While contact center technology has matured and new approaches to improving Customer Experience (CX) are well underway, driven in part by the impact of the global pandemic, the requirement to serve customers more efficiently continues to drive investment and innovation in automation.
Customers today expect a fast, friendly, and frictionless experience, on their terms, within the context of their digitally connected lives. The demand for “instant gratification” has never been stronger, with customers across every generation expecting positive outcomes within seconds or minutes, unwilling to stand in a queue, to repeat their information, and to end up being frustrated and confused.
In a 2020 survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the overwhelming driver for enterprises planning and implementing digital transformation initiatives was improving customer experience and satisfaction. 44% of respondents named CX as the primary driver, followed by improving operational efficiencies, which was named by 41% of the respondents.
While other drivers were important, according to the report, including launching new products and services, enhancing sales and marketing effectiveness, boosting creativity and innovation, among others, it is not surprising that in defense of remaining competitive, the executive focus is squarely concentrated on ensuring customers are happy, are loyal, and are ready to consume even more of the enterprise’s products and services.
As enterprises and organizations continue to drive digital transformation initiatives, CX becomes increasingly important given how many products and services are connected.
Things can get complicated fast, or they can become disruptive fast when automation, including contextual, cognitive bots, for example, can remove so many mundane tasks and provide personalized answers more accurately and efficiently that the legacy “look up” methodology, agents can become human again, enabled by data and systems which make it possible to deliver great experiences consistently and professionally.
“Creating great experiences starts with a great strategy, an understanding of business processes, and a commitment to stay close to customers, adapting to the channels they chose and delivering the answers to questions the system expects to receive,” said Jeffery Singman, SVP Sales, Kandy Cloud Communications, an AVCT company.
Kandy offers a range of real-time communications solutions to large service providers, including AT&T and Etisalat. And they do so leveraging cloud, virtualization, and a global footprint with interconnections that include the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – so services work on any device over any network type.
“We built our Communications Platform as a Service, or CPaaS, to bring developers of CX solutions, including intelligent bots for a wide range of use cases, a low-code and even no-code set of tools they can use to create better experiences for their customers, even while lowering costs,” Singman said.
“The level of sophistication we are supporting today is tremendous, with our customers using all media types and relevant enterprise data to interact with customers more effortlessly and creatively. What we are seeing universally is a desire to support conversations over the channel and modality of the customer’s choice, in natural and intuitive ways, which deliver highly personalized help but never at the expense of protecting their private information.”
The Kandy team works with systems integrators and large service providers, including companies like IBM (leveraging their Watson AI engine, for example), AT&T (Kandy is the underlying platform for the API Marketplace), and Braidio (enabling applications that optimize workflows, help accelerate sales, improve customer satisfaction.
“For cognitive CX automation solutions to work, it’s important to blend the domain experience from within the business with strategic thinking to reinvent how organizations solve customer problems and respond to millions of requests,” Singman said.
“Mapping the customer journey starts with clear business goals. For example, will first call resolution, which can be fully managed by a virtual assistant, lead to greater CSAT? Will directing inbound away from the traditional contact center queue to a conversation with a friendly digital assistant leave more time for live agents to address more complex issues? Will your brand voice be enhanced when robotic process automation (RPA) understands exactly the right moment to connect the customer with exactly the right agent, who is a subject matter expert in a high-end product or service?”
Singman explained that as CXOs (Chief Experience Officers), CIOs (Chief Information Officers), and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) work together on strategy, it is more than possible to find enough cost savings to pay for digital transformation programs, and that the economics associated with RPA are only one benefit, as certain approaches enrich big data for analysis and business intelligence applications, they are getting to that “triple win.”
“We’ve been pioneering in CX innovation since the Kandy platform was introduced seven years ago,” Singman said.
“Digitally assisted conversational solutions are becoming exponentially advanced each year, in large part because so many organizations are using APIs to complete integrations between different systems to create more contextual, cognitively aware assistants. We are also seeing rapid growth in building the relationship between live agents and bots and interactive user experiences for agents who are able to grasp the conversation in real-time when an inquiry escalates, which makes their jobs far less stressful and their ability to truly help customers and the business more satisfying.”
Singman agrees with predictions from nearly every industry analyst firm covering CX and contact center, indicating that most interactions will be automated and initiated more often using voice commands which start a full-voice resolution process for those who prefer to talk instead of type.
“With the rise in virtual meetings, people are becoming much more comfortable with video chats as well, and with the right technology and faster networks, including those being made possible with 5G implementations, customers will be able to reach out to the brands and organizations they are loyal to, on the channel of their choice – voice to voice, face to face, person to bot, and person to person.”
To learn more about Kandy’s real-time communications solutions, including intelligent chat and voice AI bots, visit kandy.io
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