Last week I wrote part 1 of this three-part series on CX trends. The blog series covers top items that were discussed in our annual CX trends webinar. Click here to view the webinar on-demand. The webinar featured industry expects from TTEC, The Pace of Service, and Bright Pattern. In part 1, we discussed omnichannel and today we will talk about utilizing digital channels like mobile channels, bots, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).
Companies now realize that it is necessary to go where your customers go by providing the channels they want to use to reach out to their favorite brands. Mobile channels and self-service bots are both great examples of channels that are in high demand by customers. As additional channels are added to the mix, customers expect to seamlessly hop from channels to create an effortless experience.
Question to the panel: Do you see companies implementing more digital channels in 2019?
Ted Hunting: “For good or bad, we are on the go all the time, so the customer experience needs to be where customers are, which in today’s modern world is on the mobile device. COPC did a study last year where they indicated that in the coming year they saw mobile customer care increasing by 41%. I think one of they keys is to make sure you offer omnichannel experience for these people who are always on the go. For example, our innovative one billion dollar valuation travel services customer is looking to put in-app customer service messaging in place so that their customers can easily reach out on the go while traveling across the globe.”
Jeff Marcoux: “AR and VR are some channels that TTEC thinks brands should be watching out for. You can imagine it shouldn’t be too far in the future where I can call in and all of a sudden I have somebody walking me through the steps to fix my washer or I have somebody showing me how to fix a device in my home using augmented reality. Imagine customer training through VR in a way that brings people into a more immersive environment to train them and showcase different components of the technology.
Michael Pace: “I don’t know if there could be a more exciting topic and it is fun to get companies to think about how they can apply some of these emerging channels. If IKEA had AR/VR, I can only imagine how many times I could have called in to have them help me set up a piece of furniture by showing them the parts I still haven’t used or think I am missing.
Spending on AI has increased significantly in the last few years. 60% of C-level executives plan to increase AI spending by 50% over the last year. A study by Spiceworks revealed that 40% of large businesses will implement AI and bots in 2019.
Question to the panel: What are some specific use cases you have seen and what features do you see being useful to contact centers today?
Michael Pace: “The most common form of AI we see day-to-day are chatbots. Chatbots are a great and simple tool and you can use it over many channels like online and within social messengers. I’ve also seen an increase in workforce management powered by machine learning and AI. The most interesting use of AI is preventative service. For example, if I have an IoT device at home, their customer care team may be able to reach out about an issue or upgrade before I am even aware of a problem.
Jeff Marcoux: “We’ve seen a lot of AI and automation in the back-office. They are getting some of the simple tasks like password reset automated. We are also seeing brands getting a lot of benefit from agent assets, which is essentially a bot that listens in on the conversation that your associates have and pulls up information from the knowledge base suggesting articles and possible resolutions. This enhances first call resolution, empowers agents, and improves handle time.
Ted Hunting: “95% of customers want self-service channels, but if you ask how many want to deal with an IVR, virtually no one will raise their hand. Therefore, it is important to implement self-service channels and bots but you need to make sure they are flexible and customer-centric. Gartner is predicting that 40% of the bots deployed last year will be decommissioned due to poor CSAT. So I think one key here is to make sure you implement smart AI and smart bots and always make sure the customer can switch channels or escalate to a live agent if they are unhappy with the self-service interaction. Another key is to make sure you are not deploying bots in a silo. We just wrapped up our conversation on omnichannel and how important it is to have seamless channel transition and allowing context from previous interactions to be carried to agents.”
For a webinar recap on other top trends, stay tuned to the Bright Pattern blog. If you prefer to watch on-demand, you can view the recording here.
Ready for a digital transformation? Contact our team today to learn more about the benefits of omnichannel and how we can help you get started.