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As digital transformation gains momentum the main players in this new decade are these two great technologies: artificial intelligence and the cloud.
With years of experience in customer service, Eduardo Solano, Channel Sales Manager at Genesys, is the poster child for applying these two technologies to customer experience.
Claudia Siller, Head of Partners at Aivo, sat down with Eduardo for the second episode of Aivo Next, our new video series, to talk about his knowledge and experience.
They discussed the division of labor between humans and robots, generational changes in CX, cloud-based platforms and more.
Below are highlights from their conversation.
Younger generations and omnichannel service
Claudia: What do you think had the greatest impact on customer experience?
The greatest impact came from the surge of social media. That was the turning point between consumer 1.0 and consumer 2.0.
In this new model, customer experience is associated with letting the customer have a preferred channel.
If you've got a process where you offer tons of channels but the last step involves going to a branch, the service model falls apart.
The design can be very good, but the process itself might be a complete failure. That affects brand loyalty.
Claudia: Sure, sometimes a company wants to offer an omnichannel solution but they don't have the same information in the call center, on social media and at branches. The experience is completely different on each channel.
Exactly. The goal of omnichannel service is getting rid of information silos. So many companies are built on a model where customer service, sales and the back office are separate from one another and don’t communicate.
So what happens when you have a customer service request and a sales one? They all tell you different things.
Claudia: Do you think that consumers don’t have the patience for that anymore?
Yes, and that's especially true with younger generations. They expect everything to be immediate and just a click away; they were born into that.
Related read: Technology at the service of customers or customers at the service of technology?
Automation and efficiency from the cloud
I think there are two challenges: migration to the cloud and automation.
Claudia: In terms of automation, do you think artificial intelligence will replace humans?
In my opinion, that’s not going to happen, much less in the short term. Right now it’s too complicated to let a robot perform every action and task.
At Genesys, we did a lot of studies and found that the right formula was to have the robot perform all the repetitive tasks and complex issues transferred to a human.
I also think that humans are creatures of habit, and AI helps find those behavior patterns in customers. This way you're able to know who your customer is; what they buy on what days, what they like the most, etc.
But it’s hard to take that to a service model where questions or problems can be more complex. This is especially true in Latino cultures because we like one-on-one communication, where there’s a higher degree of trust.
In that sense, human workers will still be needed. We have to look for those service models where robots help us.
Claudia: And when it comes to the cloud, I was recently reading an article from the Genesys blog about the origin of Genesys Pure Cloud. Do you think there’s still a general resistance towards cloud products?
In Latin America, I think they're the number one need because of their benefits like scalability, resilience and availability.
There’s a legal and security issue that's more complex in some countries than others. Customers’ main fear is data - what's done with it and who has access to it. We have to assure them that the information belongs to them and only they have access to it.
Claudia: What are your recommendations for companies trying to migrate to the cloud?
My only recommendation is for them to look at the hidden costs of an on-premise operation compared to a 100% cloud scenario.
With the cloud, the benefits are endless. If you make a list of all the responsibilities needed for an on-premise solution, like paying attention to new updates, having someone monitor the technical and security aspects, etc., you’ll realize that all these things are completely eliminated with the cloud.
In the end, it's nothing more than unnecessary costs that companies tend to ignore.
Looking towards the future
Claudia: The same happens when choosing a new technology. What do you recommend to a company that’s about to choose a provider for their CX strategy?
They should thoroughly assess their service models and processes, since their technological needs are going to depend on that.
At the end of the day, you can have the best technology, but if your processes aren’t aligned or haven’t changed to transformation model 2.0, it'll end in failure.
Another recommendation is to always choose a product that offers a five-year roadmap.
Having a provider that offers you a roadmap and being entirely sure they're constantly innovating lets you have a unique platform without having to perform migrations continuously.
Related read: The post-coronavirus customer experience: What will the new normal look like?
Claudia: Don’t you think this technological progress prevents you from having a five-year roadmap? Because technology keeps changing and maybe what you’re projecting today for the next five years is interrupted by something else in the meantime.
That's exactly what makes a company really successful: the ability to be dynamic when it comes to changes in the industry.
A brand's vision today is going to change over time, but that goes hand in hand with market trends, generational needs and a bunch of variables that are unforeseeable five years earlier.
What I’m talking about is having a clear horizon and choosing providers that are aligned with all these variables that offer the benefit of constant innovation and long-term solutions.
Claudia: How do you think the market, the industry and customer experience will evolve in the next 50 years?
I think that if we use the last 10 years as reference, growth and innovation in the next 50 years will be huge.
And I do think that AI will reach a level of human rational understanding in the next 50 years.
What do you think will happen to CX in the next 50 years?
As Eduardo says, this is a really hard question to answer. We don’t know what will happen in the next 50 years, but we can predict what will happen in the next decade based on current trends.
The cloud, artificial intelligence, omnichannel service and security will be key milestones having an impact on customer experience from 2020 onwards. If you want to learn more, you can read what Eduardo and 15 other CX specialists have to say about post-coronavirus customer service strategies in our latest whitepaper.
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