Brands are under pressure to differentiate via CX – That’s why the convergence of contact centres, AI & automation & CRM matters

Tim Pickard
  • AI & Automation is transforming the customer journey
  • Customers require more joined-up service experiences
  • Human Advisors need extra support
  • Traditional contact centre technologies are merging with the Customer Engagement Centre market

By Tim Pickard, Chief Marketing Officer, Sabio Group

TRADITIONALLY customer engagement technologies have been largely polarised – you’ve either been a CRM-led customer engagement operation with a largely silo-ed contact centre, a dedicated service desk style operation, or more contact centre-focused with basic screen pop links or advisors left to source data manually.

But today’s CX teams can no longer afford to remain isolated in their contact centre, service desk or CRM camps.

The pressure for brands to differentiate via their customer experience makes any CX technology decisions taken now even more important. That’s why it’s essential that organisations move quickly to align their technologies so that they’re able to provide a unified, end-to-end customer engagement experience.

How brands manage their customer data is also critical. Technologies such as AI, machine learning and natural language speech recognition are already established within the contact centre and their data is helping to power cross-functional customer data platforms and digital experience platforms.

Implemented in the right way, AI & Automation will provide new ways to free up CX resources and help brands to make more informed decisions – transforming customer journeys into a source of deep insights that ultimately drive a richer experience for customers.

The good news is that some of the key technologies already being put to use in the contact centre world are becoming connected with other parts of the organisation. CPaaS communications platforms and cloud-based contact centre capabilities are increasingly overlapping, making it much easier for CX teams to use APIs and programmable components to build out their next generation customer engagement capabilities. This makes it much easier to add a mix of channels, and power customer journeys across multiple departments. It also opens up access to best-of-breed AI capabilities.

As the lines between contact centres, CRM and AI & Automation blur, there’s a great opportunity for brands to build and deploy the kind of customer engagement ‘sweet spot’ that can really help to differentiate their customer experience.

Next Generation CX Technology – Without Barriers

With the opening up of this next generation CX technology, brands can now work to design their own best practice CX capabilities – but this time without barriers. Some organisations may find that they are better aligned to a CRM-led customer engagement approach, others may want their service desk to drive contact, while many will still prefer a contact centre-led strategy.

None of these approaches are right or wrong, but brands will require CCOs or CXOs in the driving seat to ensure that whatever solution is applied leads directly to a positive impact on their business outcomes and results.

What may prove challenging, however, is in identifying customer engagement technology specialists that are able to demonstrate innovation and capability across Contact Centre, CRM, AI & Automation and CX disciplines.

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