Dermot Latimer
Dermot Latimer

The dawn of immersive CX

By Dermot Latimer, Group CEO, Point Group. Brands that invest in AI to achieve deeper intimacy with their customers are leaps ahead in this new age of immersive CX.

By Dermot Latimer, Group CEO, Point Group. Brands with effective social listening and monitoring strategies today, know that consumers expect to be understood and connected with on a deeper level. With brands increasingly adopting a more human stance in a noisy, cold marketplace, gone are the days of simply approaching consumers as demographic or psychographic segments slotted into sophisticated journey maps.

The past three years especially, have seen dramatic shifts in consumer expectations. People no longer want to view brands as entities with mere surface personalities. Achieving brand success is now dependent on establishing the kind of trust (and loyalty) that can only come from making lasting emotional connections. With the scope of consumer demands coming into sharper focus, 2023 represents a radical turning point for CX and throughout all stages of the marketing funnel.

Since 2020, customer experience (CX) has undergone a baptism by fire due in part to the rapid acceleration of frontier technologies. Yet, with more and more brands employing experience-centric, digital-first strategies, most are still falling short in attempts at achieving consistent customer experiences that captivate on a human level. And that’s not the only challenge brands face.

Immersive rebirth of CX

Immersive CX has become the new standard brands should aspire to or risk being left behind. Consumers have spoken, and they are unwilling to wait for brands to leisurely make the shift to creating bespoke, immersive environments that drive more intimate brand connections.  A new report by Zendesk, which is based on findings from over 99,000 Zendesk Benchmark participants alongside survey data from 3,700 consumers and 4,800 business leaders, confirms that immersive CX is the future of customer experience.

Through enabling natural, fluid interactions between customers and companies, immersive CX is all about empowering customers to be truly seen and heard, and it’s not shy of using AI to achieve this.  Those businesses that have made significant investments to bolster their immersive CX strategies are already experiencing tangible results. According to Zendesk’s research, 77% of business leaders have seen those investments pay off; while 76% of consumers express satisfaction with the service they’ve received over the past year; and 57% noticed a marked improvement in their support experiences.

AI and deeper personalisation

Imagine a future in which synthetic agents and voice-based AI have the ability to resolve issues in ways nearly indistinguishable from conventional human support. This is the coming reality that today’s business leaders face. While we’ve barely scratched the surface of what AI can achieve, according to Cristina Fonseca, head of AI at Zendesk, AI is becoming so advanced that it can help at every step of the customer service journey.

People are also becoming more comfortable interacting with AI, and they are demanding more from it. One such demand is to engage AI by asking increasingly complex questions – as one would with a human agent – and without compromising the natural, fluid experience of the conversation. Speaking to, senior vice-president of enterprise at Zendesk, Marilee Bear, says that retailers need to create more meaningful, useful conversations between customers and bots at scale. “Customers are looking for helpful and empathetic agents (whether it be human or a bot), always-on support and streamlined conversational experiences.”

Customer experience building in 2023 is not about having a once-off interaction with a customer and ticking that box. We constantly need to be re-engaging people at multiple touchpoints to find ways to make their lives easier, to understand their pain points and to build their relationship with brands, not simply to sell them things. A big part of that is tailoring engagement to meet a unique need or pain point.

Build stronger customer relationships

Today’s customers are kicking against being lumped into some demographic bucket. They crave experiences in which they are a segment of one, not thousands. It’s only through establishing such intimacy where companies recognise, respect, and harness customer emotions that stronger relationships can be built.

According to an Adobe Commerce survey, 67% of consumers say they want personalised offers based on their individual spending habits, whether they’re shopping online or in-store. We hold deep levels of human understanding of consumers through these experiences, as well as the data we have at hand, and it’s up to us as marketers to harness those to build on personalisation to engage customers seamlessly.

Personalisation of customer experiences via communications, offers, and recommendations allows us to tailor experiences with customers aimed at meeting their unique preferences more acutely. And yet, businesses are also mostly unprepared when managing negative customer experiences.

This is where tapping AI’s emotional intelligence potential will again come to the rescue, and by managing customer emotions – through predicting intent and sentiment, then responding thereon – to build stronger, personalised relationships groomed to buffer negative experiences. Brands must embrace this potential; the tech exists, and without it, you will be left behind.

CX is made new by the AI tech it depends on. Companies that understand the value of investing in AI (thereby providing their customers with seamless, deeper connections that captivate) will be those best positioned to benefit from the compelling new territory of immersive CX.


Dermot Latimer - Point Group CEO

Dermot Latimer, Group CEO of Point Group is the founder of Iconic Collective, later acquired by Point Group. Responsible for a team of 300+ diverse and talented people and servicing over 250 clients in 26 countries, he led the turnaround of the group’s creative and digital businesses, creating new, long-term sustainable revenue streams.


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