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BW Businessworld

The Tenets To Deliver The Right Experience

Consumers initially were not wary of giving this data, and technology was used to build recommendation engines that could churn more contextualised content and AI-powered services.

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Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari highlights the computing power that machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is giving us. This power is giving an ability to hack humans, allowing us to predict their choices and create experiences that impact decision making. He also assumes that in the future humanity and technology would co-exist in harmony. Disruption, ironically, will become a way of life.

The flaw, however, with that assumption is that most theorists believed that organisations and governments determine the pace of technological innovation. The last six months have proved that the collective ability of human behaviour to evolve during unprecedented times accelerates innovation, changing both adoption and rules of engagement.

In the last decade, enterprises of every size followed three rules of engagement —‘learn, adapt, and update.’ These rules drove core product concepts with an attempt to understand customer needs and collect data to create a customised experience. Consumers initially were not wary of giving this data, and technology was used to build recommendation engines that could churn more contextualised content and AI-powered services.

In the wake of recent events, while tech adoption has accelerated around the world to stay connected, there are also new behaviours that alter the way tech has engaged with the consumer. These new rules of engagement are nothing but a reset to the basics of consumer engagement — ‘trust, context and empathy’.

Trust might appear an obvious goal for companies. It was once largely compensated by providing ‘ease of use’. Now however, most of the population has become adept in both adopting and evaluating technology solutions for their pros and cons. As we move to a more polarised world, every consumer has an opinion and questions on data security, origin, ownership and many other aspects. Therefore, more than ever before, building trust through technology would become pivotal for organisations to succeed.

Affordable internet connectivity is one of the significant contributors in driving globalisation, making it easy for companies to take their offering beyond borders to a new set of users whose cultural values might make them perceive the product and its utility in a different context. While this was a challenge companies addressed over a few quarters, they no longer have the luxury to do so. Today, consumers and businesses both want real-time and relevant information to make better and safer decisions. For industries like travel and hospitality that are relying on consumers in different countries to start booking trips now and help in their recovery, context is king.

Simon Sinek speaks about the importance of empathy, and his principles apply to organisations. For brands to engage the changed consumer, it is more critical to have cognitive empathy. As the digital world gets overloaded, empathy and understanding context would become critical. These would allow you to engage the user with your service and mitigate negative responses. These three tenets would help deliver an experience that is simple, reliable and that connects with the user in the new normal. To paraphrase Bill Gates, ‘The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity. To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.’

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Bhanu Chopra

Founder & Chairman, RateGain

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