How digital human avatars can enhance the customer experiences in 2022 and beyond

Digital human avatars are proof that Darwinism exists in the world of customer experience (CX). Also known as digital humans, these AI & ML-powered solutions bring the best of both worlds – the speed, convenience, and accuracy of being digital and the human-like intuitiveness to interact based on context. 

All this may sound like one of those trends that may be gone before we see them grow mature. 

AI-enabled digital human avatars, however, are going nowhere as industries like food & beverages, retail, banking, travel &tourism, and healthcare have started leveraging them successfully. Especially in the retail market, they are seen as the next big thing, considering that there’s no one finickier about getting the latest experience than a customer who walks into a mall or an independent store.

And why wouldn’t they? Evolution is as competitive as it gets. So, if customers want the best of what’s out there, why shouldn’t they receive it?

So how do they interact?

A digital human avatar can engage customers by identifying the tone of their voice or detecting the nature of their facial expressions. Powered by cutting-edge AI & ML technologies, they can deliver a wide range of human interactions (both verbal conversations and non-verbal gestures). They can also analyze the customer responses to continuously improve the experience – instead of communicating in a generic way without taking into account which direction the customer wants to take the conversation.

Digital human avatars more than just virtualized extensions of the products they look to promote – they are, in fact, extensions of the store itself. They are digital ambassadors who act as a bridge between customers and stores - helping the customers enjoy seamless and contextual experiences while ensuring the store’s brand stands out in fiercely competitive marketplaces.

Here’s a quick run-down of digital human avatars will continue to seriously matter for those looking to deliver differentiated CX:

  • Always open to communicate: Thanks to digital human avatars, a brand can bring about 24x7 availability of support, service or sales without having to worry about performance issues. Day or night, they’re fully operational – ready to service customers.
     
  • Prioritizing consistency and personalization: Digital humans ensure the brand can provide consistent and personalized experiences across multiple stores in different locations. This is important because the customers appreciate the uniformity in their brand journey without any displeasing surprises along the way. 
     
  • Non-dependency on human resources: Even prior to the pandemic, resourcing has been a barrier for retail stores. It either costs too much, or there’s a lack of required skill-sets that prevent stores from relying on humans to completely handle the customer engagement process. 
     
  • The economics of scalability: Digital human avatars are also economic and scalable – making them long-term tactical investments whose value grows by the year as the next wave of AI & ML-powered digital transformation increases its hold on modern customers.

Last year, digital human avatars were highlighted as a major catalyst for “accelerating growth,” – which is one of the three themes in Gartner’s 2021 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Recently, according to a recent study by Emergen Research, the global human avatar market is expected to reach USD 527.5 billion by 2030 at an impressive CAGR of 46%. It goes to show that leaders in the CX game, especially in retail stores, are taking them seriously. Those who aren’t just may be risking the chance of being left out or, worse - going extinct in the future.