The definition of great customer service or a delightful customer experience is changing drastically. Today, customers cringe at responses like “We will get in touch with you at the earliest”, because organizations not only eat into all the bought out time, but also do not seem to be doing anything worthwhile with it.
At the next touch point, the story seems to start all over again. Customers want to be treated in context. And, this context has to be very specific to the customer in question, i.e. in context to her needs, her specific situation, her background and her expectations. Hence, great customer experience comes down to knowing the customer context, acting in accordance with it and doing that every single time across touch points.
Contextual Customer Experience is a Fundamental Need
Context can mean different things depending on the context.
- There’s personal context – demographics, personal behaviors, sentiments & moods, recorded information, and so on.
- There’s transactional context – purchase or complaint history, transaction history, quotes and purchase orders, payment information, and so on.
- There’s situational context – time and location, specific problem or issue, urgency or priority, and so on.
- And, then there’s business process context that includes organizations’ policies, procedures, personnel involved, customers’ expectations and intended process objective.
Some of these contexts overlap and most of the required context is hard to create around a particular customer or touch-point in real-time. However, customers are oblivious to the difficulty level or an organization’s capacity to accomplish this. They have come to expect this from every business – whether new or old, whether banking, telecom, retail or even government, whether delivering products or services, whether over the web, mobile or store, whether it’s a weekend or a weekday, whether it’s business hours or middle of the night.
Businesses today need to interact, transact and engage with their customers without losing context regardless of the mode of communication or time of the day. Customers are active on the web, mobile, social, physical channels all the time, and organizations need to tap the communication along with the sentiment and respond in real-time without having to defer it with “Our representatives would get back to you”.
Accomplishing Contextual Customer Experience
Delivering a contextual customer experience requires enterprises to do multiple things, and what makes it harder is that these fundamental capabilities are spread across departments and functions.
Tap Customer Conversation
Grab customer conversations, transactions and events from across channels and devices be it emails, social platforms, blogs, conversation threads, CRMs, text, images, and web chat systems. An automated processing and sentiment analysis of incoming inputs and events are critical, and an omnichannel capability is key.
Discover Full Context
It goes without saying that identification of context is what differentiates an effective response to business opportunities from a typical automated response. 80% of data flowing into organizations are unstructured. Analyze this unstructured data and discover context using advanced analytics.
Effective context discovery can be achieved with a combination of transactional analytics, content analytics, and business rules management.
Identify Right Action & Trigger Appropriate Processes
Trigger business processes driven by well-defined and automated business rules. The biggest obstacle to an effective and timely response to business moments is siloed and disparate nature of systems and functions. A robust business process management that automates workflows and allows for intelligent routing and workforce engagement is critical.
Engage with Unified Communication
Instantly send relevant and targeted communications via multiple channels through a unified communications platform. A communication mechanism that taps intelligent routing and messaging system, leveraging integrated context is what differentiates a great response from a mediocre one. A unified communications platform helps not only in dispatching highly contextual and personalized communication to the customers but also tracks delivery and responses of messages, resulting in enhanced customer engagement.
For an organization to accomplish this, various technology pieces have to come together. A Digital Sensing Platform enables this by converging customer interactions across channels, utilizing advanced analytics to discover sentiments and context from conversations, triggering appropriate back- end processes and sending timely and relevant communication to customers – all from one single platform
Digital Sensing Platform – How does it work?
Tapping customer conversations across multiple channels require an omnichannel funneling capability. Organizations today spend a considerable amount of effort and investment in building social and mobile capability, however, that’s only a start. Data sensing allows you to tap conversations and perform an actionable sentiment analysis.
Identification of customer context, however, makes or breaks a contextual engagement. From defining the category of conversation (whether it’s a complaint, lead or related to billing and so on) to identifying how urgent the response needs to be in terms of severity and identifying the product or service to which the conversation belongs. This enables identification of immediate actions that need to be taken. Based on a predefined set of rules, this action could mean one or multiple sets of actions, and that’s where the combined capability of business process orchestration and unified communication can be leveraged. Organizations have been creating transaction
specific solutions that partially accomplish these things in the limited domain of the transaction. For instance, Lead Management, starting from lead identification to allocation of sales resources. However, organizations have to consider the fact that these capabilities are required across business to really accomplish a contextual customer experience that spans across multiple touch-points. That’s where a Digital Sensing Platform provides the much needed leverage for use cases that cut across an organization.
Let’s take an example of how the functional blocks come together in banking.
As seen in Figure 3 below, within every one of these functional blocks, there are a set of capabilities that functionally need to be configurable as well as technically scalable and robust. Within retail banking, various products and services cross-connect for the addressable retail banking customer set. Integration with backend databases and other core banking systems and resources is critical to achieve the required level of straight- through process automation. It is important to recognize that a simplistic workflow or business rules management system don’t suffice. In order to provide a truly capable platform that can accomplish the digital sensing requirements, a robust BPM platform becomes a core engine behind the scenes.
Additionally, for a contextually complete and accurate communication, a configurable unified communication platform is critical. Apart from configurability of message and content, the other important elements such as routing, scheduling, rules based notifications and integration with multiple messaging mechanisms are important too.
Summary of Digital Sensing Platform Capability
Digital Sensing Platform continuously listens to customers across channels, discovers context and initiates appropriate back-end processes to detect business opportunities and in turn makes the most of the discovered business opportunities. It allows businesses to automatically:
Capture data intelligently
Listen and capture data from various channels and devices
Discover meaning and context from all customer conversations and interactions
Identify customer sentiments by analyzing important keywords
Categorize customer conversations as Complaints, Requests, Leads, Suggestions or Compliments to initiate appropriate responses
Add value to cases
Pick up previous conversation threads across channels to add to the context of a case
Initiate appropriate business processes such as CRM, Lead management and the lot post analysis of conversations
Rules based routing of cases to stakeholders based on skills, workload, and other parameters
Send and track relevant communications across channels and devices