Gartner Customer 360 Summit Day Two: A 'Nexus of Customer-Driven Forces' Is Shaping the Digital Future

ORLANDO—The digital future is here, and enterprises must learn how to engage with their customers or be "left in the dust," analyst Hung LeHong warned the crowd during his keynote on day two of the Gartner Customer 360 Summit. From sales transactions to customer support, relationship management is changing drastically as customers continue to expect increasingly personalized, but quick and effective experiences, LeHong explained.

When it comes to customer service, for example, the scale at which enterprises conduct business will require them to move past humans and rely on virtual assistants. Interactions with digital channels will only increase, LeHong said, and organizations will have to automate certain responses in order to keep up. Still, he urged enterprises to proceed cautiously. "Enterprises will never be able to automate entire relationships, and they shouldn't try to do that," he said.

Customers are also calling for increased transparency in service. "Real-time transparency is a must have...no excuses," LeHong said. Organizations already have the capability to give customers information such as the precise wait time, or how many lanes are currently open at a supermarket, he pointed out. The next step, is to then share that intelligence with customers. "Domino's Pizza Tracker is a good example of real-time service transparency," LeHong said. "The tool keeps you updated on when the pizza is in the oven and when the delivery guy leaves the shop."

Transparency is equally important when it comes to price, LeHong pointed out. "Price visibility will eventually become the norm," he said, explaining that shopping comparison tools will become increasingly popular.

Personalization continues to play a crucial part in customer engagement, especially as the Internet of Things gains traction. With more customer engagements taking place through physical objects, opportunities for new types of interactions will arise. 

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