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Future of Customer Experience

Tomorrow’s innovative experiences

Every day, a new headline, sound bite, tech venture or social movement challenges the status quo, giving us glimpses into how the next decade of customer experiences may look.
Across dimensions of politics, economics, science, technology, social values and environmental change, hundreds of “future markers” offer hints as to where the future of customer experience is headed.
At Cognizant, we conduct research on work, identity, trust and ownership using a lens of human-centered design to identify emerging trends and even the weak signals that are changing in people’s lives and ultimately impacting the future of customer experience.

Seven themes shaping the future

We’ve identified seven major themes expected to shape the next generation of experiences. These themes are rooted in paradigms we understand today—health, ownership, trust, community—that are being revolutionized by the pace of change in technology and consumer values-driven transformations.

  • Atomization of ownership

    Ownership is being fractionalized as digitalization of goods and services makes it ever easier to spin-off functions or features into standalone services. At the same time, new collective purchasing schemes are putting luxury ownership within reach for an emerging class of customers seeking the owner experience.

  • Social money

    Thanks to new Web3 tools, financial transactions are evolving beyond just the movement of currency to include the exchange of information. These tools will allow money to be integrated into social apps and networks, resulting in transactions becoming more social as these tools foster collaboration and cooperation among users.

  • Workshifting

    The “it just works” ethos is shifting to “the work is up to you” as customers increasingly are becoming workers, whether by scanning and bagging their own groceries or ordering food in restaurants via QR code. As appification of services accelerates, so will this population of DIY customers.

  • Personalized trust

    Attacks on our attention—alerts, notifications, algorithmic newsfeeds—are making it more difficult to keep up day-to-day with news, and it’s affecting our ability to separate fact from fiction. As a result, we are sheltering in smaller, hyper-personalized filter bubbles and fracturing societal consensus and trust.

  • Communities over clicks

    People are abandoning the churn and toxicity of social media and instead building intentional, more authentic communities on services like Geneva or Discord. These communities—part interest group, part fandom—allow users to connect, create and share with each other—and are generating interest with brands and marketers.

  • Augmented health

    Biohacking is a loose collection of ideas and practices with the goal of improving physical capabilities or extending life. Customers are beginning to actively engage their bodies’ chemistry and performance into their own hands to function better, more efficiently, slow the aging process, experience more embodied sensations and create paths to recovery. 

  • NextGen fluidity

    The emerging hallmark of Gen Z is one of a continual work-in-progress, not one with a fixed identity. This generation is proving adept at persona-switching—presenting different ideas about who they are, what they like and how they interact depending on the engagement platform or situation. 

How we look at the future…

We explored more than 200 signals of change pinpointing seven major themes already transforming our world.

Learn more about Cognizant's Digital Experience practice and our experience design firm, Idea Couture.

having virtual meeting with doctor