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Digital Engagement Blog

Chatbots 101:  A Forrester Primer

There is so much buzz and hype around Chatbots it is difficult to understand how to use this technology to create meaningful benefits in an operational setting. 

We've got an option to help you cut through the Chatbot BS.

Forrester just released a report titled "Chatbots 101:  Building a Conversational Interface" which is a great read and tells it like it is.   (You can download the report below).

Chatbots 101 Report

Chatbots 101 report covers the following:

  • What is a Chatbot?
  • When will Chatbots replace apps... or human?
  • When and where are Chatbots a good fit?
  • Are Chatbots ready for prime time?
  • Four questions to ask before you deploy a Chatbot.
  • Four questions to ask before you build a Chatbot.

These are questions you'll need to answer as you build your intelligent assistance strategy.  Chatbots 101 will help you gain clarity on this technology and its best use.

Topics: Industry Insights Digital Context Chatbots

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

Prepare for the Future of Financial Services: Lessons from Money 20/20

Square, PayPal, Google, Visa and Facebook Share Insights

As we wrap up 2016 and prepare for the New Year, banks and insurance companies should consider several of the key takeaways from the recent Money20/20 conference.  This event is billed as the preeminent global payments show with more than 11,000 attendees from 4,500 companies in the banking, payments, retail and loyalty industries.

This year’s keynote speeches from industry leaders such as Square, PayPal, Google, Visa and Facebook highlighted trends to keep in mind to address the changing landscape for businesses and consumers in the future. Here are our five takeaways:

Topics: Digital Context Industry Insights

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

You're Not Ready For A Fluid Customer Journey

Industry analysts (Gartner, Forrester, et al) sometimes look over the horizon and alert us to new things we don't yet see.

We recently spoke with several industry analysts who had surprising observations and forecasts that, if true, are creating problems and risks for us right now.

Here are a few highlights about where analysts think customer engagement is headed and why our problem may be about to get worse.

Topics: Digital Context Customer Experience Mobile Engagement

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

Texting, Messaging & Chat Compared

What are your communication options when you need to engage mobile prospects and customers?  Given that a good old fashioned phone call doesn't even crack the top five most used apps on a smartphone, it's a safe bet to consider that your best engagement options are going to involve tapping instead of talking.  

In this blog post we compare three options:  Texting (SMS), Mobile Messaging and Online Chat. While these terms often get used interchangeably, they are in fact three very different options, each with their own characteristics to consider. 

Topics: Mobile Engagement Customer Care Digital Context

Digital Customer Engagement Defined

As the customer service function shifts into the digital age, we often take a step back to ask where servicing is headed.  Not only is it fascinating to watch and be a part of, but it’s really interesting to observe the shift separately through the lens of the mobile-digital exec vs. the contact center ops exec.  We’ve found these two lenses give you a different view of the same challenge.

So how do we define digital customer servicing through the lens of the mobile-digital exec?

Topics: Customer Care Mobile Engagement Digital Context

How Much Does Age Affect Mobile Engagement?


A question we frequently are asked is “how does age effect mobile phone use?”  Or will my older customer use whatever mobile strategy I develop?

Below is a look at current demographic data for smartphones based on Pew Research and Forrester Research data.  While your customer base may behave differently, these data show that across the population at large, millennials are hardly alone in their avvid use of smarphones.

  • For every 100 young people that own a smartphone, 66 boomers have one
  • For every 100 young people that use apps, 74 boomers use apps
  • For every 100 young people that text, 93 boomers text (and we don't drive while we do it!)
Topics: Mobile Engagement Digital Context Industry Insights