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Digital Engagement Blog

The Evolution of Self-Service: An Interview

The self-service channel will experience more change in the next five years than it has in the past thirty.

And really…it’s not so much a change as it is a transformation.

The classic IVR—you know—the interactive voice response system that drives the self-service voice channel? In a few years…when you look back…it may seem as old as that rotary telephone…as antiquated as the phone booth.

So what will happen? What will this transformation look like?

Topics: Customer Engagement IVR Industry Insights

The Top Emerging Technologies In Artificial Intelligence

Download a copy of Forrester's "The Top Emerging Technologies In Artificial Intelligence" here.

The Top Emerging AI Technologies

Even though AI is poised to “completely reframe how businesses operate and consumers interact” many firms are not ready to invest.  The two top reasons for the standstill are:

  • We are unclear what AI can be used for in our business
  • There is no defined business case for AI investment

One reason behind the standstill is the AI landscape is complex. Navigating the AI ecosystem and prioritizing investment is becoming increasingly difficult.

15 Top Emerging Technologies

Forrester says, “AI technologies can help customer insights (CI) pros better understand and interact with customers by mimicking human cognitive functions to sense, think, and act. Forrester has identified AI as one of the top 15 emerging technologies that has the potential to change the world in the next five years.”  Here's a list:

Topics: Customer Engagement Industry Insights Intelligent Assistance

Guide to Intelligent Assistants

You could boil the challenges customer service will face over the next five years down to two questions:

  • How do we engage customers as they interact across digital touchpoints?
  • How do we embed intelligence into servicing applications to take advantage of the ability of algorithms to optimize far beyond what we've achieved to date?

Orchestrating Digital Touchpoints

The move to digital touchpoints, micro-moments of attention, conversational interfaces and messaging-based interactions is causing major challenges for many organizations.  One reason is that customer services apps (and processes) today are designed for single channel, synchronous and dedicated session interactions. 

So orchestration of digital interactions is very difficult... but it's not an option to sit it out because that is where the consumer/customer is.

Algorithms Driving Apps

The shift to algorithms driving interactions might be an even bigger challenge.  It is very likely that this trend will significantly improve servicing benchmarks (costs, CX) and become competitive differentiators for your business.

Again, it's not an option to sit it out because that is where competitors are going and what consumers will expect.

How, then, do you begin to re-constitute every app you run in the contact center to take advantage of new algorithms that drive these apps in real-time?

Topics: Chatbots Intelligent Assistance Customer Engagement

The Chatbot Tech Stack: Your Checklist for Smarter Customer Service

Chatbots and intelligent messaging solutions can help you deliver smarter customer service with a better customer experience at a very attractive cost per contact.  To achieve the kind of results that get you promoted, it's important to consider a customer service solution in its entirety.  Overlook one key element of the solution stack, and it'll never achieve its natural flow.  

We use the technology stack in this post to talk about goal and transaction oriented Chatbots both internally and with our customers.  You can use it as a checklist to  make sure you're not overlooking a critical part of a Chatbot solution for customer service.  

Topics: Chatbots Intelligent Assistance Customer Engagement

Digital Customer Engagement:  No Human Required?

Contact centers in North America employ seven percent of the total workforce with over three million total staff. (Texas is top state with over 250,000 people working in contact centers).

We also know agents are 50 percent of total contact center costs.  And that puts agents in the cross-hairs when you're optimizing operations. 

So when we blogged about a 29% cost reduction through the use of chatbots and other smart technologies, it raised a deeper question.

Topics: Industry Insights Digital Context Customer Engagement

How to Solve your Web Chat Abandon Rate Problem

Every time a customer engages in a web chat you have an opportunity to make a sale.  If you’re a retailer with a web site, I bet you watch your web chat conversion rate like a hawk.  Improve the conversations you’re having with customers, and you can convert more chats to revenue. 

So what happens when customers get distracted or interrupted and leave the conversation?  Many retailers struggle with web chat abandon rates in double digits.  By focusing on the conversations you’re having instead of those that have been abandoned, you may be overlooking a treasure trove of revenue opportunity.  To find that hidden treasure, you’ve got to think like a parrot instead of a hawk.  Arrrrrrrrrrrr.

Topics: Messaging Apps Consumer Behavior Customer Acquisition Customer Engagement

Digital Customer Experience: Lessons from Forrester CXSF 2016

Don't you wish Curly had it right?  You know, the cowboy from City Slickers who said the secret of life is just one thing.  All you have to do is figure out what that one thing is for you, right? 

If Curly were around to help us figure out the secret of digital engagement, it wouldn't be pretty.  He'd have to take off his dusty old cowboy boots to count all the secrets that are important to digital customer experience.   

Today we have more channels, more technologies, more silos of data, and more distractions competing for the digital consumer's ever-decreasing span of attention.  How do you come up with a digital engagement strategy in a world swirling with chatbots, intelligent assistance, and new messaging channels?  

In search of answers, the explorer in me set off on a fascinating journey. 

Topics: Customer Engagement Customer Experience Digital Context

The Surprising (and counter-intuitive) Truth About Customer Service

So in today’s digital world, which is your customers’ preferred way to interact with your company?
Is it…

  • A mobile app?
  • Web self-service?
  • Social media?
  • Email?

Give up?

It’s none of the above.

All generations of consumers prefer interacting with brands via the phone or in-person in a store over any other channel.

Surprised?

We were, too.  But there's a lot more to the story. 

Topics: Customer Engagement Customer Care Customer Experience Digital Context

The Mashup In Your Pocket: Bots, Messaging, and Mobile Apps

We live in the future.

What seemed like science fiction just a few years ago? 

It’s coming.

It’s happening.

It’s REAL.

The thing is, your customers already have the future right in their pockets. You do too. We all do.

Heck…you might even be reading this blog post on it.

It’s on your mobile device. In it, really…and also across the connected universe of devices and networks and servers everywhere.

Though you (and all your customers) may think it is, the device in your pocket is no longer your phone. It is a whole lot more. Especially as both Apple and Google have announced extended use of messaging tools on the device, the device formerly known as your phone is now your virtual assistant.

Why?

Topics: Messaging Apps Customer Engagement Customer Care Customer Experience

The Future of Messaging Apps

Download this new Forrester Report:  The Future of Messaging Apps

I recently downloaded two apps onto my Samsung 6S phone: Google Allo and TalkType.  Allo is an intelligent agent (Google Assistant) that resides in the Google messaging app (Allo).  TalkType is a voice interface that allows you to use voice as the primary interface and input (the keyboard becomes secondary) for “typing” a message in any app.

Topics: Messaging Apps Digital Context Customer Experience Customer Engagement