As we close out on 2014, now’s a great time to reflect on the year in customer experience (CX). And what a year it’s been! Looking back there’s too much to cover in a single blog, but I’d like to call out a few areas that I think we’ll see impacting CX for years to come:
1. The Rise of the Customer Journey
While McKinsey and HBR have been talking about it for a couple of years now, customer journeys – and managing them effectively – were a topic on everyone’s mind this year, from contact center managers to CMOs and CEOs. The fact is that today’s customers engage with different people and departments over multiple channels and touch points across your company – all to complete just a single transaction. Yet, many companies are nowhere near ready to handle this new and empowered way that customers shop, buy and get service. In the end, if just one step in the journey goes wrong for the customer, satisfaction and loyalty go down – and revenue gets lost. The good news is that more executives, employees and departments are getting aligned to deliver a seamless customer experience every step of the way. I only expect this to improve as we head into 2015 and beyond. Just look at our customer Emirates, a great example of how leading companies are effectively managing customer journeys by getting the entire company engaged – you can see the customer success video here.
2. Artificial Intelligence & Robots: Here and Now!
This year, we also saw two significant breakthroughs in the area of automated customer service: the combination of artificial intelligence and contact centers, and the deployment of customer service robots in retail stores and airports. For our part, we announced an exciting partnership with IBM that brings the power of Genesys and IBM Watson together to transform self-service and live support. This powerful combination leverages cognitive learning to improve self service and assisted service by providing disruptively accurate answers in real-time. To see more, check out my recent presentation at the IBM Insights conference in the video below:
As for customer service robots, they’re here! Lowe’s Hardware recently rolled them out to a store floor in San Jose, California, and the Indianapolis Airport outfitted roaming robots with iPads that feature customer service reps by video. Whether you like it or not, artificial intelligence and robots are here to stay, and it’s changing the face of customer service.
3. Customer Experience in the Cloud
Lastly, how can we not include the Cloud? Cloud contact centers continue to change the game when it comes to managing customer experience with ease-of-use and speed. Whether it’s adding new digital channels or bringing on additional resources during peak periods, the cloud is opening the doors to great customer experience for more and more companies across the globe. In fact, DMG predicts that the number of cloud-based contact center seats will grow by 20% this year! 2014 was a big year for Genesys in the Cloud, too. In August, Frost & Sullivan recognized us with the 2014 North American Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award for Cloud Customer Contact Solutions. According to Frost, “the innovative Genesys platform packaging strategy, coupled with several strategic acquisitions, has helped to significantly increase its installed base of cloud customers.” Along the way we added hundreds of new cloud customers, including Red Hat, Legal Zoom, and Plated, an innovative new meal delivery service, to name a few.
As the year winds down, the world of CX is only winding up. Heading into 2015, Genesys is more committed than ever to making the world a better place by unleashing the power of great customer experience!