Global enterprises and organisations can utilise 5G as a foundation for improving the customer experience. Here is how the experts will provide you with some practical steps that you can take to prepare your organisation for the 5G power, the future of customer engagement, and share some insights into the transformational power of conversational engagement of AI services.
Kelsey Ziser, Senior Editor at Light Reading in conversation with Manar Alazma, Vice President, Product Management (Customer Experience AI) at Nuance Communications and Dan Valcour, Director Platform and Solution Architecture at Nuance Communications.
What do you anticipate will be the area of focus for 5G experience?
Manar Alazma: I think analytics is going to be a huge component that 5G will enable. Mobile edge computing which 5G enables is a part of its architecture that lets you put workloads of capabilities at the edge of the network bringing us closer to the customers. If you think about the real-time analytics capabilities, we need to react to the customers' needs and make it much more immediate and actionable.
Dan Valcour: Nuance Architectural Transformation and Cloud Natives Architecture have enhanced our capability to curate and aggravate the real-time data from the experiences that we provide through our platform. We are seeing real revolution insights that we can enlist from our platforms, whether they are live, written, or spoken engagement. So, cloud-native technology is helping streamline analytics and backend knowledge.
What do you think is driving the need for 5G not only in telecom but also across all the industries?
Manar Alazma: 5G is much more than a high network speed. It provides ultra-low latency, enables IT applications, and provides an architecture that enables a whole new set of services. AI and 5G are accelerating Digital Transformation. 5G is a mobile technology first and foremost and multiply that with the impact of AI and the result will be transformational.
For instance, in financial services, 5G has enabled immersive remote advisory services to have video and augmented working together. In retail, real-time analytics is a massive component of e-commerce.
Dan Valcour: We are putting our engagement AI deep in the communication fabric of 5G is transformational. Brands and other industries can benefit from AI being at the core of the communication network.
What are the benefits of 5G in improving engagement with customers, partners, and employees?
Dan Valcour: AI is a solution that will feed in both - the end customers and the employees - interacting with customers by making real-time data available for better solutions. Because this communication fabric is so rich, in the future, it opens the door for numerous opportunities like real-time video, text support video, etc. This is going to bloom in the coming times.
Manar Alazma: Adding to this, I think AI is making both customers’ and agents' lives very simple.
What aspect of customer experience are you most excited about?
Manar Alazma: I think from brands’ as well as consumers’ perspective, the starting point is automation because everybody wants self-service. Foreseeing what consumers want before they run into a problem makes prediction critical. Next, from data, we know personalised engagement yields better results.
Dan Valcour: I’d like to add a fourth aspect of security because it feels uncomfortable if personalisation happens without any authentication or identification. Nuances is strong with its AI sites, biometric behaviour, fraud detection, etc.
How AI and 5G are used to improve customer engagement?
Manar Alazma: Part of 5G is architecturally getting AI stat right into your data centre and link it to all the knowledge sources in your enterprises and then build your automation capability on it. Digital transformation and automation is a key component of that. Brands are always thinking about increasing the level of automation and getting their customers to leverage it whenever they need to purchase a product. If you want customers to use digital media, give them a great experience.
For example, Apple Business Chat has an option where when you call a phone number of a brand, and the user will get a pop-up to either proceed with the call or chat with a virtual assistant. Another great example is when you’re in a queue to speak to a customer representative of a brand, you can leave a voice message that will be automatically transferred to an agent that can solve the problem or contact the user via digital channel or message.
What are some challenges and best practices in utilising AI in 5G to improve customer engagement?
Dan Valcour: In terms of challenges, it is about understanding the relationship between customer engagement and 5G because the current mindset is that 5G is faster in terms of speed or has better bandwidth without thinking about the newness that comes along with 5G. One of the things that accelerated with 5G is RCS as a universal messaging client which is a new way of looking at this communication fabric. It is everything - voice, messaging, rich text, trans mobile conversation.
Manar Alazma: First is prioritization - clarity of channel you want your customer on, whether web, app, or a social media channel. Second, automation over the channels and maintaining consistency across all of them, i.e. singular omnichannel tool like Nuance Mix. The third is leveraging agent coach capability through AI to provide the best experience. Once the transaction is complete, you need to think about a virtual circle of customer engagement like follow up.
Do you think 5G will be the demise of voice?
Dan Valcour: No. Humans like to communicate primarily with voice. Technologies with which we are familiar today like calling at call centre call or IVR are dead. The best part is people are good at adapting to technologies, and those transmodal interactions will become important with voice being at the centre of it. Therefore, the voice will always be a primary medium for human communication.
As the global race to 5G advances, enterprises will need to continue their digital transformation journeys. The three key takeaways for any organisation looking to make an impact are:
- Every customer interaction should be frictionless, personalised, and automated.
- Deploying emerging CX applications that can easily integrate into enterprise systems, providing the ability to anticipate potential problems and orchestrate customer outreach is a best practice.
- Personalised, right-time engagement becomes paramount.