I’m pleased to announce that I will be participating in a debate hosted by 5CA on October 27th. The title is CX Strategy: What Now? This might be your tenth webinar invitation this week, but I think that this is a step above most of the online briefings I am seeing at present.
The panelists are:
- Robert Van Diem, SVP of operations at 5CA
- Peter Ryan, founder of Ryan Strategic Advisory
- Mark Hillary, industry analyst and co-host at the CX Files
Mark will be moderating the discussion – he is based in São Paulo, Brazil. Robert is based in the Netherlands, Stephen in the USA, and I’m in Canada. It’s a very diverse group that has a strong mix of experience and wisdom.
I know that one of the areas I will be talking about is the importance of outsourcing to the management of the modern customer experience (CX). I have written about this a lot in the past few years, but I think it’s worth stating once again what we are exploring here.
Contact center services a decade ago focused on voice calls and email. Some social media support was just starting at that time, but if you go back another couple of years then it really was just those two channels. Now, every major social channel has to be supported. They all need to be interconnected to create an omnichannel – so every channel works as well as the others. It’s almost always a 24/7 operation and in regions like Asia and Europe a single brand may need to support customers in a dozen or more languages. CX is getting complex.
But that’s not all. If it were just a case of managing the major social networks then some brands would have the resource to manage it. It would not be essential to work with a CX partner, but I believe there is an acceleration taking place – a technology arms race that will lead to an exponential increase in what needs to be understood to deliver great CX.
The best explanation of this comes from Davos. Four years ago the World Economic Forum founder, Klaus Schwab, spoke about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how society needs to respond.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now the Fourth Industrial Revolution as described by Schwab, is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century.
The importance of Schwab’s vision is that we are witnessing exponential change. He explains: “There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.”
How does this impact on CX and contact centers? Listen to how Schwab describes some of the possibilities for progress in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: “The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.”
Many of these technologies are being used to improve the customer to brand relationship. AI is advising agents on the best answer to a customer question or powering a natural language voice bot. The IoT is changing how people interact with their own homes and cities. Analytics on huge ever-changing databases are creating the ability to predict what customers need before they even ask.
The process of delivering CX is already far more than just answering a post-purchase call, but it is about to get exponentially more complex. Does your CX partner have opinions on how the IoT or AI might change your business and how you interact with your customers? If not, then are you with the right partner?
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