CX: Maximizing Limited Intelligence vs. Abundant AI Intelligence
Customer experience: Maximizing our limited intelligence versus the abundant intelligence of AI within the contact center
Dear contact center industry,
Well, this is something new for me. I’m writing a short open letter on a topic that I’m very passionate about but rarely talk about.
I’m not an “industry voice on CX”, but rather a simple boy from Yorkshire who has dedicated his professional career to contact centres, being a voyeur of human behavior and, perhaps more importantly, a everyday consumer.
As a result, you’re probably wondering if you’ll keep reading or go back to something much more entertaining, TikTok perhaps? But for those who do, please share your thoughts, feelings, and comments about what you read.
Let’s start with a basic question, what is the definition of Customer Experience? At a high level, it’s the perception a customer has of your brand. More specifically, it is described on Wikipedia as “a set of cognitive, affective, sensory and behavioral responses of the consumer at all stages of the consumption process”. Fancy.
So with this slightly hedonistic description in mind, what emotions would we want a customer to associate with the experience a brand provides?
Joy? Admiration? Pride? Satisfaction? Satisfaction? Joy? Dare I say, my love?
This is where I encounter my first dilemma with our industry and where it is heading. In a world where we believe AI holds all our answers – efficiency, cost control, improved customer experience, etc. – will we enter “the utopia of consumerism” with the energy and the bright lights of this meteor in Don’t Look Up? Or are we out of balance? I believe we are at a crossroads that will allow us to refine our thinking.
Now, I have to be clear at this point, I’m a technology and AI advocate. I would even go so far as to say that I am a champion and an executor. I mean, how can you not be. He is completely immersed in everything we do. Every day you’ll interact with some form of AI – which makes everyday life easier – it’s not all Robocop like the movies. However, what history and certainly the past two years have taught us is that humanity craves connection, purpose and at the risk of losing a good percentage of readers, spirituality.
How to build the Customer Experience Hubs of the future to satisfy the customer?
As humans, we have limited intelligence. As incredible as it is, our intelligence has a limit. A basic example is that we have found a supply chain that allows me to go no further than five minutes from home to buy a banana. In Yorkshire. Here we only grow tea. Magnificent. Yet our limited intelligence meant we couldn’t find a way to do it without single-use plastic and understanding the consequences of doing so (better late than never, mind you). However, the AI’s abundant intelligence means it manages all the variables and gets the banana where it needs to be without creating a trail of negative consequences. He will be able to apprehend life in its totality. Scary but exciting.
As a result, we’re on a technological transformation race through the contact center space and the sexy – and by ‘eck it’s sexy – side of AI opening our minds to endless ideas and possibilities. But do we have the intelligence to understand the consequence or will it really satisfy us? Are we integrating enough of us – humanity – into our future state?
On a human level, our eyes are being opened from generation to generation to the fact that consumerism does not create happiness, so why do we think that technology-induced witchcraft alone will be the answer to experience nirvana? customer?
Our industry’s goal should be for AI to enable humans to connect on a personal and meaningful level. Now I’m sure many will say, “we already do – pipe down son”. However, I implore you to really, I mean really, ask yourself if you are. Or are we immersed in the idea of contact deflection and substandard robots mimicking that human contact? Are we building meaningful and lasting relationships with our customers? If so, I take my hat off to you. As a customer, I think we can do more.
This brings me to my second predicament for our industry, our people. Is there a department with more energy, perseverance, determination and talent than the Contact Center? Yet where did we let this work, the voice of our brand, end? More often than not, it is considered the entry-level role in a company and often pays little more than minimum wage. With the hope that they delight our customers, the people most important to brands, every day. Not to mention all they need to remember about the process, product and service – “remember to actively listen to people”.
We see AI as the answer, and it will give us plenty. But what more can we glean from the melting pot of our people’s abilities? How can we involve them more in creating bonds and moments of joy with our customers? From human to human. It’s a thing of beauty to see when that happens.
In the most recent Willis Towers Watson Employee Experience Survey it shows that organizations that put their people at the center of what they do are 27 percentage points more likely to be better at helping people reach their full potential. To imagine. This untapped potential available to you right now.
Thousands of people work in our industry in the UK and what they offer is sometimes nothing short of remarkable. We should pause and check out how he’s valued and what he already brings to the party.
The number one trend in 2022 for the contact center customer experience should be to elevate, empower, develop and encourage our employees to bring that touch of magic that only they (as humans) do. can do. Yes, we’re all continuing to work on technology transformation, and we’ll be delivering amazing innovations, but don’t forget what you already have before it’s too late.
To our industry and to the future!
Dan Cohen – just a plain Yorkshire boy
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