In modern business, it is survival of the digital fittest. Customer behaviour and expectations have evolved at a rapid pace in the digital age. The challenge for businesses is that this evolution is occurring faster than many are able to adapt, leading to what consultant Brian Solis has dubbed Digital Darwinism. Recent research from Ovum showed that 74% of consumers use at least three channels when interacting with an enterprise for customer service-related issues. Customers interact through many channels. Recent research from Ovum says that enterprises must provide a consistent experience across all channels. However, most organisations are ill-prepared for a cross-channel, consistent experience across all channels that their customers expect. Brian Solis has cautioned businesses that they must not just react to consumer demand, but become more proactive by anticipating customer requirements and exceeding current expectations. The future of a business, warns Solis, depends on its ability to adapt to a fast-paced, always-on environment.
At 7.ai, we agree with Brian Solis and we’ve worked hard to develop a platform which makes it simple for consumers to connect with companies to get things done. At the heart of the solution is the sophisticated application of big data to support the three pillars of intuitive customer service. The aim is to Anticipate actions (predict why customers call) to Simplify communications (make it easy for customers to engage) and Learn (for an increasingly intelligent and intuitive solution). These three pillars will allow organisations to deliver a smart, intuitive and modern customer service strategy across all channels. Predictive analytics can transform the practice of customer targeting: a global PC manufacturer worked with us to improve online sales through online chat, informing agents with the information gleaned from employing big data analysis to their web traffic. The result was dramatic – order conversion and order value both increased by a factor of three for chat revenue. The results in the medium term show that the chat share of online revenue has doubled without cannibalising online self-service revenue.
Brian Solis believes that in this era of Digital Darwinism, the businesses that succeed will create a rich experience for their customers, empowering employees to engage with consumers in ways that are smart and deliver results. Results from our customers suggest that Solis’ warnings about the survival of the fittest are already coming to fruition – those using the 7.ai platform to deliver modern, seamless communications across channels and meeting the customer’s expectations are already showing that they’re not just surviving, but surpassing sales predictions.
Mike Hughes is the Managing Director for European Operations at 7.ai Inc. He has over 20 years of experience in Customer Management, Change Leadership and IT and is passionate about raising the standard of industry best practice using technology to create a smoother customer experience and lessen customer effort.