Envision a situation in which you are stuck at a billing counter, a lengthy queue trailing behind you. Suppose that you are on the crux of making a payment through your mobile app but the screen blacks out at the last moment. Thankfully your bank facilitates the option to adopt a device of your preference which allows you to deploy your smartwatch for carrying out the payment flawlessly. This was only made possible owing to your service provider providing consistency across a multitude of platforms. This right here is what Multi-experience is all about.
Gone are the days back when developing digital customer journeys meant making a basic decision - either to employ the web platform or the mobile or both. As the new players emerge leveraging their new technologies, the expectations of customers have also escalated making them more demanding when it comes to the quality of the service they are provided with.
With competition escalating at every stage and in every industry and swapping providers becoming as simple as pressing a switch, companies are now compelled to shift the approach with which they operate and with the way they interact with their customers. Thus to appease these escalating expectations, more and more businesses are now shifting from omnichannel-oriented to multi-experience-oriented customer journeys.
Now, what exactly is Multi-Experience?
A part of Gartner’s list of Top 10 strategic technology trends 2020, this experience is mainly focused upon a paramount shift in how companies should develop their digital strategies for engaging with their customers.
“The model will shift from one of technology-literate people to one of people-literate technology. The burden of translating intent will move from the user to the computer. This ability to communicate with users across many human senses will provide a richer environment for delivering nuanced information.” - David Cearley, Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner
It is concerned with shifting from a traditional inside-out, channel-oriented outlook towards one which is focused on facilitating an excellent customer experience. When it comes to creating digital products, services as well as experiences, multi-experience mainly implies two points.
Firstly it means interacting across multiple touchpoints. The times to stay limited to mobile and web are gone. Application leaders are now compelled to create experiences for an escalating number of touchpoints for serving their customers as well as employees fruitfully and these experiences include chatbots, voice as well as personal assistants, wearables, and Augmented Reality as well as Virtual Reality.
Yet an actual multi-experience also involves operating beyond the touchpoints since the functionality cannot be duplicated every time. It is crucial that the end result needs to feel as well as behaves naturally for that touchpoint.
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Secondly, it means ensuring a flawless experience across touchpoints. We are now at the stage where customers want their service to be accomplished with as little struggle from their end as possible, for whichever device, touchpoint, or interaction modality that they are employing. The multi-experience concept safeguards that all interaction touchpoints remain consistent throughout so that the customers can shift smoothly across them without having to repeat any previous steps.
So basically, multi-experience is all about adjusting to the expanding market of varying devices and their respective experiences. It is crucial for applications now to run flawlessly for customers across different platforms easily adapting them while simultaneously supplying a consistent experience on the part of the business.
“By 2023, more than 25% of the mobile apps, progressive web apps, and conversational apps at large enterprises will be built and/or run through a multi-experience development platform (MXDP)." - Gartner, Magic Quadrant Report
The Magic Quadrant Report also mentioned Outsystems, Mendix, and Kony as some of the leading developers of multi-experience platforms, when it comes to the clarity of their vision as well as their ability to execute them.
How is Multi Experience different from Omnichannel?
The omnichannel and multi-experience approach may appear to be similar yet while Omnichannel is a part of multi-experience, Multi-experience is the next level of Omnichannel.
Omnichannel is mainly concerned with penetrating the user touchpoints across all channels while multi-experience is concerned with creating effortless customer experiences across apps, websites, and modalities of voice, touch, and text, regardless of the channel.
The primary difference here is that while Omnichannel is focused on technology, multi-experience moves beyond technology and channels and focuses on how people employ apps and interact with a company. The multi-experience aims to facilitate a flawless experience that is custom made for each customer or user individually including their context, the interaction modalities, and touchpoints they opt for accomplishing any certain task.
An excellent example of a lucrative multi-experience strategy is Domino’s Pizza. The company allows its customers to make orders in 15 varying ways by choosing their preferred devices, employing whichever interaction modality they find convenient from smart speakers to smartphones, smart TV, text, and so on.
The company recently did a 180º company overhaul, converting critics into ecstatic brand advocates and attaining a 90x increase in stock value. The most crucial element behind their success is their focus on making the ordering procedure as simple for its customers as possible and employing technology to make this possible.
Yet another multi-experience example is BMW India’s Contactless Experience. Amidst the present COVID19 pandemic scenario the company has molded its business approaches by introducing customers to a new way of exploring, experiencing, buying, and booking service for cars from the comfort of their homes, without having to physically visit a dealership facility or a service center.
Lastly, another example would be the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The bank allows its users to pay bills via multiple platforms like chatbots, voice-activated ATMs, smartwatches, smartphones, and, obviously through the bank’s website.
Channels of Multi Experience
Now let's look at how the various channels of multi-experience can be executed: The devices listed below are a pathway into the multi-experience universe.
Smartphones are presently placed at the center of all business models. For instance when we take the context of Banking, these help in removing the obligation of having to go to a physical location, with the various smartphone apps offering all useful features for ensuring that we can handle our finances without having to leave our house.
With desktops being bigger in size and having easier controls, not many businesses face issues in making them work specially in terms of their UX and UI. In addition computers and laptops are also widely deployed by the public. When we talk in the context of banks, various banks have been affixing advanced features such as developing a bank statement for their online banking’s desktop versions.
Channels of Multi Experience
Tablets are kind of between traditional computers and smartphones. That is, while they have a larger screen compared to smartphones, allowing for simpler navigation and more retaining of information, they are still deprived of a keyboard as well as processing power. Alongside this many of them rely solely on WiFi for an internet connection, as plenty of models still don’t support SIM cards.
While Smart TVs definitely have the advantage of PCs in terms of screen size, they fall short in being as intuitive as a mouse or keyboard, leaving more scope for improvement such as when it comes to a more clear UI. Additionally the extra uses obviously have to be developed without disrupting the basic purpose of the TVs i.e, watching the media.
An interesting example of the employment of Smart TV is Domino’s. The company offers its customers to make orders through their Smart TVs, making this approach highly convenient for people who wish to order pizza yet don’t wish to interrupt their present viewing experience at the same time. This gives the company an edge over competitors who haven’t taken up the multi-experience approach yet.
Wearables are a comparatively new concept but have garnered huge popularity over the recent years. The primary feature of wearables is their interconnectivity. They can easily connect to smartphones and serve as an extension of their applications and solutions. Companies can make an interesting deployment of these. For instance, banks can employ them for notifying customers regarding any updates in their bank balance and to let them know if their payment was successful.
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These gadgets are completely voice-enabled having no physical buttons. These are AI-powered solutions that facilitate immediate assistance through the employment of just a few selective words. Companies can adopt these for allowing users to ask queries and garner information and even for making orders through verbal commands.
This basically implies tapping into established platforms like social media for interacting with customers. Various companies are employing platforms like Facebook or Twitter for interacting with their users. Domino’s has ventured a step ahead by tapping into Ford’s in-car system, allowing drivers to order food even while they are driving home.
Gartner stands by the belief that Multi experience will enable more encompassing user experiences where the present surfacing technologies will be employed for an Augmented Reality overlay or an entirely immersive Virtual Reality experience. A crucial factor to keep in mind is that it is now a customer-driven world with the consumers now propelling the technological revolutions instead of the businesses.
We can definitely anticipate low-code Multi Experience Development Platforms (MXDP) solutions to carry on monopolizing the multi-experience universe as well as the development of fit-for-purpose applications over a surplus of devices. It remains to be seen how convenient the actual impact of this developing experience will prove to be upon the public in the near future.