While Big Data has already caused many changes in the practices and perimeters of our business, it is still difficult to imagine the phenomenal impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on customer experience management. This technological breakthrough provides us with countless and exciting perspectives – as long as we anticipate them and adapt.
The future begins now. Do you need proof? One in every two marketers already states they use AI according to Salesforce’s State of Marketing 2017. A quarter of markets also plan to implement an AI strategy within the next two years. From natural-language processing to chatbots and from machine learning to automation, innovations are linked and their presence is accelerating. How can we find ourselves in this abundance of technologies?
We met Arnaud de Lacoste, Chief Marketing & Innovations Officer and founding partner of Sitel Group and expert in customer experience management, to take note of key trends.
We just quoted many flourishing terms within current professional articles. Yet, we are only at the beginning of the AI revolution. Alan Turing, more than 60 years ago, wondered, at the time, if machines could think, what would happen if they took control over humans?
This subject, which has long remained in the experimental stage, has recently returned in force due to the combined effect computer storage costs decreasing and a fall in computer storage costs, exponentially growing data and the growing performance of computing. But even today, everything is still imagined when it comes to AI.
One of the great myths around AI is that it will destroy customer experience management career opportunities. Our business feeds on human contacts, and no robot and no machine will ever be able to conduct perfect conversations. Not only would the robot need to have a complete understanding of what the customer says (despite accents, speech flow, etc.), but a take into account other parameters that are the voice and the pitch – which weigh 38 percent in our expression.
Therefore, there will be strong collaborations between men and machines. Depending on the needs, the interactions may be processed or automated, semi-automated or simply human. This leads to redefining roles and missions – some of which will surely become “bot managers.” Rather than a one-sided automation of the relationship, we will see a synergy of skills between humans and technologies … for the best possible customer experiences.
In a few years, we have moved from desktop screens to surfing on our mobile phones. But, after the era of “mobile first” will come new interfaces. With AI, dozens of apps – each one responding to specific needs – will have interactions take place on a single platform managing all our conversations – with our friends and with the brands.
This minimization of exchanges will even go further than just screens – and even advertising as we know it. Like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home speakers, the conversation will be more natural – simply the voice will command actions.
With multitudes of available data, the increasing real-time flows related to AI will evolve the customer experience from a contact approach to a conversational mode – for more contextual messages. Brands will have enough information to be proactive – offering the right content at the right time, in a service-oriented approach.
This new concept is paramount for AI because it’s the key to consumer confidence. In these ultra-connected exchanges, the latter must be reassured. This Trust Economy is based on three foundations: respect for personal data, transparency and reciprocity (which guarantees the seriousness and responsibility of brands compared to their contacts).
“Technology alone does not make sense,” said de Lacoste. “We believe in positive collaboration and cooperation between people and technologies. The art of conversation will be at the heart of the customer experience – and the trust unites consumers with their favorite brands. This is an optimistic and realistic vision of a future which is near – and we must prepare.”
This article was originally published in Hub Institute by Herveline Denis