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Ushering in the Age of Digital Customer Experience

Digital customer experience is a hot topic among customer experience (CX) management companies and their clients these days. As customers both want and expect personalized experiences, companies are embracing digital CX due to its numerous benefits, including reduced costs of sales, service and support, creating market differentiation and helping create a true 360-degree view of their customers.

During the most recent session in our CX Masterclass Series, Hyper-digitization using conversational AI (CAI), automation and analytics, Everest Group’s Shirley Hung, partner of Business Process Services, and David Rickard, vice president of CXM, dove deeper into the world of digital CX. Expanding upon their previous topic, Customer Experience Drives Resiliency and Agility, the two colleagues explored how combining digital concepts, digital tools and solutions and high-touch human intervention can deliver a superior CX.

Conversational AI is driving digital CX

It should come as no surprise that consumers’ interactions with chatbots, outside of basic, simple help, often lead to frustration toward the brand the bot represents.

To improve the digital CX, companies are embarking upon conversational AI journeys. Tactics include using design thinking – a user-centric, solutions-based approach to address customer problems – and customer journey mapping to create clearly defined processes that help understand the customer need, easily identify the right solution and provide ongoing analytics support to constantly refine and improve processes.  

While technologies in this space are still evolving, digitally focused companies are rapidly adopting intelligent virtual agents, advanced security protocols as well as listening engines to help deliver this modern customer experience.

Analytics remain at the heart of digital CX

The growth of digital CX is providing unparalleled analytics, both on the operational and business side, as organizations continue to pull key insights including desktop analytics, workforce optimization, customer analytics and even voice-of-the-customer analytics. 

While operational analytics remain more mature than business analytics, the growth of more customer analytics is providing new benefits for organizations as they learn more about their customer markets.

The combination comprising this analytical arena and the growth of more integrated systems and AI technologies allows more organizations to move from reactive reporting to more prescriptive analytics. This is enabling better forecasting as well as improved personalization around customer recommendations and retention strategies. 

Intelligent automation touches all areas of CX

The applicability of automation within CX is boundless, with the ability to provide improvements on both the customer experience and the operational impact. Such benefits include reducing overall customer effort and resolution time on the customer side to reducing average handle time (AHT) and error rates on the operational side.

At present, the most-prevalent automation solutions focus on interactive voice response (IVR) solutions, automatic call distribution (ACD) and outbound email confirmation. But we increasingly see growing adoption of self-service and virtual agents, among other technologies.

Ultimately, the industry goal is to move toward forward-looking automation, to address post-interaction follow-up – like technology emailing a prospect information on a product after a CX agent ends a call – as well as proactive consumer outreach and social media monitoring.

The future should blend AI and human interactions

While the future of CX seems based in AI and automation, this is not to say that you should take human agents out of the CX equation. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The future of CX will rely on taking the insights provided through conversational AI, automation and analytics and being able to use the human lens to capitalize on this information. By properly utilizing this blended approach, companies can better serve customers while growing their brands.

The next blog in this hyper-digitization series dives deeper into capitalizing on conversational AI – aka chatbots.