Call Center pros think I am crazy, but I think I found the technology that will be changing the customer service and customer experience industry to levels we have never thought of.
Currently, we are using call center technology to either gauge the CX (CSAT, NPS, Sentiment..) or we are trying to make interactions shorter, more cost-effective, or easier for the customer.
These are all good things…yet we have no technology out there that will totally change of we operate as customer experience professionals.
I think I have found that technology, one that will change how brands service in the next five years. It’s not a call center and it’s not an AI chatbot (well not really…).
The technology that we have for customer experience is trying to measure customer experience. Some of it is to make things better for the customer journey, but for the most part, it is sentiment scoring, CSAT, and NPS. But what are those things doing? Are they “fixing” the customer experience? No. It is just giving the report, and it is the humans’ job to make the changes to improve the customer experience. Real-time transcription, AI, and self-service are not meant to make the customer experience better, but to make it easier for organizations to service their problems.
There is no tool that will reinvent the industry and magically overhaul the customer experience. The tools that we do have, however, help us to understand what the customer is thinking. AI developers will be the ones to say that Chatbots will be that revolutionary technology. ChatBots will definitely play a role in the automation of the call center, taking away agents, and making things less expensive, but I do not believe that is the solution.
For Christmas this year Santa brought my kids (and me) an Oculus Quest. If you had talked to me on December 24th about Virtual Reality I would have just said, “Yeah it’s something cool, and I’m sure you can play some really cool games with it.” Honestly, I was more interested in the PlayStation 5. But once I got hooked up into that headset, and entered into this world, I was hooked. I started thinking about what technologies we have now, and where this could go in the future. Virtual Reality, I believe, is the future of customer experience.
Everyone here in the office thinks I am crazy. When I get excited about something, I go all in and learn as much as I possibly can. The more I am learning, the more I am believing this will be a viable technology in the customer service sphere. I think we could use it as a type of IVR. Instead of calling or texting or emailing, you could immerse yourself into a brand’s universe.
Let’s say you are XYZ Retailer and you make beautiful toy trains. In this world, you could enter through the “storefront” doors and virtually be inside the store. You can type or talk to a receptionist, use real-time transcription and other technologies we have now to understand what your problem is. You say your toy is broken and the wheel fell off. This virtual brand ambassador could show you how to repair the wheel virtually before you go to do it yourself. If you need to send it back, that ambassador can take your information through API’s, connect to the CRM, and have everything sent to you just like any IPR. We can also elevate this to a human agent. You can virtually watch a movie with five of your friends with this technology, so talking to a human agent would be possible. If you have a bank query, you can walk into a virtual branch and fix any problem you could over the phone. This technology could be the way to make the customer experience truly an experience.
The technology is here, from real-time transcription to natural language processing, to having API connectivity back to a CRM to pull information to help you, to a virtual knowledge management system that you can physically interact with. Obviously, the retail implications are already being discussed. From a customer experience standpoint, it is still new, but I am very excited about it. It is the customer experience improving; this virtual world-building is already a 5-billion-dollar industry, can you imagine where it will be in 5 years? Look at TikTok, not many B2B brands are advertising on TikTok, but not many were advertising on Instagram either, but the platform has really matured, and now everyone uses it.
Something to get you thinking about 2021, and the technology and trends for the future. I want to push all of you to do some cool things in your contact centers. Maybe we should just skip over this ChatBot world we seem to be heading toward.
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