Kate O’Connell of Interactions argues that voice should be the focus of your digital transformation strategy.
Discussions about digital transformation are overtaking the boardroom as the consumer landscape continues to evolve.
Brands are feeling the pressure to respond to rapid advancement in technologies, changes in the ways consumers communicate with businesses, and consumer expectations of 24/7 accessibility.
Customer Experience Focus in Digital Transformation
When it comes to digital transformation, the focus of many strategies centers around improving customer experience.
In fact, according to Seagate, two-thirds of global CEOs will focus their digital strategies on improving customer experience. And when you drill down and get more specific into this area of focus, leading industry analyst firms Tractica and IDC both identify automated customer service as the number one use case for AI-enabled digital transformation.
Leveraging digital technologies, especially in the customer care space, not only improves customer experience but can also result in the reduction of operating costs–something that B2C companies especially have historically struggled to balance for years.
But successful digital transformation is not just about offering multiple digital touchpoints and then sitting back to reap the cost-savings benefits.
In fact, disjointed digital channels are the number one reason why digital transformation fails to improve customer experience.
Brands must take into account the entire customer journey, including integration across all touchpoints. This starts with choosing the right channel to start so you can then build a consistent experience across the rest of your channels.
Which Channel Should Drive Your Digital Transformation?
When prioritizing channels in your digital strategy, your decision falls into two categories: voice and text. It sounds simple, but there are many things to consider.
You need to look closely at all aspects of that channel, including current spend, the immediate impact it will have on your CX, and if the solution you implement can scale to other channels.
If we look at these three attributes across voice and text, the decision becomes clear.
Text Has Its Downfalls
Many companies use text channels–usually in the form of a chatbot–as their first entré into CX digital transformation. However, here are a few things to consider about text channels:
- Channels that use chatbots usually are not areas of significant operating expense, so your financial impact will be minimal.
- Text channels are rarely the channel choice of customers and therefore the CX impact will be minimal.
- Chatbots and like solutions are extremely limited in terms of utility. A chatbot can’t scale to provide a consistent experience across channels.
Voice Is the Clear Winner
When compared to text, voice lends itself to be the perfect starting point for digital transformation for many reasons:
- Voice is growing in importance and preference as a primary channel with consumers; therefore there is a large opportunity to make a major impact on CX.
- Implementing the right solution for voice, such as an Intelligent Virtual Assistant, allows for easy expansion into other channels.
- Companies spend the large majority of their customer service on voice. Therefore by starting in this channel, brands will experience a significant economic impact due to sheer volume.
Intelligent Virtual Assistants Are a Smart Choice for Digital Transformation
Implementing an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) that uses Conversational AI in your voice channel can help you begin a successful digital transformation journey and allow you to evolve as your customers do.
Also, once implemented in the voice channel, IVAs can easily scale across different channels to create cohesive, effortless, and satisfying conversations between businesses and their customers. By implementing an IVA you can:
- Enable AI-based communications and automation between businesses and customers
- Provide analytics that support customer experience process improvements
- Support consumers to switch channels and modalities based on what they are doing at any given time
- Give customers the ability to choose their communication channel of choice
- Redirect customers to channels that answers to questions the quickest to improve customer experience
- Provide channel optimization by offering the best channel based on what the consumer is trying to accomplish
When choosing where to start your digital transformation, remember to think about the big picture versus a short-term win.
Leading with voice is a better choice not only when it comes to impact on customer experience, but also on ROI.
Text channels are the shiny object that may be quick to implement, but will not help build the foundation you need for consistency across your customer journey.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Interactions.