  5. Aim to achieve hyperpersonalisation. Make it the goal and core of your data and customer strategies.

Read on to find more.

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The Experience Economy
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Modify Your CX for Tough Economic Times

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During tough economic times, organisations need to be even more attentive to their customers’ needs and find creative ways to deliver high-quality customer experiences while keeping costs under control.

Tim Sheedy – VP Research, Ecosystm presents the best practices that organisations can use to modify their customer experience during these uncertain times.

  1. Bring back the empathy. While people might have stopped worrying about their health, economic concerns are real.
  2. Focus on customer retention. Customer attraction takes more effort and investments than customer retention.
  3. Invest in customer support. This can be done through digital touchpoints as well as in-person interactions.
  4. Continue to simplify the purchasing process. Even the slightest friction in the purchase process is enough to drive potential customers away.
  5. Focus on value over discounts. Customers look for value more than they look for discounts.

Read on to find out more.

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The Experience Economy

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