The Three P’s: A Mantra for Meaningful Digital Transformation
Have you ever seen an ant mill? It’s a bizarre phenomenon in which a group of ants continuously circle until they eventually collapse from exhaustion. Being mostly blind, ants leave pheromone trails so that others in the colony know where they’ve been. When migrating, the first ant in line leaves a trail for the rest to follow. If that trail gets broken, the ants will scramble. They’ll follow each other’s pheromones, marching in circles, until they drop.
It can be argued that some businesses do the same in terms of digital transformation. When it comes to migrating systems, changing processes or improving culture, it can be easy for decision-makers to blindly follow trends versus doing what makes the most sense for their organization. As opposed to carving out their own perfect path to transformation, they adopt an “army ant” mentality that can have significant consequences.
This is one of the main reasons I was excited to join Avaya; to promote the idea of people thinking differently to achieve breakthrough change. To stop companies from endlessly circling and instead to start strategically thinking about experiences that matter to their customers and employees.
In speaking with countless customers, it became clear to me that companies needed a way to be pulled out of the organizational ant mill. That’s when I came up with the concept of the three P’s: preference, personal, and predictive. These three elements are core to meaningful customer experience and, subsequently, digital transformation:
- Preference: A recent study from Periscope, a unit of McKinsey, found that companies consider “a well-defined cross or multi-channel strategy” their top innovation for driving digital growth. Every customer has a different preference in terms of how they communicate with a brand. How are you working to handle the 70% of people who call into the contact center using their mobile device? Or, the 45% who prefer communicating with a live person for more complex interactions? The most basic element of a meaningful experience is paying attention to the devices and communication channels that a customer prefers to use and ensuring that the experience is consistent regardless of how conversations are initiated or escalated across the organization.
- Personal: With this basic understanding of preference, brands should work to connect with customers on a more personal level. Overall, research shows that 81% of customers want brands to better understand them to know when and how to approach them. This could mean knowing who a customer is before the first “hello” is spoken so that introductions don’t have to be made every time. Or, intelligently routing customers based on next-level variables like personality, emotion or relatability to drive deeper connections while reducing exhaustive efforts of getting callers to the right agent. Contact centers need to shift from a “first in, first out” mentality to one of sincerity and relationship-building. This means focusing less on adding new customers and more on growing with an existing customer base. The fact remains that if you take care of your customers, they will always feel connected to you and will keep buying from you.
- Predictive: With this understanding of customers at the individual account level, it’s time to start anticipating their needs. How can you stay ahead of some of the things they might be thinking about? This could be knowing when a customer will need to purchase again or might be looking for something new. Or, automatically routing a customer to a certain team or specialist based on interaction insights collected over a certain amount of time. Brands should be inspired to help customers in a way they didn’t even realize they needed. After all: the best experience is the one that the customer never has to ask for. This is all well and good, but how can these digital initiatives be achieved? In short, an open IT ecosystem that seamlessly integrates unified communications, contact center and emerging new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics. Here are just a few of the possibilities within this kind of environment:
- AI-based analyses can be used to observe how customers interact to drive “next best action,” enabling companies to decide what action to take for a particular customer based on a particular issue.
- Interaction insights can help brands intelligently route customers based on next-level variables like personality, relatability and emotion.
- Machine learning technology can be applied around customer conversations—whether text- or voice-based—to better understand the types of experiences customers are having in a specific communication channel. Brands can pinpoint the top things customers are saying or top issues being reached out about to more intelligently serve them.
- Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) can store biometric information like face or voice recognition, binding a customer’s profile to his or her smart device, and then use that identity to automatically authenticate callers. This reduces the potential for problems and provides an improved, more frictionless experience for customers.
- Seamless omni-channel provides customers with fast and efficient self-service across the channels they prefer, with the option to elevate to a live agent when needed.
If you find yourself circling, the three P’s is a great concept for getting unstuck. It’s also a great reminder that when it comes to digital transformation, experiences matter most. I truly believe Avaya enables these experiences like no other. If you want to learn more about these three elements or have any other questions, reach out to the Avaya Sales team.