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Big Ideas from the Big Easy: Top 5 Takeaways from Customer Contact Week

Abby Jacobs
January 26, 2018

This week, Appian joined industry leaders, big thinkers and hundreds of attendees at IQPC-Customer Contact Week (CCW) in New Orleans. This marks the first time that Appian has participated in the CCW event, which serves more than 3,000 attendees annually as a major venue for showcasing technology and digital trends that will shape the future of the contact center industry.

Here are the top takeaways from the CCW event:

    • Omnichannel is no longer a feature, it's a requirement.

    With advancements in omnichannel engagement, businesses need to identify how to achieve a seamless customer experience across an ever-broadening scope of communication channels. Unstructured data paired with growing communication channels challenges today's businesses. If they can't leverage an omnichannel approach, their transformation efforts may as well be dead in the water.

    "The weakest omni-channel brands only retain 33% of their customers vs. 90% for the strongest." -Terry Jones (Founder, Travelocity/Kayak)

    • Customer experience is the product.

    Traditionally, when faced with growing competition, businesses would look to differentiate themselves through price or product quality. Today, the customer experience is as much a part of the product as the good or service itself. So what's the ideal product customers are seeking? Rewarding experiences that lead to long-lasting relationships with a business.
    • Creating an emotional connection is greater than customer satisfaction.

    In a recent Harvard Business Review study, it was found that in order to cultivate customer value, having an emotional connection matters more than customer satisfaction. Automation capabilities like AI and machine learning can deliver emotional scores and provide real-time coaching to cultivate a stronger connection between agents and customers.

    "Design with deep customer empathy and serve the customer, not the project." - Geeta Wilson (VP of Customer Experience, Humana)

    • Automation empowers agents but don't let shiny objects distract from process objectives.

    AI, RPA, machine learning, IoT and other new and emerging technologies can empower human agents to deliver intelligent and exceptional customer service, but enterprises should prioritize process above all. Decision makers are often seduced by the latest and greatest technologies without first understanding their process weaknesses. Businesses need to understand the gaps first and then seek out the technology capabilities to solve them.
    • Transformation is never-ending.

    When it comes to digital transformation there is no final destination, it's continuous. As soon as we figure out how to answer "what's next," it's already here and on the heels of disrupting current business processes. Now more than ever, enterprise organizations need to embrace an agile approach and cultivate a continuous feedback loop to stay competitive.

    "The pace of change has never been this fast and it will never be this slow again." - Johnny Russo (Associate Vice President, ECommerce and Digital Marketing, Mark's)

With seamless multi-channel integration and intelligent automation, the debut of the Appian Digital Transformation Platform at CCW lived up to expectations for big ideas in the big easy.