Philip Say, VP of Innovation Product Management, Sutherland Labs shares his CX Predictions for 2020.
1. AI unlocks intelligent experiences in customer support
AI is disrupting almost every industry, from manufacturing to finance – and in 2020 the increasing impact of AI will make its way to customer support (CS) centers, allowing businesses to empower CS agents with real-time feedback and guidance during customer interactions. This shift will allow brands to resolve issues and find answers much more quickly, unlocking a new level of more intuitive, intelligent customer experiences.
2. Customer experience will be a priority in the boardroom
Customer experience (CX) is now becoming the cornerstone of a brand’s reputation, and as such, brands are looking for new and innovative ways to transform their business in order to focus on customer-centricity. As companies are increasingly competing on the ability to meet evolving customer needs, we will see CX escalate to a board-level initiative in 2020, with more C-suite executives outside of the CX function prioritizing and investing in new services and technologies to deliver more efficient, tailored experiences.
3. Conversational AI interfaces will become the new standard in customer experiences
At the same time, conversational AI interfaces – from text and chatbots to voice assistants – will leverage more robust machine learning technologies, making them more predictive and allowing businesses to serve customers more quickly and efficiently. Adoption of voice search will be spurred by improvements in natural language processing, bringing voice search to the forefront in 2020 as consumers become more accustomed to interacting with voice-activated smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo.
4. Edge computing begins to overhaul traditional CX
With 5G kicking into full gear, its greater processing speed is creating new consumer expectations across a variety of industries in terms of demand for fast service. Under pressure to keep up with changing demands, more companies are starting to harness edge computing for data processing at the source – opening up massive new opportunities when it comes to the customer experience. In 2020, edge computing will begin revamping CX, moving user experiences into device end-points and revising traditional omnichannel constructs and frameworks. With edge computing, brands will be able to engage with customers at an unprecedented speed and reduced latency, resulting in a hyper-personalized, omnichannel experience even as customers access services from millions of different devices.
5. Automation spurs organizations to move customer support to onshore facilities
With the onset of automation now able to handle most simple service tasks, only more complex requests are making their way to actual customer support agents, resulting in conversations that are increasingly difficult to navigate. For companies operating offshore customer support facilities, language barriers and cultural differences can make it challenging to meet this new standard and provide the most efficient service. As automation continues to rise, 2020 will see more companies moving their customer support operations onshore, creating new jobs as they invest in domestic support agents to deliver the most high-quality experiences.
About the Author
Philip Say is VP of Innovation Product Management at Sutherland Labs. Philip has nearly two decades of experience in the software and cloud computing industries with former roles at VMware, Joyent, SAP, Peoplesoft and Accenture. At Sutherland, he leads product strategy and works with user experience, design and technology teams to develop new customer solutions, with particular expertise in bots, AI, UX/CX, streaming analytics, natural language understanding and learning/operational systems.