Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals

Tag Archives: AI

Where Intelligent Automation Implementations go Wrong

In our conversations with the customer service leaders in our community, we hear about the challenges of implementing intelligent automation often. Whether their organization is taking its first baby steps or already executing their sophisticated AI strategy, there are a few common pitfalls executives have shared:

Lacking Necessary Resources

There is no out-of-the-box solution to implement intelligent automation in your organization. Companies seldom account for the IT infrastructure automation demands and are rarely prepared to produce data sets that are accurate and large enough for effective machine learning. Without these key ingredients, AI projects will fail.

The Fix: Before you invest in a vendor solution, ask the service providers you are scouting what you would need to use their tool. If data is a problem in your organization, you may be able to find a solution that leverages a different resource—one your company can provide.

Organizational Silos

Meeting resistance from other departments can stop your automation initiative before it gets out of the gate. Because customer experience touches so many areas of an organization, it’s vital to think through the consequences to each business unit before implementing the solution.

The Fix: Beyond involving the leadership in the departments who will be affected, training can be a great opportunity to get buy-in from the ground-level employees who will be using the AI solution. Instead of merely training workers on the tool, consider sharing the reasoning behind the automation and what benefits the company expects to get from it.

Choosing the Wrong Problem to Fix

Because intelligent automation is new to many companies, leadership is often leery of sinking too many resources into an AI project. If the initiative doesn’t live up to expectations, automation may suffer a setback at your organization. Too wide a scope, and your project will take years to reach completion. Too narrow, and it doesn’t make an impact.

The Fix: Create an initiative that will move the needle in the area your company is most focused on at the moment. If your organization is in cost-savings mode and you can use automation to reduce call volumes or the time spent on service tickets, it gives you the ammunition you need to use AI for other goals, like increasing customer satisfaction. Continue reading

Boston’s Artificial Intelligence Briefing Explored AI Use Cases and More

With our AI Briefing in Atlanta just weeks away, it’s a good time to reflect back on our February Briefing in Boston. It was an illuminating deep dive into artificial intelligence and its impact on customer experience.

Our panel of experts fielded questions from our community of corporate executives. The brands’ experiences with AI ranged from taking the first baby steps to mature projects looking to take the next big leap.

 

The themes that emerged revealed an area of CX that is very much in its infancy. The applications of AI and the strategic decisions it requires were top-of-mind for corporate brands.

“Machines and Humans Have to Work Together”

One of the central questions of the Briefing was how AI and service reps would (or wouldn’t) interact. Will AI replace employees entirely? How can AI provide good or excellent customer service without the empathy of a person?

The service providers agreed that AI won’t necessarily replace employees. AI can make an impact on the bottom line by completing simple and rote tasks, which frees up representatives to deal with more complex issues. Employees are happier, because they’re not working on repetitive cases. Customers are happier, because reps can devote more time to their complex cases.

AI can also work to streamline service processes for customers. Deflecting cases or just getting cases to the right person reduces customer frustration. Customer problems are solved faster, creating efficiencies that also reduce costs. Used correctly, machines can give humans more capacity to do the things only a person can do.

Continue reading

Execs In The Know & COPC Inc. Publish 2017 Corporate Edition in Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series

Findings Show That Only About One-Third of Respondents Felt Their Company Offered Support in All The Channels Their Customers Want to Use — A Slight Increase Over 2016 Results.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – April 3, 2018 – Advocates for customer experience professionals, Execs In The Know and COPC Inc., have announced the release of the 2017 Corporate Edition of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series. The 11th volume in the series, titled The CX Journey: Strategic and Operational Insights, provides an understanding of the current CX landscape. Specific areas of expanded exploration include channel consistency, quality programs, and CX priorities for corporate professionals. Traditional Care (phone, email, and in-person), Interactive Care (online/video chat, FAQ, and self-help), Social Media Care (Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc.), and Mobile Care (apps, text/SMS, and mobile chat) are all explored.

Key Insights from the 2017 Corporate Survey:

– Only 50% of respondents answered “Yes” when asked, “Is your company’s leadership fully committed to a customer-first strategy?”

– Thirty-four percent of respondents didn’t believe their company had a good understanding of which channels their customers preferred, nor how these preferences differed from current channel offerings.

– Interest and investment in chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) exploded in 2017, with more than a threefold increase in the percentage of brands naming chatbots and AI as the technology of most interest and/or investment.

– Only 14% of respondents felt their brands were doing a good job of providing a consistent customer experience across channels and solutions, while only half of brands (51%) had any initiatives to create greater consistency.

The CXMB Series is a resource for customer care professionals, looking to enhance their customer care program, improve brand opinion, and drive customer satisfaction. Brands such as Marriott, Blue Rock Energy, The Mine, The Home Depot, LinkedIn, Hyatt, Desjardins, CIBC, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and more participated in this year’s survey. Continue reading

How We Built the Wine Bot Margot for Lidl

The following is a guest blog by Tobias Goebel, Director of Emerging Technologies at Aspect. For more information on Aspect, visit their website. 

It was mid-July 2017 when I got an email from a sales colleague about a potential chatbot opportunity with a short window to respond. The prospective customer was the UK branch of supermarket chain Lidl. The Lidl digital marketing director and his team had already looked at a variety of vendors and were ready to make a selection, but they were still open to listening to us. It was a long shot, we thought, but we still wanted to give it our best effort.

Fast forward 5 months, and we’re seeing tweets like this from the Daily Mail and The Sun:

Wow, what had happened? Well, a fantastic team effort is what had happened.

Winning Team Lidl Over

Lidl saw value in:

– our expertise around all things Customer Experience

– our unique approach to Natural Language Understanding with support for many languages

– our “cloud clout” and the resulting time-to-market

– our design-once-deploy-anywhere framework that allows taking one bot and deploying it on channels like FB Messenger, SMS, Amazon Echo, IVR, etc. with minimal additional effort

– our experience in building and hosting enterprise-grade, transactional customer self-service solutions that integrate into the larger marketing and contact center ecosystem of a multi-national corporation, including the ability to expand into eCommerce

From our Press Release: https://www.aspect.com/company/news/press-releases/lidl-uk-launches-ai-wine-chatbot-to-uk-customers-with-aspect-software

How does a conversation with Margot look like? Have a look here:

When implementing the application, we decided to work with one of our long-time application development partners, 2-steps-ahead, who has been building voicebots on our IVR and chatbot platform, Aspect CXP™, for over a decade. Internally, we had all of the right people in place and ready to take on this project: Aspect Professional Services provided the project management and architectural support, R&D provided support by our on-staff linguists. With the combined forces of our team and 2-steps-ahead we were ready to embark on the buildout of the solution. Continue reading

The Top 10 Customer Experience Trends in 2018

The following is a guest blog from Lauren Kindzierski, HGS Vice President, Solutions and Capabilities. For more information on HGS, visit their website.

The customer service industry will experience the biggest digital shift yet in 2018, as customer experience (CX) brand leaders seek to expand channels, leverage analytics, adopt automation, and integrate the front office with back office operations. CX pioneers should prepare for a surge in the adoption of disrupter technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), digital self-service, and bot tools, as well as the need to hire data scientists to improve business intelligence and better enable consumers to get the right answer fast. These digital capabilities will help some businesses, with the right unified engagement strategy and delivery expertise, to unlock a treasure trove of transformational potential for optimizing customer experiencebalancing the cost of service with frictionless engagement. In this report, we will cover those digital innovation and customer engagement operational trends that will assist CX leaders in planning their transformation projects in 2018-19. (Click here to view a webinar from January 10 on this same topic.)

1. Digital channels finally overtake voice.

We will finally witness the tipping point where digital channels—email, chat, social, text, messaging—overtake voice in the contact center. Mobile driven interaction management —in-app messaging, chat, SMS, and social—have become foundational components of an omnichannel strategy. According to Dimension Data’s global contact center benchmarking report, digital interactions accounted for over 42% of all interactions taking place inside the contact center in the beginning of 2017. At that current rate, digital was expected to overtake voice in 2018. It’s already happening with some of our clients. One consumer packaged goods client being serviced out of the UK receives 71% of all customer interactions from digital channels, and only 29% from voice. Included in these statistics are messaging via WhatsApp, which currently accounts for approximately 10% of the client’s volume. Instant communication will become the standard for exceptional customer service in 2018. Messaging is the new channel of choice, according to Twilio research, which states 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with a business. There are multiple benefits to messaging such as the ability to send photos or videos between agents and customers, faster and more timely communications, and the ability to stop, start, and continue with the conversation at the customer’s convenience.

2. Investments in advanced analytics tools drive customer experience transformation.

Advanced data analytics tools can help businesses uncover business-critical insights and gain a competitive edge. According to Gartner, “By 2018 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.” As customer experience analytics matures, it is becoming increasingly predictive and focused on personalization. A sophisticated data analytics tool can make predictions, or generate recommendations based on information gathered, thus giving contact center agents and bots more background and context on each individual customer they are servicing. In addition, analytics plays a significant role in increasing productivity. As one case in point, speech analytics can detect non-value adds, such as long conversational pauses or points in the conversation when the customer has to repeat responses. Continue reading

Execs In The Know Connects Customer Experience Leaders to Industry Learning at Customer Response Summit Charleston

Powerhouse Speakers From Neiman Marcus, Indeed, Capital One and T-Mobile to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Charleston

PHOENIX, AZ. – (February 15, 2018) – Community of customer experience professionals, Execs In The Know, have released the agenda for their next executive gathering – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Charleston. CRS Charleston will be held March 12th-14th, 2018, at the Belmond Charleston Place, in Charleston, SC. AI for service, employee engagement, outsourcing, quality, personalization, and more will be featured topics of discussion. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Neiman Marcus, Indeed, Capital One, and T-Mobile.

CRS is a gathering of customer service leaders, across many verticals, focused on working together to improve the customer care industry, and create innovative experiences for their brands. Highlights of the CX leadership event include an Innovation Lab, evening networking opportunities, and an exclusive tour of the T-Mobile Charleston facility. The newest version of the CXMB Series – 2017 Corporate Edition – will also be released (a joint effort between Execs In The Know and COPC Inc.).

“Between our stellar line-up of speakers and our historic host city of Charleston, we are thrilled to bring CRS to the East Coast, in March,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “Our community is constantly inspiring us through the stories and innovative experiences they offer in their own brands. I can’t tell you how special it is to be able to meet face-to-face with these amazing leaders and watch the sharing that takes place amongst peers.”

Other leading corporate brands that will be speaking at the customer care event include Grubhub, Sweetwater Sound, Aetna, USA TODAY NETWORK, Balsam Hill and more.

To learn more or to register, visit the event website www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-charleston/.

About Execs In The Know

Execs In The Know is a global community of customer experience professionals, from various industry verticals, all focused on the same thing – excellence in customer service and experience. Execs In The Know gives brands a platform to share and gain insights, benchmark their brand, stay on top of the latest trends in CX, and create lasting relationships with their peers – “Leaders Learning From Leaders.”

Execs In The Know holds their national event – Customer Response Summit – twice a year (in the Spring and Fall), giving executives the opportunity to connect face-to-face. They also hold a number of other live regional events throughout the year including Subject Matter Briefings (on topics like social media, AI, SMS, outsourcing, etc.), Lunch & Learns, Workshops, and EITK Dinners. The community is able to stay engaged long after the events come to an end through industry content and thought leadership, webinars, reports, and various social communities.

Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Pitura
info@execsintheknow.com

Execs In The Know Artificial Intelligence Briefings to Make Four Stops in 2018

CX Professionals to Join Together for a Candid Discussion on Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service

PHOENIX, AZ. – (February 12, 2018) – Community of customer experience leaders, Execs In The Know, have announced the details for four Artificial Intelligence (AI) Briefings they will host in 2018. The Execs In The Know AI Briefings will make stops in Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; and Seattle, WA, over the course of the year.

Here are the official dates and locations:

– Boston, MA: February 13, 2018

– Atlanta, GA: May 3, 2018

– Chicago, IL: August 16, 2018

– Seattle, WA: October 18, 2018

Each event is an opportunity to discuss how AI is impacting service strategies, with other care leaders that are looking to maximize their strategy or implement it. Each day will feature a candid Q&A session with a panel of AI Solution Providers, followed by a Corporate only discussion. There will also be an Innovations Lab, allowing attendees to see live applications of how AI is working to improve CX, in different channels and processes, with various solution providers. Networking, as well as discussion around challenges experienced, solutions, best practices, or innovations as it pertains to AI for customer service, will also be valuable takeaways.

To learn more about these events and how to register, visit the events section of the Execs In The Know website:  https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/.

About Execs In The Know

Execs In The Know is a global community of customer experience professionals, from various industry verticals, all focused on the same thing – excellence in customer service and experience. Execs In The Know gives brands a platform to share and gain insights, benchmark their brand, stay on top of the latest trends in CX, and create lasting relationships with their peers – “Leaders Learning From Leaders.”

Execs In The Know holds their national event – Customer Response Summit – twice a year (in the Spring and Fall), giving executives the opportunity to connect face-to-face. They also hold a number of other live regional events throughout the year including Subject Matter Briefings (on topics like social media, AI, SMS, outsourcing, etc.), Lunch & Learns, Workshops, and EITK Dinners. The community is able to stay engaged long after the events come to an end through industry content and thought leadership, webinars, reports, and various social communities.

Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Pitura
info@execsintheknow.com

2018 Predictions for the Service Leader: Part 4 – Technology

We surveyed a number of customer service/experience leaders, from many of today’s leading brands, in our community to get their predictions for 2018. Over the coming weeks we will be releasing their thoughts on specific CX topics including customer expectations, channels, operations, technology, use case studies/data, and security/risk.

Click here to catch up on Part 1 – Customer ExpectationsPart 2 – Channels, and Part 3 – Operations.

The fourth installment of this series focuses on thoughts on technology.

• AI will begin to automate tasks for the agent and the customer – however AI will take longer to mature than previously thought, due to data infrastructure not mature enough to fully leverage.
• Companies will begin to shift from handling transaction to personalizing service.
• Digital will continue to experience strong growth, powered by mobile usage.
• Messaging channels will continue to grow social volumes.
• More conversations around the “social ethics” of AI deployment.
• Continued push on technology – moving infrastructure to the cloud.
• Deep/machine learning will play a role in 2018 for brands to meet customers where they are. I think brands are starting to get on board with the concept of machine learning and using data to predict behavior. But deep learning can extend beyond things like chatbots. If a brand can predict what a customer might be looking for, it can tailor content to the customer that allows the customer to self-service, send push notifications, etc.
• Thinking about AI secondarily to the types of use cases and outcomes desired that require it.
• Companies will have to address AI and ML in their strategies for customer acquisition and engagement. 2017 may be seen as a year of hype as lots of new vendors emerge on the scene. Expect consolidation and actual AI/ML deployments to increase in 2018.
• Interest in – and deployment of – customer journey analytics tools will increase, as companies try to identify and solve problems upstream before they occur.
• Strategic enterprise automation (front to back office) will help businesses begin to improve the customer experience, while optimizing back office operations, leading to stronger sales and a better bottom line. Examples include automated machine learning/AI, self help, chatbots/avatars, to RPA and beyond. Continue reading

Exploring Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service at San Francisco Briefing

CX Professionals to join together for a candid discussion on AI, December 4-5, 2017.

PHOENIX, AZ. – (November 2, 2017) – Community of customer service executives, Execs In The Know, have announced their next event for customer experience leaders. The Execs In The Know AI Briefing will take place December 4th-5th, 2017, in San Francisco, CA. The day and a half session is an opportunity to discuss how AI is impacting service strategies, with other care leaders that are looking to maximize their strategy or implement it.

On day one of the AI event, held at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, attendees will have the chance to visit the Execs In The Know AI Innovations Lab, to see live applications of how AI is working to improve CX in different channels and processes, with various solutions providers.

Day two of the event will be held at Square Headquarters. Square helps millions of sellers run their business – from secure credit card processing to point of sale solutions. The day will start with “An Overview of AI Trends for Customer Service With Square” from Matt Capers, Data Science Lead at Square. The rest of the day will center on candid discussion with AI Providers to explore the challenges and opportunities that face corporations today, in using AI for customer service, as well as a separate discussion with just the Corporate Brands in the room about challenges experienced, solutions, or innovations, as it pertains to AI for customer service.

“The future is predictive and personalized support, powered by artificial intelligence, which balances both technical and human solutions to customer success. At Square, our goal is to be always available, but rarely needed, and we are constantly working to provide fast, efficient (and ultimately human) answers to our sellers’ questions,” said Nate Rosenthal, Head of Customer Support at Square and current member of the Execs In The Know Corporate Advisory Board. “It’s exciting to see artificial intelligence, predictive support, and automation gaining traction throughout the industry, and I look forward to diving deeper into their potential during the Execs In The Know AI Briefing.”

To learn more about the event, download the AI Briefing agenda  or visit the event website .

About Execs In The Know

For over 15 years, Execs In The Know has built a reputation of excellence in the Customer Management Industry and a worldwide community of over 50,000 Customer Experience Professionals, dedicated to enhancing the customer service industry. Execs In The Know connects people to engaging industry content, thought leadership, current trends, peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and industry employment opportunities. Their largest event, Customer Response Summit, takes place twice a year, uniting executives from many of today’s leading brands, to create impactful connections and share actionable insights.

Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Pitura
info@execsintheknow.com

Customer Experience Leaders Share Innovative Ideas for the Next Era of CX: Customer Response Summit Chicago, September 19-21

The following is a guest blog post from Ted Hunting, VP North America Marketing at Genesys

Next month, Execs In The Know will bring together service leaders from many of the largest global brands to advance the conversation on creating great customer experiences.  From past experience, it’s a very tight-knit group of CX leaders sharing best practices and ideas around omni-channel customer engagement, across all channels, and empowering employees to deliver great customer experiences.  This community is one of my favorites as the people are super-smart and passionate leaders who openly share their challenges, advice, and ideas –  it’s all about candid discussions and one-on-one engagement and networking.

As a member of the Execs In The Know CX Partner Advisory Board, on behalf of Genesys, I am excited to again join this group and will be leading an educational session with group brainstorming on “Journey Analytics and Effortless/Personal Keys for the Next Era of CX” on September 20th. The session will discuss how you can use journey analytics and new digital approaches to orchestrate an “outside in” customer journey that is more personal and predictive, while reducing effort. We will also share best practice use cases where AI, bots, digital self-service, and humans can work hand-in-hand. Join us to discuss and learn about this new era of effortless, personal omni-channel CX where old and new emerging channels come together and robots and humans work as one.

I highly recommend brands who truly understand the importance of customer experience to their business success and survival to join this group.  Execs In The Know is a well-respected organization that people turn to for advice and it’s unlike other similar events in the CX industry, due to the level of attendees and openness in communication. In attendance will be leading financial services firms, retailers, healthcare companies, hi-tech firms, hospitality companies, and utilities from across North America – both traditional leaders, but also some of the new disruptors changing business today. To learn more about joining visit https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-chicago/ and follow @execsintheknow. And to learn more about Genesys, the industry’s #1 customer experience platform and recognized leader per Gartner and others, please visit http://www.genesys.com/about.  Or checkout some really awesome customer stories from CX leaders like Sabre.

Execs In The Know would like to thank Genesys who have been a long time supporter of the Customer Response Summit event, continue to be involved and valuable to our community of CX professionals, and truly care about seeing progression and enhancement in our industry.