Digital Customer Service Is Here to Stay, Genesys CEO Says at Xperience Event
The customer experience trumps everything else, Tony Bates, Genesys' CEO, said Wednesday in his opening keynote at the Genesys Xperience 21 virtual conference. And when it comes to CX, digital is here to stay.
At last year's event, "we heard loud and clear from many of you (our customers, our partners) as you experienced as-a-service as an exciting next step in the evolution of customer experience," Bates said. "What we didn't know at the time was just how quickly it will be embraced."
The reason for this became clear as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic started and the world quickly adopted digital interactions. But even as the world shifted to digital transactions, the pandemic also highlighted the importance of empathy in customer interactions, according to Bates.
"Businesses must be flexible, they must be agile," Bates said. "These are valuable learnings, and we must take them forward. The good news in the post-pandemic world [is that] you all get to shine."
Bates pointed to recently released Genesys research that showed that nearly 60 percent of customers prefer an empathetic customer service experience over a speedy resolution. The top ranked attributes of a phenomenal customer service experience was service from an agent who makes it clear they understand the customer's situation, even if it takes longer to resolve the issue. Seventy percent of consumers say a company is only as good as its service.
Genesys discovered that in a crisis, customers were calling customer service agents just to talk to someone, for the sound of that human voice and connection, Bates said. "Think about the implications of this for our industry. COVID literally blew up many years of customer experience. And we're not just here to help reduce costs. It's clear to me now the experience trumps everything in business. It trumps brand. It trumps product. It trumps distribution power. And on top of that, an empathetic, customer experience trumps them all. As a result of the demand for connection and experience. contact center has become the top investment priority.
Bates concluded: "We want to empower you. You're now in the driver's seat to be the most important strategic player in your business."
New CX Solution Unveiled
Genesys also used the conference to introduce a stand-alone digital customer engagement offering, Genesys Digital Experience (DX).
This comes as companies have increased their investments to shift more business to digital due to the rapid changes in consumer expectations and in pursuit of new potential customer touchpoints, the company said.
Traditionally, they approached this as singular interactions through various digital channels or on transaction-oriented, conversational platforms, which typically entails a one-size-fits-all conversation with a limited knowledge base and data to meet consumer expectations, according to Genesys.
However, in today's digital environment, companies need to create smart experiences across digital interactions, such as web chat, text, and chatbots that build trust and loyalty with customers.Bates said this need was behind last year's launch of Genesys' experience-as-a-service solution, designed to deliver empathy at scale. This digital frontier galvanizes this new direction for an industry in transformation, he maintained.
Recent research by Forrester projects digital customer service interactions to increase by 40 percent, driven by the pandemic, which ushered in new consumer digital behavior, such as online shopping, online banking, and virtual healthcare.
Genesys DX is designed to provide companies with a stand-alone, digital-only product to move the customer experience beyond the transactional chat interactions that are so common today to deliver intuitive conversations.
Genesys DX is designed to get smarter with each interaction. Among the capabilities of Genesys DX are the following:
- Always-on engagement: A centralized knowledge platform allows companies to provide fast access to information, while simultaneously leveraging the voice of the customer to continuously?enhance?the experience, enabling them to engage with customers in real time on the channels they're already using. Customers will also benefit from seamless transitions across AI and agent interactions while preserving the context of their conversations.;
- Human intuition for all digital interactions:The solution enables companies to apply human-like intuition in all digital engagements. The technology combines real-time, 360-degree view of customer touch points and contextual data and goes beyond traditional passive sentiment analysis.
- Faster scale: The solution is designed to provide benefits within weeks and scale to meet customer demand.
In a roundtable discussion, panelists outlined how their customer service was impacted by the pandemic and further highlighted the need for digital capabilities.
"Over the course of a week, we had to shift a large percentage of our workforce from a kind of work-in-an-office environment to a work-from-home environment," said Paul Rosenbloom, vice president of AT&T Business. "And yet at the same time, we also, as an essential service and essential business, had to continue to support our customers at their place of business or at their residence."
Rosenbloom also said AT&T had to shift its fairly large field force, which still had to go out and service customers in their environments. "We had this big pivot, a shift into a whole new business model, both for our people that were internal and our people that were out in the field."
AT&T also noticed a huge influx of orders from customers, who were also shifting how they were doing business, he added.
Vodaphone, meanwhile, found customers relied increasingly on its video services as people stayed home more and consumed more online content. That meant the company had to ensure that subscribers had enough broadband. Having agents who could respond quickly to help with any issues became increasingly important as well, according to Jörg Knoop, technology digital incubator at Vodafone. And key to that was a digital footprint.