Will "Brilliant Machines" Challenge Customer Experience Management?

Aren’t those “Brilliant Machines” commercials from GE fun? Seeing beloved characters like the robot from “Lost in Space,” Lt. Commander Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Agent Smith from “The Matrix,” and others brings back wonderful memories.

But then I quickly come back down to earth and think about, in practical terms, what those commercials are touting: It’s “the Internet of Things,” where all kinds of smart devices are connected to one other via the Internet.

Some people are even touting the “Internet of Everything.” While such developments are fascinating from a consumer perspective, they’re potentially going to make life very challenging for those of us concerned with customer experience management. Why?

Today, consumers increasingly expect a consistent and responsive customer experience in stores, and near instant response across mobile, social and Web channels.

Related article: Big Data, Big Value, Big Leap Forward for Customer Experience

Businesses are getting better at it, but it’s not easy when a significant part of the buying cycle happens before the customer interacts with the company. The Internet of Everything will only make it that much harder–perhaps exponentially so, because of the potential number of devices and touch points involved.

What are we to do? The answer is to become a more informed, fully context-aware business across all customer touch points. This means having employees and front-line services properly equipped and designed to have a detailed understanding of who your customers are, when and how they have interacted with your business previously, what products and services they have purchased, what issues they may be encountering, and how and why they might contact you in the future.

Achieving full context awareness is a journey, not a one-time event or implementation. It requires refined technology platforms and tools. Business processes need to be re-engineered, and culturally, businesses will need to adapt. Many leaders in customer experience are already on the path, while others need to start soon so they are better prepared for the future.

It’s funny, but the plot lines in many old movies and TV episodes revolved around the struggle for humans and robots to interact seamlessly and live with one other harmoniously. That’s the way I see the Aware Customer Experience: If you’re successful, your customers will see you as one company, no matter what touch point. And your company will see each customer the same way.

Communications technology will play a major role in creating that harmony. Talk about brilliant machines!

If you’re interested in reading more, we’ve recently published a paper that you can download here.

Cory Glover, Avaya

This was a guest blog written by Cory Glover, Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing of Avaya Customer Experience Management Solutions.

Cory currently leads marketing for Avaya’s industry-leading Automated Experience Management and Proactive Engagement solutions.

He has over 15 years of experience in communications consulting, engineering, and solutions and product management. During his tenure with Avaya, he has led go-to-market activities in Avaya’s data networking, wireless, unified communications and contact center portfolios. Prior to Avaya, Cory held leadership positions in the U.S. Submarine Navy, Texas Instruments, and Lucent Technologies. Cory holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Purdue University and an MBA from Babson College.

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