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July 8, 2018

Navigating your next Customer experience

Customer experience is on every CEOs agenda over decades however explosion of digital and abundance of choices have empowered customers more than ever before to make decisions without blink of second thought, this has made organizations to rethink, make it a top priority item and CEOs get more involved in the customer strategy than ever before.

Gartner quotes by 2020, the customer will manage 85% of its relationship with an enterprise without interacting with human and customer experience is the new battle field.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon says "We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts". Amazon provides one stop experience to customers across channels, it is expanding its foot print across industries. Amazon recent announcement of recruiting entrepreneurs to run local delivery networks and acquisition of online pharmacy Pill Pack has wiped out $17.5 billion from eight companies market values in one day, such is the impact of organizations which are leveraging data and analytics to provide personalized, differentiated and relevant customer experience.

Companies have started to realize that the most sustainable form of differentiation is customer experience and not product innovation or low cost solutions. Technology aided with human emotions is key in creating these differentiated customer experience for any organization.

Few key challenges to be considered while strategizing and navigating your next customer experience solution

1.       Gaps and shortened customer journeys - Current generation customers hops at least 3 channels before completing transaction. Days are gone where customer journey is treated end to end from acquisition to servicing. Companies need to incrementally improve experience at every step, boldest is to redefine and expectation and enhance experience in the process.

2.       On-demand era - Every industry has been touched by on-demand expectations. Customers need personalized service and experience on demand, this need gave birth of Amazon dash button. Didi Chuxing, car sharing platform has more than 21m drivers serving 25m rides per day which is more (appx twice more) than Uber.

3.       Automation and Self-improvement service - Once the minimal needs are met, customers look for automating mundane touchpoints with companies and expect the organizations to automate these (reminders, recommendations, recurring events, pattern recognitions etc). With the connected world, it is possible to build positive experiences with minimal interactions. Didi Chuxing has built AI engine allows customers to just say "I need to go, right now" using mobile phones, AI engine knows the type of car person needs, where he/she has to travel and sometimes it proactively offers a ride depending on the pattern, schedule and information.

4.       Hybrid or channel agnostic - It is important to provide consistent customer experience at every touch point of customer journey as clients likes to hop from one channel/device to other channel/device. Ex: Netflix, HBO, Amazon prime provides seamless transition which you switch watching from one device to other device.

5.       Customer data and privacy - Customer would not compromise on data privacy and sharing to customer experience. Both are equally important to them, it is critical to identify the information and mechanism by which it can be shared externally to provide seamless experience

Infosys leverages Customer genome solution to understands their DNA and fill in the gaps to navigate the next customer experiences

https://www.infosys.com/navigate-your-next/Documents/customer-experiences-digital.pdf?soc=tw167045

Most progressive organizations are leveraging technology aided with human to address these challenges. Augmenting existing investments in legacy systems and talent with new and emerging technology would accelerate creating differentiated customer experiences.

https://www.infosys.com/digital/insights/Documents/accelerating-digitization-nextgen-integration.pdf

Emerging technology capabilities aiding to create differentiated customer experiences are

1.       Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

       AI, once a mostly academic area, today integrates and enables a constellation of mainstream technologies that can have substantial impact of customer experience.

       AI and ML powers technologies that overlay humans to provide an oversight and tracking mechanism to employee actions, helping with compliance, security, and the monitoring of actions.

                Foundational blocks of any AI/ML driven organization are

·         Business sponsorship - It is inevitable to have alignment and sponsorship from business to integrate insights generated by AI/ML applications into operational systems/process to generate value added services and create relevant experiences for customers.

·         Big Data ecosystem - Organizations need to invest in standing up Hadoop infrastructure and build data lake (Raw, curated layers), semantic layers to access legacy environments, API driven micro services and ability to experiment and productionize insight generation applications.

·         Digital Integration - Adopt design thinking approach to integrate insights, AI apps, virtual assistances across SMAC

·         Data science - Data science enables organizations to create relevant customer experiences throughout the journey by using NLP, supervised and unsupervised ML models. Ability to learn, reinforce and adopt on real time basis by active learning makes it different from traditional analytics.

Infosys has been partnering with various client to bring AI to life at enterprise level. You can find detailed success stories by visiting below link

https://www.infosys.com/navigate-your-next/ai-powered-core/Pages/index.aspx

2.       Conversational assistants and digital advisors

 Customers today expect 24X7 customer support. Conversational assistants and advisors aided with NLP and AI/ML creates digital opportunities to build and support customer needs.

 "Gartner predicts for next decade; it will be Conversational AI first over cloud or mobile for most of the organizations."

Foundational components needed for building conversational applications are

·         Enterprise driven - Identify and build/buy platform which would meet enterprise needs across support centers, mobile applications, online assets and internal service desks

·         Data security - These applications generate humongous volume of data, organizations need to strategize where and how to store so these can be used for enhancing customer experiences and monetize data

·         Time to Market - It is critical to align on the goals so you can decide on the capabilities, platform, time to experiment, competitive analysis...etc

·         Platform - Identify the target channels you to serve so you can finalize the technology stack and infrastructure for assistants and advisors

https://www.infosys.com/services/microsoft-dynamics/Documents/intelligent-bot-services.pdf

3.       Immersive media through Artificial reality, Virtual reality and mixed reality.

 For long time AR/VR was seen in the context of entertainment industry but last few years it has significant impact in our daily lives.

 Experiences are becoming real by leveraging immersive technologies. Challenge with traditional mobile and online is you cannot experience or feel it. Example, customers do not buy perfume on phone as you cannot smell it. If you are able to stimulate the experiences, then they are all in for it. Certain brands have created artificial worlds providing real experiences to shop and try items on them before purchasing.

 Augmented reality amplifies human experiences of what they actually will get, KabaQ an AR driven app provides customer real time experience to see virtual 3D food on their table in-restaurant when ordering online.

 AR/VR are pushing the imagination of humans beyond boundaries to build applications across Retail, Manufacturing, Health and Insurance, Financial services industry.

Infosys is experimenting and building applications leveraging AR/VR to provide differentiated customer experience

https://www.infosys.com/ar-vr/Pages/about.aspx

Organizations are looking beyond these to create differentiated experiences and create new digital business opportunities.

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