The customer experience story is similar, regardless of which company you ask, vendor or user: It’s changing, evolving, technology is turning the traditional model on its head. And, of course, there’s the whole onmichannel discussion, which is just a trendy term for letting customers decide which channel(s) they wish to use when interacting with their vendors. Mobile is a part of it, as is WebRTC, and even SMS.
It really comes down to one question: How can we leverage technology to create the best imaginable customer experience? After all, along with marvelous advancements in engagement technology, the current generation of customers has also brought with it an unprecedented lack of tolerance for poor customer service.
That brings us to the latest major trend, artificial intelligence, which just about every CX vendor is now touting as its newest differentiator. There’s no question, AI and chatbots have the potential to significantly improve the experience in many instances and for the right customers. But, as Genesys CMO Merijn te Booij (News - Alert) noted when I spoke with him a few weeks ago, “If you’re looking at CX becoming an incredible differentiator, you better be sure to do it well.”
He’s right – for those that do CX well, it is a differentiator. Disney (News - Alert), for instance, is renowned for its overall experience. But CX can also be a real problem for those that have faltered. Think about the impact of a few high-profile situations with United Airlines.
Importantly, the customer experience does not always begin or end with the contact center. It extends throughout the entire organization, making every employee part of the CX equation. So, to take te Booij’s comment one step further, to turn CX into a differentiator, everyone has to be engaged, and that’s when various engagement strategies are best.
That includes Kate, Genesys’ (News - Alert) artificial intelligence persona, which the company really defines as an AI ecosystem, rather than a single persona. It leverages partner technologies and even customers’ own bots (part of its BYOB strategy), which will all become part of the larger Kate blended smart ecosystem driving CX that can, in fact, become a differentiator.
It’s important to note that Genesys is not turning its back on more traditional engagement strategies. Rather, in the Genesys blended AI world, Kate’s machine learning capabilities can digest information and determine whether a predefined micro-app can deliver the best (and importantly, predictable) result, or whether a live agent is likely to produce a more positive interaction.
“We don’t want to turn into a humanoid or robot,” explains te Booij. “Kate is the guardian of our galaxy, sitting on the edge of the data and decides what to do next, based on the information she gets. The human element is and will continue to be important, but the agent role will change.”
The idea is that agents – and other knowledge workers – can and will always add value to the customer lifecycle. But, currently, many of the activities that require agent intervention result in highly predictable responses or actions that can be automated with micro-apps connected to the contact center platform.
Instead, agents will be transformed into “knowledge entrepreneurs,” becoming more opportunistic and creative in solving customer issues that may not have a predictable outcome. Agents will have more independence, and they will play an increasingly important role in customer satisfaction. te Booij sees asynchronous messaging as a major opportunity for the expansion of agent roles.
Many have surmised AI will reduce the need for agents. But, based on the Genesys model, AI actually represents an opportunity for agents to evolve and become even more important in the CX picture. Between Kate and the evolved agent, Genesys believes it can help deliver the differentiation businesses are looking for.
Edited by Alicia Young