5 Practical Ways to Improve CX

Consumers expect a frictionless customer experience (CX), but based on the volume of complaints, it's clear that this is not what they get when reaching out to enterprises for help. While there are no operational or technical impediments that prevent companies from delivering a great CX—they know what to do and the technology and best practices to deliver on the vision are available—making it happen is very difficult.

Here is the challenge: enterprises need to improve the CX and enhance employee engagement while keeping costs down. Contact centers have invested millions in new systems and applications but seem to be playing a game of whack-a-mole. As soon as one issue is resolved, another one pops up.

The long-term solution for contact centers and other service organizations is to implement an artificial intelligence (AI) technology framework that optimizes the performance of all contact center systems, applications, employees, and policies, enabling them to operate continuously in harmony. As this involves a total contact center overhaul, which would take years, this column will help prioritize the needs and get started. Below are five initiatives that organizations should undertake as they progress with their digital transformations to the adoption of an intelligent AI-based technology framework. All of these activities will help your company move forward on the AI continuum with the ultimate goal of implementing an intelligent and self-optimizing operating environment.

  1. Enhance your self-service environment. It's time to transition from using interactive voice response (IVR) solutions to AI-based intelligent virtual agents (IVAs), conversational AI-enabled self-service solutions that allow customers to interact with them by speaking naturally. These omnichannel offerings are designed to deliver responses optimized for each channel. An essential feature of an IVA is its ability to capture the questions that it cannot answer, pass them to live agents, watch (or hear) how they resolve them, and then notify their human controllers of the need to be enhanced. And since they are programmed using low-code/no-code environments, business users can update them immediately, keeping the system current and ready to respond to a growing array of issues.
  2. Improve routing of customer inquiries. Use an AI-based behavioral routing solution to get interactions to agents with the right skills and personality to delight the customer.
  3. Give agents real-time help. Invest in an AI-based real-time guidance solution that listens to or reads both sides of the conversation and uses this information to enable the agent to fully resolve each customer's issues while enhancing their effectiveness and engagement.
  4. Implement a customer journey strategy. Invest in a customer journey analytics solution designed to capture and track what happens with customers at all touchpoints, inside and outside of the contact center, throughout their lifecycles. These solutions use machine learning to constantly identify new trends and opportunities to enhance all aspects of the CX.
  5. Roll out interaction (speech and text) analytics. Employ these capabilities, built on an AI technology base, to capture and identify insights from customers, partners, prospects, and employees. Leverage results to improve all aspects of the business and CX throughout the enterprise. The interaction analytics technology feeds its insights to customer journey analytics and other operating solutions and can be used to gain an appreciation of the reasons customers reach out to your company.

The magic underpinning all of these solutions and activities is AI, which provides the intelligence to continuously improve the operating environment. This allows companies to move from the static environment of today, where one change is made at a time, to the dynamic self-learning and self-optimizing organization of the future.

Donna Fluss, founder and president of DMG Consulting, provides a unique and unparalleled understanding of the people, processes, and technology that drive the strategic direction of the dynamic and rapidly transforming contact center and back-office markets. She can be reached at donna.fluss@dmgconsult.com