By Tim Pickard, Chief Marketing Officer, Sabio Group
Organisations may talk about building complete, end-to-end views of the customer journey – but that’s almost impossible to do well without bringing data together from across the business.
Data – and effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data integration – needs to be at the heart of successful CX transformation.
Not surprisingly, many brands are finding it hard to accommodate this shift, with contact volumes placing huge demands on contact centre employees, legacy technology as well as those teams responsible for leading corporate CX initiatives.
However, a number of key factors are now coming together to support what could prove to be the next key phase in customer service: the convergence of the contact centre, AI & Automation and CRM spaces – with customer experience at the core.
Traditionally customer engagement technologies have been largely polarised – you’ve either been a CRM-led customer engagement operation with a largely silo-ed contact centre, a dedicated service desk style operation, or more contact centre-focused with basic screen pop links or advisors left to source data manually.
But today’s CX teams can no longer afford to remain isolated in their contact centre, service desk or CRM camps. The pressure for brands to differentiate via their customer experience makes any CX technology decisions taken now even more important.
That’s why it’s essential that organisations move quickly to align their technologies so that they’re able to provide a unified, end-to-end customer engagement experience.
How brands manage their customer data is also critical. Technologies such as AI, machine learning and natural language speech recognition are already established within the contact centre and their data is already helping to power cross-functional customer data platforms and digital experience platforms.
Implemented in the right way, AI & Automation will provide new ways to free up CX resources and help brands to make more informed decisions – transforming customer journeys into a source of rich insights that drive a richer experience for customers. So, it’s perhaps unfortunate that most organisations still fail to take advantage of the data that’s hidden within voice interactions – still by far the most prevalent CX channel.
The good news is that some of the key technologies already being put to use in the contact centre world are becoming connected with other parts of the organisation.
CPaaS communications platforms and cloud-based contact centre capabilities are increasingly overlapping, making it much easier for CX teams to use APIs and programmable components to build out their next generation customer engagement capabilities. This makes it much easier to add a mix of channels, and power customer journeys across multiple departments. It also opens up access to best-of-breed AI capabilities.
As the lines between contact centres, CRM and AI & Automation blur, there’s a great opportunity for brands to build and deploy the kind of customer engagement ‘sweet spot’ that can really help to differentiate their customer experience. And with the opening up of this next generation CX technology, brands can now work to design their own best practice CX capabilities – but this time without barriers.
Some organisations may find that they are better aligned to a CRM-led customer engagement approach, others may want their service desk to drive contact, while many will still prefer a contact centre-led strategy.
None of these approaches are right or wrong, but brands will require CCOs or CXOs in the driving seat to ensure that whatever solution is applied leads directly to a positive impact on their business outcomes and results.
What may prove challenging, however, is in identifying customer engagement technology specialists that are able to demonstrate innovation and capability across Contact Centre, CRM, AI & Automation and CX disciplines.
Sabio Group is an ideal partner for organisations looking to transform their customer journeys. With customer experience at the core, we are uniquely positioned to help organisations take full advantage of Contact Centre, AI & Automation and Salesforce Service Cloud CRM technologies.
We can support brands looking to take advantage of the latest converged CX technology capabilities through;
For a more in-depth look at the converging CC, AI and CRM markets, read our ‘Taking CX Performance to the Next Level – Why the Convergence of Contact Centres, AI & Automation and CRM Matters’ white paper.