Digital transformation projects: Disrupting customer experience

Digital transformation, or digitisation of business is the journey almost every organisation has been embarking on.

Organisations now understand the benefits that technologies such as AI, IoT and big data analytics can bring to individual departments and organisations as a whole.

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Digital transformation projects gaining momentum

Digital transformation projects are continually being rolled out. When done in the right way, these have improved efficiencies, reduced costs and improved business processes.

According to Aspect Software, these projects will continue to dominate in 2019, disrupting the customer experience landscape.

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“There has been a continued increase on focus of the importance of the customer service function in recent years and organisations are aware of the role technology has to play in this. For this reason, we’ll continue to see technology implementations improving the customer experience,” says Stephen Ball, Senior VP Europe & Africa at Aspect.

Stephen Ball is adamant the digital transformation projects will continue to disrupt customer experience this year.
Stephen Ball is adamant the digital transformation projects will continue to disrupt customer experience this year.

Moving to the cloud

Large organisations will continue to move to the cloud at unprecedented levels to support digital transformation efforts.

“More and more organisations have moved to cloud-based customer experience platforms and this will continue to increase,” says Ball.

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“With these platforms able to move beyond inflexible legacy systems – providing increased agility for busier periods – and bring all the elements of the customer experience together into a solution that can be accessed by anyone and from anywhere, we will see more organisations adopting the technology for the contact centre. When employed in the right way, cloud can be instrumental in transforming the contact centre into a much more comprehensive, agile customer engagement centre.”

Increased use of AI and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two leading lights in the revolution of business via technology. The two are intertwined, and combined with data analytics, are driving organisational transformation, while systematically helping improve the customer experience.

“With the right implementation of AI and machine learning technologies into the contact centre, organisations can not only improve their customer service operations, but also increase engagement and productivity among agents,” continues Ball.

“These technologies have been instrumental in the rise of self-service options that enable customer queries to be addressed swiftly. Similarly, it’s no secret that happy agents deliver better service, and these technologies are also enabling this through automating and streamlining cumbersome processes and tasks, and also prompting agents based on cues. We will continue to see organisations implementing AI and machine learning into the contact centre in 2019.”

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Omni-channel engagement

Omni-channel is the new heartbeat of customer experience, and offering it will be essential in offering seamlessness between communication channels (between organisations and their customers).

This “feat may seem simple but surprisingly, many contact centres are still failing at this,” says Ball.

“While it’s great that many organisations now offer a wide variety of communication channels, they often operate these platforms separately, which makes it difficult for customers to switch between channels and runs the risk of them having to repeat themselves — one of the most frustrating experiences with automated contact centres. However, many are now tuned into the importance of this and as a result we will see more ensuring seamless integration across all platforms for an improved customer experience.”

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Targeted customer routing

Ball continues: “A greater focus on improving the customer experience is also seeing organisations looking to solutions that can ensure customers have their enquiries responded to quickly, but also that the appropriate person or technology is used to respond. For this reason, routing is having a growing in popularity – and we don’t mean manually pressing a number for a specific department – we mean skills-based routing to ensure customers are put through to properly trained agents who are able to deal with their enquiry. This creates happier customers and also improves the agent experience too, as they’re able to deal with enquiries they are specialists in.”

Human interaction will remain essential

Digital transformation or the digitisation of business will not lead to humans being replaced. That is not the end goal. In customer experience, especially, the role of the human will be more important than ever. It is not a case of being replaced, but rather a collaboration between the human and technology to heighten customer experience in the fast-paced digital economy.

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“Despite widespread technology implementation and the increase of automaton in the contact centre, human interaction will remain absolutely essential,” concludes Ball.

“The customer’s need for human interaction is still prevalent and while technologies have developed hugely, humans are still required to deal with more complicated enquiries. As a result of this, we will see more contact centres ensuring their staff are up-skilled alongside their technology implementations.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...