Customer experience or ‘CX’ as it is popularly referred to is one of the most important verticals that businesses need to address in order to thrive. And thanks to artificial intelligence and data, CX can be achieved via the use of these technologies in an improved and efficient manner. From artificial intelligence to IoT, Don Schuerman, CTO and VP Product Marketing, Pegasystems, states 7 ways in which technology will aid customer engagement.
Companies will open the black box of AI transparency
As AI grows, so will the need for transparency: what was hidden will now be brought to light. Consumer privacy advocates will turn their attention from data collection to pressing companies on how AI uses that data: How does it determine what content is presented? How does AI affect the customer experience? What biases are built in? Organizations indeed have a choice between opaque and transparent AI models. In the year ahead, organizations will be forced to choose a more transparent approach.
The window for tech industry self-regulation will close
Data privacy’s day of reckoning in the US is inevitable. Another major data privacy scandal this year will force the government to introduce new national GDPR-like laws—something that’s already happening in states like California—and create a major change to how businesses will engage with consumers. 2018 may very well be the last year companies are able to proactively change their approach to consumer data privacy before regulations are put in place.
Wearable data becomes the next data goldmine (and privacy lightening rod)
Companies today have mastered the art of monitoring customers’ interactions with their brand through social media, online, via phone, and more. The next frontier will be monitoring the physical person via wearables like the Apple Watch or Fitbit. One or more of the major tech players will crack this code in 2019. A significant tech development will enable deep personal data to be collected, collated, and analyzed by companies so businesses know even more about their customers. But this attention will open a Pandora’s box of new questions about how that data will be shared and how it will be used without infringing on a customer’s privacy.
Proactive strategies will take the spotlight away from responsive strategies
Typical customer service is responsive in nature, relying upon the customer to reach out to the business for help. The business then of course does the best they can to resolve that issue – with as little resource, and least cost as possible. New proactive strategies are making a difference. By using event detection to listen to patterns in data, and then applying AI, your business can now sense these moments of needs as they are happening – and sometimes even before – and then reach out digitally via SMS, IOS notification, email and other inexpensive techniques that can proactively help the customer resolve that issue. Faster resolution for the customer. And lower costs for the business. A true win/win.
VR and AR leave the lab and become viable CX channels
To date, developments in AR and VR technology have remained slow and rudimentary. Outside of a select few early adopters that have effectively implemented AR/VR technology—such as IKEA’s virtual furniture placement tool—both have remained largely in the development lab, not quite ready for their public debut. In 2019, we’ll see more AR/VR deployments come to market as businesses fine tune their projects and release them to customers to deliver a more immersive experience that stands out amongst competitors.
Voice finds its killer CX app
Today, virtual assistants are vastly underutilized. Most are only used to check weather, listen to a song, set a timer or turn on lights. In 2019, a disruptor will reimagine how their industry can engage with customers using home assistants, sparking a new wave of voice-enabled services. In the year ahead, more complex commands and services will begin to take shape for the organizations that recognize opportunity awaits for virtual assistant innovation.
IoT data will jumpstart new forms of customer engagement
Credit card transactions, location data, network feeds, algorithmic trades, mobile device signals, weather and news updates… these types of signals are the backbone of all modern commerce, communications, computing, and networking. Marketers refer to them as “Event Streams”, and they’re all the rage – with teams working feverishly to leverage them in marketing programs. AI is a data hog – it needs massive amounts of data to learn and improve – and event streams provide a huge, still largely untapped source of information about consumers and businesses. When combined with advancements in AI, machine learning, decisioning, voice optimization and real-time engagement, its potential has reached critical mass. We’re about to see a whole new wave of engagement – relevant, event-triggered interactions driven by customer behavior.