The personal multi-touch experience

Consumers have been the driving force behind the digital technologies that have made everyday tasks such as online banking, booking and shopping so quick and easy. But speed and convenience are only part of a positive customer experience. People still appreciate human interaction and the personal touch, and according to business solutions specialist Avaya, they can have both.

The company’s vision for the customer experience of the future is now a reality as its solutions combine technology and human interaction to deliver the seamless experience that customers want.

Natalie Keightley, Avaya

Natalie Keightley, Avaya

Avaya’s customer experience evangelist Andrew Maher says: “Apps and the mobile web are great, but have ended up making customer service very fragmented. In order to enhance the customer experience, these various technologies need tying together.”

Continuous investment in innovation has in fact enabled Avaya to integrate contact centre, digital and physical channels to offer a multi-touch experience, and now the company is incorporating analytics into this to deliver a more personal experience.

Mr Maher explains: “As consumers continue to migrate to online and mobile channels, our multichannel integration provides a seamless experience on the front end. At the same time we’ve built the analytics capabilities to mine a single, central data pool that combines information from all customer touchpoints. This is allowing businesses to move from a blanket approach to offering an individual and seamless multi-touch experience.”

The business benefits are clear. Companies that can keep customers satisfied, engaged and coming back have a competitive advantage. And by taking data the company already has and bringing it into the decision-making process, they can make smarter decisions that enhance the customer journey in terms of speed and quality of service.

Without connecting all the touchpoints and customer data into a single pool, it will continue to be fragmented, regardless of how fancy your chatbot is

Natalie Keightley, also a customer engagement evangelist at Avaya, says: “Today everything is so easily available at a click; customers expect to be visible to the company throughout the transaction. If they come on to your webpage, it is absolutely criminal if they can’t find what they want on that webpage and have to resort to telephoning customer service, providing all that information again, and eventually getting through to an agent who says ‘Hello, who are you, what do you want?’

“This is where artificial intelligence can be a real help. We now have capabilities that provide customers with access to instant answers and customer service without the need of human intervention at all, thanks to tech like chatbots. What’s more, these bots can deliver the human interaction when needed and as defined by the business.”

Avaya sees two key trends when it comes to artificial intelligence in customer service. It believes that virtual automated assistants will become highly personalised both visually and contextually and will offer consumers the choice between a human-driven experience, an automated one or a combination of both. It also believes that, as consumer apps offer more and more augmented reality, so too will the customer experience, with avatar-like bots.

“The customer experience is huge,” adds Mr Maher. “Without connecting all the touchpoints and customer data into a single pool, it will continue to be fragmented, regardless of how fancy your chatbot is.”

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Gtech is a British firm that designs and manufactures cordless home and garden appliances, such as vacuum cleaners and garden tools.

Launched in 2001 by chief executive Nick Grey, the Worcester-based business has experienced very fast growth in the domestic market in the last three or four years. This is due in part to the excellent customer service that has always been at the heart of the company culture; however, in an effort to enhance the customer experience further, Gtech recently signed up with Avaya.

Mr Grey says: “We see it as our duty to respond fully and promptly to customers. Since moving to Avaya, feedback from staff has centred on how much easier it is for them to deliver good service, thanks to having the right customer information at their fingertips, while our online customer reviews are consistently given five stars.”