The UX of Ambient-driven Experiences. –

In today’s world, privacy and security is a major concern with customers, the experience design of new technologies like Facial Recognition and AI will be even more challenging. Customer expectations are changing and as they interact with other similar technologies and services they’ll expect them to react similarly and if they don’t they’ll see it as a poor experience. The use of ambient-driven experiences, like facial recognition cameras and listening devices will become more and more common not only in the home but also in business locations.

If the customer is giving up some sort of privacy then they need to receive value in exchange.

For example, let’s talk about how these experiences could affect the Ambient-Driven Retail Experience.

Smart Associates.
Imagine having the best customer experience possible no matter the person or place. When a customer walks into a store having the insights for an associate to know all the customers previous product searches, saved items or it may even tell the associate a VIP loyalty member just entered the store. Lets say a customer walks into a home repair store looking to build a new deck the associate could know the needed materials and could preemptively start the process of helping them, making the customer experience even more pleasant and faster. Having facial recognition cameras in stores analyzing customers could be a value-add, albeit a privacy worry. Collecting this data on customers anonymously at first could be useful for loyalty, let’s call it autonomous loyalty. It could track an individual by a unique ID and then if that customer returns 5 times in a week that might trigger a discount at the next purchase. Combining the in-store app experiences with the in-store customer facial tracking could allow the merging of the data to the customers account for other helpful experiences in the future.

Adding a smart hearable or some sort of wearable earpiece for the associate, could offer up intelligent insights into other related products and helpful information for the customer. This would help create a much more consistent customer experience no matter a seasoned associate or a temp seasonal worker.

If you want to have a great customer experience then you need a great associate/employee experience.

The ambient-driven experiences don’t just stop with human associates. The entire store could start to adapt and leverage anticipatory design to serve up content on interactive screens and even physical IoT devices. By creating a more personal experience this helps reduce the overwhelming selection of items in stores. The store itself could fade back the unnecessary items that isn’t apart of the customers current project, like building a new deck. Enabling the associate to creating a personal retail experience for each individual customers.

Leveraging sediment analysis tools like Affectiva, associates could start to provide a deeper layer of empathy with customers. With empathy being on the forefront of so many conversations around AI and the user experience using this type of data analysis could be effective in delivering just-in-time customer insights for the associate. Associates will be able to identifying and help provide better ways to solve customer problems that drive the best customer experience possible.

With more and more of these ambient-driven experiences becoming available, customers will start to understand the value and expect to have more experience like them. We can expect companies to leverage more of these ambient data points to help support their associates and environment, delivering a one-size-fits-one type of customer experience.

Author: Joe Johnston

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