Intelligent Experience: Where CX Meets Tech

nokia phone technology-Online Courses in Customer Experience
remember PIN handFrom the 1970s through the 1990s, customers’ experiences evolved quickly with the introduction of technology like ATMs, CRM systems, touchscreen kiosks, and interactive voice response systems. Companies were the early adopters. They used the then-new tech to operate more efficiently and profitably—mostly by shifting work from a company’s payroll to its customers’ shoulders. The corporate approach to “service” was to take away the personal smiles and let you do more of the work. Self-service was born. In the mid-2010s, technology is changing customer experiences again, but on a grander scale and in a much more intelligent way. We don’t have to go to where the tech is to get something done—it simply surrounds us 24×7. For most people, there are only a very few minutes in a day when they are not within arm’s reach of technology that connects them to the world through an invisible network that gives them what we would have called science fiction super powers twenty years ago. Now, tech-enabled, intelligent experiences can deliver value beyond smiles with service. girls shopping tabletHere’s a retail example. Suppose you’re an RFID card- carrying loyal shopper heading into your favorite department store. Once the store senses your presence, the digital signage responds to you with a helpful reminder like “Suzy, your alterations are ready at petites on the second floor”. When you engage with an associate, his tablet “knows” you (with your permission of course) and displays that you’re here to pick up a new black evening dress and that you’re still hunting for a blue scarf to go with another purchase you got a while back. The tablet allows the associate to have the dress and a blue scarf brought to you. All of that with a single touch. What I like about this example is that this imaginary retailer uses technology to serve their customer, not sell to them. While selling is inevitable in retail, creating value for customers should be first and paramount. To be considered “intelligent”, an experience must be able to:
  • Sense context: Including who is present, the location, the date/time, the customer’s intent, and the situation gathered from a variety of technologies or direct input.
  • Anticipate needs: Knowing sooner what people want yields a better experience at lower cost. Anticipation is “calculated” from personal experience, analysis of previous patterns, and expectations about change.
  • Adapt itself: Based on mid-experience feedback from customers and employees.
  • Respect people: Changing presentation, tone, color, and language to best match each participant’s preferences and sensibilities.
  • Report on itself: So that each subsequent experience improves in quality while requiring less effort and cost.
Intelligent experiences are better experiences. If your brand is a store, bank, airline, hospital, or other service company, you can combine advanced technologies (like connected car, beacons, Wi-Fi, video analytics, eye tracking, big data, and predictive analytics) to deliver experiences that add real value by going beyond the basic attributes of product and service. Using technology to anticipate your customers’ needs creates value for them by letting you serve before you sell. That makes experiences great—and improves the bottom line at the same time.
Mike Wittenstein

Mike Wittenstein

Mike Wittenstein was doing customer experience before it was cool. Since 1998, as IBM’s eVisionary, he has been designing and developing experiences that differentiate brands and deliver bottom-line results. Mike has worked on over 700 client engagements in 26 countries. He understands first-hand the value of properly translating experiences to meet unique cultural differences. Mike founded StoryMiners, one of the world’s first experience design consulting agencies in 2002. The firm is known for its ability to find the essence of a company, brand, or service and translate it into a compelling experience that help clients shape their futures. The value of his work is estimated at over $1.6 billion in sales won, expenses cut, and brand value added. Mike is the world’s only working speaker/consultant/experience designer to have earned the top designations in his chosen fields (CSP, CMC, CCXP). Mike earned his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He works in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.

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