Web 3.0: Ditch the buzzwords – these are the underlying principles that improve customer experience
With so much exciting new technology embodying web 3.0, you’ll find countless definitions (and fancy buzzwords) attempting to explain the internet’s latest incarnation. But in the rush to define web 3.0, we risk limiting its potential or missing the opportunities altogether.
To fully understand the capabilities of web 3.0 we need to avoid jumping to solutions, and instead begin with the basic principles behind the technology. Once this understanding is in place, all it takes is an open mind to connect web 3.0’s endless possibilities to real-world customer needs – and create market-leading customer experiences.
FIRST, LETS RECAP THE CONTEXT
A simplified timeline of internet growth is one of the quickest ways to understand web 3.0’s functionality:
The internet was static. Only accessible through a bulky, expensive computer, users were limited to reading and writing information.
The internet became interactive. Available on portable devices like smartphones, we could watch videos, use social media and interact in real time.
The internet is now immersive. Anything anywhere can be a computer, from watches to washing machines (often referred to as the Internet of Things or IoT). Entire facets of everyday life can exist purely online, from money (cryptocurrencies, open source banking) to our work and social lives (for example, in metaverses).
NOW FOR THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE TECH…
Principle 1: Web 3.0 thinks and understands
Tech example: Alexa understands what you say
Sometimes known as ‘the semantic web’, web 3.0 is powered by AI. Thanks to AI’s ongoing improvement, this should mean a future of seamless customer experiences – such as search engines getting it right first time, and chatbots that can actually answer your question (imagine: no more diverting to a call centre queue after you’ve spent an age typing out your query).
Could a clearer understanding of what your customers need remove friction from the purchase journey? Could greater personalisation show your customers you know them? Could automating your internal processes lead to richer customer insights? All of these things are currently possible for brands using web 3.0. For example, you can ask some reporting dashboards ‘why are sales down?’ rather than having to trawl through and analyse data sets yourself.
By considering every customer and business problem through the lens of what’s possible with smarter technology, we can streamline processes and smooth pain points – resulting in better CX, whether that’s the intended outcome or a happy by-product.
Principle 2: Web 3.0 is everywhere
Tech example: A Home Connect smart fridge helps you cook
Web 3.0 is often referred to as ‘the ubiquitous web’ due to it being available everywhere, not just through traditional computers or devices. And thinking about web 3.0 from this IoT viewpoint is a great way into leveraging its opportunities.
In our world of creative CX, it means interesting and helpful ideas can be activated from anywhere, increasing the scope of what’s considered ‘digital activation’. Because brands are no longer limited to websites, social media channels and the ‘big 5’ tech giants, they can approach their delivery of products, services and messaging from a place of customer empathy – rather than the platform or media space dictating the degree of customer empathy that’s delivered.
Principle 3: Web 3.0 is transparent
Tech example: Blockchain histories are visible to all
Web 3.0 is built on blockchain technology, so the histories of online assets are stored and can’t be altered. This means businesses and organisations have nowhere to hide… and no ability to bend the truth. From previous owners to places of origin, all information is there for consumers to see, and more importantly, use to inform their decisions.
Another benefit of blockchain is that it makes the web – and therefor transactions – more secure. While often associated with cryptocurrencies, blockchain and web 3.0 will become part of every business in one way or another – for example, MedRec use them to keep patient records secure, while some brands are exploring how they can form part of a transparent CSR strategy.
Principle 4: Web 3.0 is open
Tech example: Roblox is built by a global community of developers
Another feature, yet another name. Web 3.0 has also gained the title of ‘the decentralised web’ – an exciting prospect for many due to the potential rebalancing of power. The internet’s architecture used to be controlled by a selection of large gatekeepers who owned chunks of data and presented points of failure, so the decentralisation of the web could mean improved security and privacy as well as parity.
Web 3.0 means individuals will get more control by owning parts of the internet and customising it. So forward-thinking brands should consider how they can use decentralisation to create unique communities, and give consumers greater control over their experiences and data.
THE TAKEAWAYS FOR BRANDS LOOKING TO BOOST THEIR CX
Web 3.0 presents some really exciting opportunities for brands, and new ways to think about how to exceed customer expectations – including some new expectations that didn’t exist a few years ago. But it will also present challenges, including:
- Where do we connect with customers as the web changes?
- How do we deliver services with new technologies?
- What is our brand purpose in this space?
- How do we deliver accessibility in new environments?
- How do we avoid technology bloat?
We believe the solution to overcoming these challenges and making the most of web 3.0’s opportunities is to start with the customer. By leading with their needs, and embracing a curious, open-minded approach to new technology, a logical, fitting solution is more likely to unfold. Whereas starting by asking ‘how can we use this new technology’ is more likely to lead to complex and contrived solutions – not the effortlessness that sets apart the best customer experiences.
Want to chat about what web 3.0 could mean for you?
At krow.x we specialise in creative CX, so talk to us today about how we can help your brand provide the best customer experiences in an ever-changing landscape.