Customer Experience

The Role of Omnichannel in Creating Modern Customer Experiences

2 May, 2018

Adrian McDermott, President of Product Development at Zendesk, talked about how to best reduce complexity and build trust into the customer experience.

“I want to talk about modern customer expectations and how we build tools, processes, and journeys to address those,” stated McDermott at the outset of his thought leadership presentation at the 2018 Customer Experience Leadership Forum held on April 17 in Chicago. “In the last few years, there’s been an emphasis on reducing customer effort. The idea was to build experiences, map customer journeys, and think about how we can make it easier for people to get the information they’re looking for and, in particular, create experiences where repetition is removed,” he said.

“In 2015, Gartner stated that 89% of companies believed that customer experience will be their primary basis for competition for those companies or brands. We used to believe the product or service was the primary differentiator,” McDermott noted.

“Improving customer experience comes down to reducing complexity and increasing trust and simplicity. Complexity drives away trust.” Building modern customer experience involves:

  • Offering seamless omnichannel experiences
  • Capturing the customer behind the analytics
  • Applying a growth mindset to support
  • Embracing artificial intelligence—in particular, to remove friction

Improving customer experience comes down to reducing complexity and increasing trust and simplicity. Complexity drives away trust.”

“Consumers express channel preferences, and they want to be served on those preferred channels. However, two considerations influence what channel works best—the complexity of the question and the answer, and the urgency of the conversation. Telephone conversations are high-value and high-touch, but they’re also high-cost, so you don’t want to drive every interaction into that channel,” he said,

“We hear a lot about big data. The main characteristic of big data is that it’s machine-generated data that’s used to target as well as to summarize build-learnings. The ultimate customer record now is this stream of data that customers emit as they use a mobile product, look at a website, and have digital and real-world experiences. Those can be captured. The challenge of today’s and tomorrow’s designers of customer journeys is to somehow harness and summarize this data to make smarter decisions about the next best action, the best channel to interact with, and that kind of thing,” he explained.

“The ultimate customer record now is this stream of data that customers emit as they use a mobile product, look at a website, and have digital and real-world experiences.

McDermott noted that both Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos advocated finding out what the customer wants and then building the technology or service to address that.

An article in 2017 MIT Technology and Genesys stated that 91% of companies with world-leading brand recognition and high levels of customer satisfaction used AI solutions to increase customer satisfaction. “AI uses data to do pattern matching and make decisions. My company thinks of AI in three categories—automation, recommendation, and prediction. Automation removes repetitive work, and recommendation informs decisions that humans make. For example, said McDermott, by looking at every incoming ticket and every article in the knowledge base and seeing where the gaps are, a recommendation is made regarding what article should be written. Prediction spots trends that humans can’t see to generate an expected satisfaction outcome.

McDermott concluded by saying, “For all of the joy of artificial intelligence in doing things, you can’t beat people for making connections between brand and consumer

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's 2019 Customer Experience Leadership Forum: Beyond Satisfaction, Building Loyalty in New York, NY on Mar 12, 2019

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