At Sabio we think customer experience should be brilliant – but we also understand that great technology alone isn’t always enough to deliver all the answers.
That’s why at our ‘The Art of CX’ Conference, held at the Blue Fin Venue on London’s Southbank last week, we focused our attention on addressing the critical User Experience and design aspects of customer engagement.
Our packed agenda brought together a mix of UX experts and industry analysts, as well as customer engagement leaders from organisations including BGL Group, HomeServe and 3. We also featured insight from Avaya into how its latest Breeze and Oceana technologies are already helping organisations in creating seamless customer journeys.
Poor customer experiences burn time
In our introductory morning session, Sabio’s Chief Technology Officer Stu Dorman explained how a mark of great product and experience designers was their ability to notice the details in a customer journey that, when fixed, could help transform the customer experience. Our Principal Solutions Manager Dan Whaley agreed, stressing that poor customer experiences burn through people’s time, so it’s incumbent on CX teams to design experiences that are not only goal-oriented and data-driven, but that also remain firmly person-centred.
New era of conversational commerce
We then heard from Dan Miller, the lead analyst and founder of Opus Research, who gave an update on how conversational commerce is enabling organisations to redesign how they engage with customers. He described how 1st generation Intelligent Assistants were largely used for static information, and looked at how today’s transactional solutions can now combine big data intelligence with real-time delivery to address customer queries. However, he explained that it’s the upcoming era of true conversational intelligent assistants that will require real UX expertise if they’re to be successful.
Alex Barker, Head of User Experience at change consultancy firm Edo.co echoed Dan’s opinion, reminding attendees that you can’t just understand your customer through technologies such as machine learning. Alex then detailed how customer experience mapping could help CX teams in translating their customer-centric ethos into a more practical reality. He warned ‘The Art of CX’ attendees that for truly successful customer journeys, it was essential that organisations took time to research their audience and understand contexts, while also experimenting with the customer personas that help in terms of humanising data.
Sabio’s User Experience Lead Klaus Failenschmid then set out how UX and CX needs to work in tandem, as it’s invariably poor UX elements that can end up creating disjointed customer journeys. And where there are too many disconnects, Klaus said that we simply can’t keep on expecting agents to fix the issues that are often caused by poor quality UX design.
Building winning User Experiences
In our afternoon session we were lucky to hear how three customer engagement leaders – BGL Group, HomeServe and 3 – are combining UX and CX disciplines to deliver best practice customer journeys.
BGL Group’s Jayne Lansdell explained how their technology strategy had evolved from a primarily cost management focus to one that was now focused on making it easy for their customers to engage. A key element of this strategy is the company’s Innovation hot house environment, where the best advisers work with real customers to trial enhancements to the customer journey. She also highlighted the need to invest in refining innovations such as Virtual Assistants, and outlined BGL Group’s future plans for its intelligent assistant.
Aidan Emms from HomeServe then set out how the home assistance provider has applied speech analytics to support the company’s ‘effortless customer service’ strategy. He detailed how an effective speech analytics approach has unlocked over £1 million of efficiencies already, however he felt it was essential that the technology was applied to improving customer engagement rather than simply streamlining processes.
Finally, 3’s Product Director Matt Goddard discussed how 3 is now using the Now Interact solution to track customer activity online. Insights gathered during this process have helped 3 to determine the best journeys for their customers – offering new levels of personalisation, and also helping to secure a 33% improvement in online sales conversion. For Matt, the ability to draw on huge volumes of customer data also meant that the company’s UX department could now take the guesswork out of customer journey design – and that translated directly into a better experience for customers.
The CCMA’s CEO Ann-Marie Stagg then hosted a Panel Debate, where our three customers were joined by our other ‘The Art of CX’ speakers as well as Avaya’s Managing Director for the UK – Ioan MacRae. Topics covered ranged from 24/7 access and customer journey consistency to the need for business leaders to listen to customer feedback first hand.
Our panel concluded that it’s critical for organisations to clearly define their customer journey strategy before selecting the technologies they’ll need to make it come to life. However, when it comes to successfully blending UX and CX, easy is clearly the new difficult!