Opinion

Intelligent Automation for Customer Delight in Digital Era

In the 21st century, customer experience has emerged as the key differentiator for brands. According to a Gartner study, 81% of companies expect to compete largely or completely based on customer experience (CX) by 2020. The art of CX has gained a completely new scientific dimension in the digital era, which brings multiple challenges for businesses e.g. lower attention spans, lack of control in information flow and more demanding consumers. However, companies which are able to address these challenges and provide superior experiences for their customers will have a competitive edge.

Today’s consumers are not only willing to pay a premium to get a personalized and contextual experience but are also willing to go a step further and share  relevant information if it further improves their experience.

While many brands are trying to keep pace with the evolving times and are exploring new ways to ensure positive customer experience, very few are actually succeeding. According to Forrester’s Top Customer Experience Research Findings Of 2018, most businesses fail to follow through on their commitments with adequate investments across people, processes and technology that are required to create a truly experience-led business.

In this hypercompetitive world, customer experience is not merely a question of appealing user interfaces, but a milieu of intelligent technologies in the background that determines success. Here are a few insights on how intelligent automation is powering companies to deliver top class outcomes:

1) Digital customer experience is a function of digital intelligence

One of the most common examples of digital intelligence is that of product recommendations in e-commerce. The experience begins with the website /app’s front end. However, the real action happens at the back-end, where intelligent technologies analyze various factors such as external demand, personal preferences and buying history to identify personalized ‘next best action’ for the customer – across channels and in real time. Such a use of technology, not only helps companies increase sales, but also helps in customer retention by offering the right solution at the right time.

Consider the example of a customer who books a return flight to London on an ‘intelligent’ travel portal. This transaction triggers a number of validations – Which products does the customer already use? Which services can be helpful for his upcoming travel? What are a few travel essentials?  These, in turn, lead to the following actions: The purchase triggers a push message on the customer’s smartphone: “Find out about our new credit card with free cash withdrawals abroad” or “Buy a travel SIM card and make unlimited calls/use internet on your mobile at local rates.”  In addition, the customer sees an advertising banner on travel insurance when he logs on to use net banking. With the vast amount of data available, the possibilities are endless.

2) Intelligent automation enables the companies to know their customers well!

Today’s customers are pressed for time and prefer solutions tailored to their needs. This is where intelligent automation can give an edge to brands, as it enables them to understand customer preferences basis data available and deliver the best possible solution to them.

According to the latest Gartner Experience Survey, there is huge potential for companies to gain a decisive competitive advantage using digital CX. The prerequisite is the right technology that brings together all the information, enables meaningful evaluation and is able to take the right decisions based on it. Only with detailed customer knowledge, can retailers understand purchase decisions and design the customer journey in a way that the customer is addressed with relevant information at every touchpoint.

3) It is about personalization and real-time interactions

In today’s era of instant gratification, it is of utmost importance for the brands to build real-time response capability, hence signaling to their customers that ‘they care’.

Intelligent automation enables split second decision-making, thus helping achieve the objective of improving response rates as compared to traditional systems. This is especially powerful when used to apply digital knowledge in real time to understand customer context e.g. what is he looking for right now? What could he need in this situation? What was his past behavior?

Intelligent automation creates the basis for an end-to-end digital customer journey based on a highly automated decision-making process. Companies should have access to a platform that allows them to easily configure, centrally manage and consistently deliver all customer-related decisions and actions across all channels.

4) Integrated AI: continuously improving the customer experience

Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, voice-activated personal assistants etc. are transforming customer expectations and purchasing habits. Most consumers expect digital experiences and actively seek to engage with the most innovative companies.

Every customer contact and decision is an opportunity for the company to learn more about the consumer. This is exactly what AI helps achieve. AI-enabled systems use each action to improve customer service and streamline processes. Personalized service alerts, product suggestions, customer segmentation and risk analysis are just a few typical applications of this technology in the area of CX.

AI- based chatbots and virtual assistants may soon become an intrinsic part of the customer service organization. Gartner predicts that 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate these technologies across engagement channels by 2020.

Conclusion

To sum it up, intelligent automation powered by AI is the way ahead for businesses to design and deliver excellent experiences. As consumers become more demanding and data growth explodes, progressive companies will turn to emerging technologies to usher in an era of intelligent and automated customer experience. However, the success of such solutions will depend on the ease of adoption and its ability to scale across millions of customers/across locations while ensuring security of sensitive data at all times.

About ACTICO

ACTICO is a leading global intelligent automation and digital decisioning company. Its decision automation technology has helped 130+ companies across Europe, Americas and Asia in their digital transformation journey. Organizations using ACTICO significantly improve time-to-market, process efficiency and quality of decisions, thus enabling them to accelerate growth, innovate effectively, stay compliant and as a result, increase profits. More information on www.actico.com

(Image Courtesy: www.eweek.com)

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