Pegaworld, Day 2: Speakers Advocate for Digital Transformation Initiatives

LAS VEGAS — On day two of Pegasystems' annual user conference, speakers advocated digitizing experiences and processes to free up employees for more personal interactions with their customers.
 
In his morning keynote, Gilles Leyrat, senior vice president of customer and partner services at Cisco, highlighted technology's role in improving a company's internal operations and, in turn, the experiences the company offers customers as they interact with it (and buy products and services). Leyrat holds that customer experience is an essential differentiator, and that companies should be automating processes wherever possible, which enables humans to interact with customers and anticipate their next questions by engaging them. "If you drive a good experience, your stock price will increase," Leyrat said, citing evidence from Forrester research to suggest as much. "Companies that have a higher customer experience index have a growth of revenue."
 
"We use Pegasystems as a way to embed best practices coming out of our agents, and embed those into applications," Leyrat said. He noted that that by using Pegasystems in its customer service departments, the company was able to see 93 percent of cases handled with "zero touch." Likewise, the company has eliminated 2 million hours of wait time per year. The company has also reduced order resolution times from 72 hours to six. "When you're digitizing, ask yourself, 'What you are doing for your customers?'" Leyrat urged.
 
In an interview following his presentation, Leyrat told CRM magazine that as it works with Pegasystems, the next step for Cisco is to enable "intelligent routing," which can do a better job of determining which customer service agent is most suitable for each call.
 
A panel moderated by Christopher Paquette, digital principal at McKinsey, sought to explore how organizations from the financial services industry settle on the goals and outcomes of digital transformation, and how they eventually deliver on them. Speakers agreed that it is vital to define a "North Star" to work toward, a plan for working toward it, a rigorous approach to encouraging departments to work together toward a common goal, and the habit of measuring wins incrementally. 
 
For Alistair Currie, chief operating officer at ANZ, an international bank serving 9 million customers, that has meant adapting to growing demands and "feeding those expectations."
 
In agreement was Toine Straahof, executive vice president of the Rabobank Group, who pointed out that customers prefer to interact with banks through mobile and online first, then the ATM, and "the call center last." 
 
Kevin Sullivan, senior vice president of the decision sciences group at Fifth Third Bank, said that digitization has presented opportunities for growth, as building out physical locations as a small, regional bank based in Cincinnatti is more expensive than investing in digital channels. "[It] becomes a bit of a playing field leveller," Sullivan said.

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