A connected experience is defined as a “seamless connectivity” in which companies develop purposeful relationships with their consumers through the use of intelligent software and automation (IBM, 2017).
Drivers Behind the Shift Towards a Connected Experience
According to IBM (2017), there are three main drivers behind the shift towards a connected experience:
- “Digital Natives.” Digital Natives are a new generation of consumers that were raised in the digital age and therefore expect organizations’ products and services to meet their need for more “connected experiences”.
- The escalation in the use of devices. IoT-connected devices are expected to increase to 24.6 billion in 2025 (Taylor, 2023). The growth in the use of these devices are increasing consumers’ need to be connected (IBM, 2017).
- The growth of the “stay-at-home economy.” The stay-at-home economy is a trend where consumers have the ability to work and shop from their homes, thus increasing their dependence on their ability to stay connected.
Challenges to Creating a Connected Experience:
Dubey (2022) explains that there are three main challenges hindering organizations’ ability to provide their customers with a connected experience:
- The continued use of “Legacy systems”: Legacy systems are traditional or outdated systems that lack the functionality needed to create a connected experience for its users. Because some organizations are set on continuing their use of these systems, they hinder their ability to provide their customers with connected experiences (Dubey, 2022).
- ”Data Silos”: Data Silos refer to multiple individual data sources within an organization’s environment that are used to store data separately. Because these silos don’t have the capability of connecting and sharing data with other silos, users have an incomplete view of the information stored within the organization. Thus lacking the ability to provide users with a connected experience.
- A lack of efficiency in business processes: Customers’ needs are continuously changing. This means that organizations not only need to be on the lookout for these changes, but need to adapt their organizational strategies accordingly and in a timely manner. As customers become more adamant about their need for more connected experiences, organizations that lack the ability to pick up on this need or simply can’t adjust their organizational strategies fast enough, are losing out on the ability to fulfill their customers’ needs.
Technological Advancements Used to Provide a Connected Experience
- AI Chatbots: AI chatbots use “natural language processing (NLP)” to understand and provide valuable feedback to customers on behalf of customer service agents (Drift, 2022).
- Open APIs (Application Programming Interface): Open APIs provide companies with tools to develop new apps at an accelerated rate, enhance their CX (customer experience) and improve their “digital reach” (TTEC, 2017).
- Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics gives organizations the ability to make forecasts about the future based on their analysis of “historical data” (IBM, n.d.).
TTEC (2017) explains that in order to develop a successful connected experience, companies should place their focus on three important tasks: 1. Develop a “customer-centric” organizational culture and enable “humans [to help] humans”. 2. Develop a personalised experience for customers with the goal of building meaningful relationships. 3. Create a seamless, omnichannel approach to interacting with customers.
Drift (2022) An Introduction to AI Chatbots , Drift. Available at: https://www.drift.com/learn/chatbot/ai-chatbots/
Dubey, A. (2022) What are Connected Experiences and why do you need them, Incepta Solutions. Available at: https://www2.inceptasolutions.com/2022/08/22/what-are-connected-experiences/
IBM (n.d.) What is predictive analytics?, IBM. Available at: https://www.ibm.com/topics/predictive-analytics
IBM (2017) Ushering in the Era of Connected Experiences, pp. 2–4. Available at: https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/RJ2VB2MN#:~:text=Connected%20experiences%20leverage%20data%20from,a%20personalized%20and%20efficient%20way.
Taylor, P. (2023) New Internet of Things (IoT) connections in 2025 compared to 2019, Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1101127/new-iot-connections-by-2025/
TTEC (2017) Inside the Connected Customer Experience, pp. 7–9. Available at: https://www.ttec.com/sites/default/files/eb-inside-the-connected-customer-experience.pdf