<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none;" src="//www.bizographics.com/collect/?pid=5286&amp;fmt=gif">

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

SpeechTEK 2017 and the Rise of the Conversational Interface

“New uses of speech technologies are changing the way people interact with companies, devices, and each other. Speech frees users from keyboards and tiny screens and enables valuable, effective interactions in a variety of contexts.”  (SpeechTek)

Technologies and use cases for conversational interfaces are rapidly changing.  To better understand these industry trends I attended SpeechTEK 2017.  Here are a few notes and observations from the field.

Mix of Yin and Yang, Old and New

The conference brought in a mix of old school contact center vendors (Convergys, Aspect, etc) and new tech vendors (Google, Amazon, etc) analysts, consultants and enterprises.   It was interesting to see the collision and friction between the old and the new.

Topics: Customer Experience Industry Insights

Artificial Intelligence Landscape:  Ready to Place Your Bets?

Are you ready to invest in AI technologies to drive contact center performance?

My guess is that you already have.

You might have deployed speech analytics or an IVR using natural language or a Chatbot or fraud prevention.  All these solutions likely use machine learning and artificial intelligence to discover insights and optimize performance.

Good job.

But the AI landscape is buzzing with emerging tech that could have major implications on customer service.  Yes, some technologies will optimize existing processes (like IVR self-service) but others will be disruptive to your current processes (like Chatbots over a messaging app).

You're going to invest (more) in AI technologies for customer service. 

The only questions are when, on what solutions, and how much.

To answer these questions, lets take a broad view of how the AI landscape is developing and look for trends and patterns.

Topics: Customer Experience Industry Insights Intelligent Assistance

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

Bot Hype Encourages Marketers to Investigate Intelligent Assistance

In this guest blog, Amy Stapleton from Opus Research outlines three ways Intelligent Assistance technologies can work for Marketing.  The post is based on Amy's white paper, Six Perspectives on Intelligent Assistance, which is available at the end of this blog.

Intelligent Assistance Benefits Go Beyond Customer Care

Customer care professionals have been leveraging the benefits of intelligent assistants and similar self-service technologies for many years. On the flip side, most marketing professionals didn’t spend much time thinking about smart self-service solutions in the past. Self-service and marketing wandered down two separate paths. But with the 2016 “Facebook Messenger bot platform announcement” generating excitement around chatbots on messaging platforms, marketing executives are getting into the intelligent assistance game too.

Topics: Intelligent Assistance Chatbots Digital Commerce Industry Insights

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

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

Digital News Roundup August 10th

Check out this roundup of perspectives and insights that cover digital, mobile, chatbots, AI, and similar topics with a focus on customer service and customer engagement.  This is what I am reading, and I thought you might find it useful too!

Chatbots vs Humans in the Contact Center

 “Two of the biggest trends in business today are heading on a collision course….On one hand, every major technology company is investing heavily in artificial intelligence (A.I.), promising a better, cheaper, and faster way to “engage” with consumers. "

Topics: Digital Context Mobile Engagement Customer Experience Industry Insights