Top 3 Takeaways from Customer Contact Week Vegas | Appian

What Happens at CCW Vegas Shouldn’t Stay in Vegas: Top Takeaways from CCW

Customer expectations keep rising across all industries. As technology advances and customers have great experiences with brands, they expect the same from your brand.

Appian joined over 2,500 contact center and customer experience leaders in Las Vegas to explore how to address changing customer expectations, along with the latest trends in delivering world-class customer service, at the 19th annual Customer Contact Week.

Whether it’s the convenience of Amazon or new business models like Carvana, companies are having to respond to competitors and brands in ways they did not anticipate. With this in mind, here are my top three takeaways from CCW Vegas that are raising the stakes for contact center leaders:

1. Move the needle on customer experience

The reality is that companies today have to compete on customer experience. Business leaders must be outward looking to keep tabs on what their their competitors—and all businesses—are doing to deliver effective experiences for customers.

Here are a few of the tips shared:

  • You cannot have a great customer experience without a great employee experience.
  • Align technology, processes, and experience to all work together.
  • Empower agents with the right tools to build their confidence and enable them to resolve inquiries quickly at first interaction.
  • Customers rarely stay in the same channel. Omni-channel is important to make interactions low effort and serve customers where they are.
  • Deliver hyper-personalization through a combination of human touch and technology.

The underlying takeaway? Organizations are using technology to turn customer interactions into proactive, predictive, and distinctive experience for customers.

“They call it customer service, but it’s really sales. It’s a confidence game. You have to make people fall in love with you on the phone.”

– Barbara Corcoran, Best Selling Author, Business Mogul, and Leading Shark on ABC’s “Shark Tank” – CCW Vegas 2018

2. Personalization and automation through Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

“By 2020 there will be no tolerance for needing to re-introduce yourself along each touch point of a customer service interaction.”

– Jeanne Bliss, Co-Founder, CXPA and President, CustomerBliss – CCW Vegas 2018

Organizations are looking to understand how they can leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to make their contact centers smarter and more efficient. However, there is still progress to be made in incorporating these technologies into the contact center landscape.

Experts recommend using a platform that combines AI and robotics with business process management and a unified view of customer data to maximize value received.

For robotics, organizations need to have a seamless handoff between human and robots. Having bots working on backend processes, repetitive manual tasks, and handling initial chat triage allows agents to have more meaningful conversations on the frontend with customers.

“Four in 10 contact center decision makers are exploring use of AI technologies to differentiate their service.”

– Forrester, Report: How AI Will Transform Customer Service, 2017

The goal with AI is to bring more contextual information into interactions that give the ability to predict best actions required to solve a customer problem or recommend products/services. By taking baby steps with AI and having a project in mind, like speech sentiment analysis, organizations can see quick wins that propel investment for continued innovation.

3. The customer is king, and so is customer data

The contact center, as the hub of communication, is a goldmine of rich data on customer preferences and purchasing behaviors that can be turned into actionable insight for ongoing improvement and new revenue opportunities.

The Internet of Things (IoT) presents an opportunity to expand insight and provide more personalized service by utilizing data across systems that is collected from customer interactions. Through journey mapping, voice of the customer programs, and satisfaction surveys, organizations can understand their customers better, along with where to improve service and where they are doing things right.

“There are ever changing customer expectations that come with technology. We want to figure out how to take all this data generated to have the context to make interactions smarter, provide a more proactive approach, and offer a seamless transition for customers.”

– Tom Karinshak, EVP of Customer Care, Comcast – CCW Vegas 2018

At the end of the day, it’s about providing personalized, quality service and effortless, engaging experiences that drive customer loyalty. As Josh Ives, VP of Customer Experience at Samsung, mentioned during his presentation, “When we stand behind our products and services, customers want to stand behind our brand. This is why it’s important to invest where the customer lives.”

These top takeaways should definitely be embraced—and shouldn’t stay in Vegas.

For companies looking to exceed customer expectations, discover how Appian’s Intelligent Contact Center™ Platform empowers agents and cultivates customer loyalty.

Jenna Harvey
Industry Marketing Manager

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