Out with 2012. Bring on 2013.
In 2012, mobile phones changed life as we knew it. One third of US households no longer have a landline. There are 1 billion smartphone users and 5 billion mobile phone users. Big data is transforming everyday life from seeing traffic patterns from GPS data, to monitoring home energy usage, to customer service interactions imbued with real-time intelligence. What can consumers and businesses expect from the industry in the coming year?
Here are my predictions, and as those in the field know, my company 7.ai is an insider—and instigator--to the public and private conversations constantly moving the industry forward into new territory.
Consumers will demand to be served intelligently - Consumers are used to working with smart (and even smart alec) devices, and increasingly they will demand that companies know why they called, what they want, which channels they prefer to interact in, and what they’ve already done, historically in any and all of those channels.
Consumers will demand to be served across devices and channels seamlessly – Consumers have different entry points to companies, and they will uniquely move from channel to channel based on their situation and the issue. They may go from the Web on their laptop in their office, to their iPad at the airport, to an in-person interaction at the storefront. They will use different channels at different times of day, and the customer service organizations must adapt and provide a unified, cross-channel experience. “Predictive personalization” will be the theme of 2013.
In 2013, location becomes integral to the service strategy - Where the individual customer is located (home, office, airport, store, overseas) will become integral to how they are served by companies. It will determine which channel the customer is contacted through, the progression of their journey, and the overall experience.
IVR as a unique channel will decline and disappear – The growing ability to leverage new multi-modal apps with talk and touch (including IVR and mobile Web) will replace traditional IVR.
7.ai brings our powerful big data analysis platform to bear for the customer service organizations at many of the world’s largest companies. 7.ai is all about predictive sales and service, and today we touch about 2.5 billion consumer interactions a year. It’s staggering, but when you think about it, there are about 200 billion interactions that go on in the world, so we have just gotten started in solving the problem. Today when consumers interact with our systems the result is very happy consumers, because we make it simple, pleasurable and intuitive. They can get things done. What you are seeing today is a company uniquely positioned to help reach the rest of that 200 billion interactions become smarter. Let’s make 2013 the year customer service starts to become something consumers look forward to.