Q: How has this topic evolved recently? That is, any major changes in the market? Changes in strategy? Changes in technology?
A: Organizations’ customer experience initiatives have been in place for years, but many are unfocused and thus slow to see business impact. In 2018, the focus has been on balancing the roles of humans and AI, continuing to invest in customer analytics, and bringing digital business to life with digital commerce.
Q: What’s one of the biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to this topic?
A: Organizations try to boil the ocean with their customer experience initiatives. There are a lot of different things they could be focused on, but many try to start with the biggest problem first: reconciling disparate customer data that exists in multiple applicant environments. Gartner recommends delineating between quick wins and longer-term objectives to establish executive trust for continuous investment in improving the customer experience, to improve the top line.
When it comes to AI and its implications on the customer experience, organizations need to identify a clear use case for AI. AI is a human partner, not a human replacement. Often, organizations experience a fear of missing out when it comes to AI, which can lead to a mismatch, when AI is implanted within the organization.
Most organizations have no idea what they’re doing with AI and go after revenue-generating tactics rather than personalizing the experience. There is more to AI than customer contextualization.
Organizations don’t have the luxury to focus on just the basic capabilities of AI or just the large and complex capabilities of AI. They must focus on both.
Q: How are IT leaders leveraging this topic to transform their organizations?
A: A business needs customers — plain and simple. The IT organization has been able to assert themselves as critical to improving the customer experience as so much of that experience is grounded in technology. This puts IT in a role to serve as business peers rather than business servants.