Coveo Event Speakers Urge Companies to Be Relevant

Companies need to improve relevance in today's digital world, Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research, told the virtual audience at the Coveo Relevance 360 event Thursday.

"There's so much noise; so much information is out there," Wang said. The only way to deal with the flood of data is to automate using a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning, he said.

"Start by asking questions that result in action," Wang said. "Don't just look at page views, but at what people do with those views, then determine the next-best action. Get feedback from each interaction to learn, then automate to deliver precision decisions based on contact to determine the right cross-sell, the right referral etc."

Humans could take days, weeks, or even longer to make such decisions, while machines can make thousands of decisions a second, which is why automation is critical, Wang said.

He recommended that companies take sources of data that they already know, then use content analytics to deliver the right content to the customer at the right time.

With this approach, many companies can build out additional services. Using data analytics, companies that sell goods can get a handle on when those products will tend to need service. Based on this data, which companies can continually refine through machine learning, they can then determine expected failures and price service plans for customers. By providing customers with uptime assurance, companies can earn extra income while keeping customers happy that they don't need to concern themselves with breakdowns.

Some robotics and manufacturing companies are already doing this with IoT sensors on equipment so that it can be taken out of service for maintenance and repair on a schedule rather than the plant coming to a halt due to an equipment failure.

"It's like [hockey great] Wayne Gretzky said, you need to skate to where the puck will go," Wang said, adding that providing such service will keep companies relevant. Companies that don't stay relevant will be ignored. "Only the relevant will survive."

To stay relevant in today's economy, companies need to rely on search data and AI, said Louis Têtu, Coveo's chairman and CEO. "Being relevant to 1 million individuals, at the same time, with manual rules is not humanly possible. At Coveo we think every brand, every company should have access to Relevance technology. This should not be reserved for the tech giants only.

Têtu said the new Coveo Relevance Cloud, introduced at the event, is designed to democratize relevance for every enterprise.

The Relevance Cloud platform uses AI, machine learning, and deep learning built specifically for website, e-commerce, customer service, and digital workplace applications. It offers contextual learning that it extends into offering automated recommendations, and stitches together user behaviors across all journeys to offer advanced personalization.

Têtu added that the platform is designed to help businesses and customers alike cut through the glut of information available today. According to a recent Coveo-commissioned survey, 90 percent of consumers expect online shopping experiences to be equal to or better than in-store, but half say they sometimes to always experience a problem when shopping online. Those problems include online search (47 percent), online navigation (43 percent) and finding information they need (42 percent).

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