Praxidia is participating in a panel debate soon at the CX Tech conference in London. It’s on October the 12th and myself and my colleague, Doug Overton (VP Consulting & Insight), will be discussing the human element of the customer experience (CX) – something that is often forgotten in much of the recent CX coverage in business journals.
The discussion is titled ‘A Customer Centric Approach to Digital Transformation’ and what we are going to do is to take it as read that brands need technology systems today to deliver a great customer experience, but they cannot allow the use of those systems to lead their planning on CX. The customer should come first and the technology can then support what the customer needs.
Think about all the various emerging technologies that are forcing executives into expensive digital transformation strategies. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Machine Learning, Voice Recognition, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the list goes on. How brands manage CX is changing rapidly and many of these technologies are enabling that change.
When we write a strategic business plan for CX the real focus should be the customer. How does the customer see the brand, understand the brand, and engage with the brand. Is the brand designing products and services that are customer-centric?
I’m not rejecting tools like AI. AI is an extremely important tool in the modern contact centre. Combine a machine learning system with an AI system and you have a really powerful tool that can advise agents in real-time – guiding them immediately to answers that might take several search attempts to find manually.
However, if you are designing a process for supporting your customers in a way that recognises that the best way to support customers is to offer empathy – to immediately understand and react to their problems – then humans remain important. Only humans can immediately interact with a customer and use the right tone of voice to connect and calm the situation. It’s also worth noting that a human is also far better at knowing when a customer would be happy to be approached with a product designed to fix their problem – upselling and cross-selling.
This need for empathy, experience, and intuition within the customer experience remains critical. There are many interesting technology systems emerging today that we should be deploying as tools to help the humans deliver a great customer experience. There will come a time when automated systems can match the intuition and empathy of a human, but we are not there yet and so we should be designing CX around the customer – not the exciting new technology systems.
This is our theme for the CX Tech conference. You can learn more here and there is a special offer available for any readers of this article – just use code PRAX295. Let me know what you think by getting in touch directly via my profile and maybe I can introduce your comments into the CX Tech discussion.