Digitally Transforming Customer Care
Jul 15, 2016
Providing positive and profitable customer experiences means nurturing customer relationships that unfold across time and channels. Productive customer interactions drive higher levels of engagement, increasing the Customer Lifetime Value. A more engaged, satisfied customer spends more, remains loyal, and recommends a brand to others.
Today, the cutting edge of an organization’s customer experience process is digitized, combining Omni Channel, analytics and automation. The core of digitally transforming customer care lies with deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI), based on Machine Learning approaches to automate routine interactions, allowing agents to enhance those interactions where humans make a real difference. The AI is fed as much customer data as possible, of all types and in real time, including purchasing records, feedback forms, social media comments and interactions with agents. The AI learns from the data, detecting patterns from it, and is able to predict customer reactions and behaviors. AI customer experience tools enable companies to have human-like conversations with their customers and solve problems, complementing human agents’ abilities and service. Early examples of these tools include Facebook’s M and Slack’s Slackbot.
I was in Boston last week and was able to see a new incarnation of an AI and Omni Channel powered Customer Engagement Framework: the CareXa by Tech Mahindra. What makes CareXa interesting is the system is purpose-built to harvest data from all customers’ interactions with an organization across many channels harvesting analytics in conjunction with automation (e.g., visual IVR, social media, and traditional voice). That data flows through the platform to an AI engine that learns from the data, predicting customer behavior, and giving agents prescriptive advice. This reduces the steps for agent interaction, guides problem resolution, and by automating repetitive tasks into the background, reduces the average cycle time for agent interactions.
Tech Mahindra’s use case of CareXa is a communications service provider in the UK, to digitize customer care operations. Prior to implementing the platform, the provider logged the most customer complaints of its peers in 2012, whereas three years after implementation, it had the least number of complaints. Impressively, it also gained 37 points in NPS and reduced churn by 21%.
CareXa may be an early example of the state of the art of using AI to improve the critical customer care function. Sales and marketing are the next frontiers for digitally transforming business processes. Applying the same principles demonstrated by CareXa, marketers will be able to truly personalize campaigns, optimizing the return from each marketing dollar invested. Sales will move away from long lunches and golf outings, as leads are ingested, analyzed, prioritized and routed automatically to decrease follow up time and increase close ratios.
The things I saw in Boston are only the tip of an iceberg, but companies are making money from AI (not by reducing cost but by increasing revenue), and the revolution is already here.
For more information on Customer Engagement solutions: http://ww2.frost.com/research/industry/digital-transformation/customer-contact
Brian Cotton is a Partner and Vice President at Frost & Sullivan.