At our January 10 webinar, “Top 10 CX Trends of 2018,” HGS VP of Solutions and Capabilities, Lauren Kindzierski shared our predictions of the most influential trends impacting this year’s customer experience. From what’s new in artificial intelligence and automation to preparing for a virtual workforce, at the webinar, we unpacked the latest trends in customer experience to ensure you’re fully prepared to succeed in 2018. At the webinar, Lauren shared 10 imminent market developments centered on the latest advances in three areas:
- Service Delivery
- Channel Expansion
This year will be a tipping point for digital outpacing voice as a CX solution. 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. Our first poll, “Do you believe digital interactions will overtake voice in 2018?” took on this very perception. The majority of our webinar respondents responded “Yes”—41% and “We’re already seeing it happen”—19%. A total of 31% disagreed and 9% weren’t sure of the state of digital and voice solutions. In Poll 2 we asked about AI: “In 2018, is your organization (or your client’s) exploring how to leverage AI to help drive efficiency in service interactions?” Again, we saw a significant majority—72% answer positively on this one—stating that yes, AI is on the agenda for 2018. A total of 19% disagreed and again 9% weren’t sure enough about this one to weigh in. Finally, in Poll 3 we asked about chat –"In 2018, are you focused on optimizing your chatbot?” Here, 23% of our attendees are looking to optimize this disruptor, while 50% are still without this leading-edge solution and 27% aren’t sure. Here, Lauren and Andrew Kokes, our Senior Vice President—Global Head, Marketing, answer questions from our attendees. Q1: How do you know which RPA software is best? Andrew: We partner with several different front- and back-office automation companies. There are many different use cases. Typically, we go through a process of sitting down and understanding the need as we provide our partners the right solutions. Lauren: Yes, I agree, Andrew, there’s no one-size-fits all solution. It’s all really understanding organizational needs in alignment with what each software provider brings to the table and what’s best for your business. Q2: Would a customer feel their value has decreased with an automated interaction? Lauren A: It’s a question I get asked all the time: Are robots going to replace agents? The answer is no. Agents still have their place. It all comes down to thinking about your CX transformational journey when you are looking at your current state and designing your future state. You need to understand your top contact drivers and design your experience in a way that you know which contacts should be automated and which contacts need an agent for delivery with empathy. For example, in the case of product complaints, customers want to be heard. They can’t talk to people like Amelia, an AI robot. In those cases, you need a human. Also, be sure you have the analytics on the back end. Q3: Where do I get started with analytics? Lauren A: The first thing you need to determine is the business problem you are trying solve for. Are you trying to increase revenue? Are you trying to reduce cost? Are you trying to increase loyalty? Are you trying to reduce fraud? There are analytics for everything, not just the voice of the customer. Understanding your business problem – that’s first and foremost. Then you determine the right analytical tools to employ. Also, make sure you have the right resources on your team. If you don’t have that skillset on your team, look to outsource talent for help. Q4: Can you give a sense of what types of results you have seen in terms of improvement—in either revenues for companies after they implement an AI strategy or potentially reduction in cost? What kinds of benefits do you think companies are seeing with the implementation of AI? Lauren A: We know that our partner organizations are experiencing huge cost savings. Because the AI technology makes agents more efficient, they can either potentially reduce the headcount needed. Or, for example, with social, a lot of brands out there don’t get to 100% of their social volumes. They might get to a half of it, if they are lucky, or 25%. So with AI, their team is more efficiently replying back to all of their customers and there is no customer that’s left in the dark, without a response. The benefits are endless because of these efficiencies and improvements. Q5: What tools do you recommend for analyzing data? Lauren A: As with RPA, there are so many tools out there and each one has their own multiple benefits. Another option to internal analytics is to really seek that outside expert who lives and breathes data and data analytics, on a daily basis. There are some really good consultant teams out there that provide you with the right guidance. There are also a lot of analyst and advisor reports that provide analysis on the topic of tools, whether AI or analytics. They can also help point you in the right direction, to what’s right for you and your organization’s needs.