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.
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 →
The following is a guest blog post from Greg Sherry, Vice President Marketing at Verint. For more information about Verint, visit their website.
Thank you for taking part in Verint’s interactive general session at Customer Response Summit Las Vegas called “Customer Engagement LIVE!” where we broke into discussion groups for interactive discussions and summary read back presentations. Here are some of the recommendations we heard from the groups as part of the breakout group notes and read backs:
What’s Old Is New Again. When is the last time you received a handwritten note or personal email from a business you engage with? It was memorable, wasn’t it? Think of ways you can incorporate genuine, personalized touches with customers. The strategy can be scalable: one “wow” moment can generate genuine delight and powerful word-of-mouth amplification.
Think Mobile. Do you have a mobile strategy? The need is clear: provide information, customer support, “wow” moments via mobile channels. But be careful: consumers often have limited ability to “digest” content you are sharing with them (because they are at the airport, walking, at home, multi-tasking), so be sure your content and communications are as short and to-the-point as you can.
Establish a common knowledge base across all channels to ensure consistent response. One company recognized the need to consolidate contact center systems to a single agent desktop. Customer service agents had difficulty serving customers in a timely manner and providing accurate information because information resided in 13 disparate systems. By consolidating all the systems into one agent desktop view, the company quickly reduced agent average handle time (AHT) and saw increased customer engagement scores. The unified access to the applications and information also increased employee productivity and helped provide a personalized experience for customers. Continue reading →