Michael Pace, an Incoming Call Management Institute (ICMI) leader, is passionate about helping companies create customer service environments, journeys, and actions that help make their customers more successful. I recently caught up with Michael who shared his thoughts on today’s customer experience, digital transformation, and the customer's experience revolution.
Michael Pace’s Thoughts on Digital Transformation
Q: How will Artificial Intelligence (AI) affect the customer experience (CX) and customer service generally?
AI will continue to be the buzzword and reality for CX and Customer Service for at least the next 5 -10 years. Early on, we should expect to see the rise of “bots”. Organizations are already using AI-driven bots to assist with answers on chat and social media channels such as Facebook Messenger. Next, you will see more companies using AI to provide real-time conversational guidance and analytics on all channels used by customer service teams. Think of them as “digital coaches” for agents. Future AI applications will include workforce management and routing for contact centers. In addition, machine learning – the process of teaching a computer system how to make accurate predictions with data it is provided – will usher in the ability to elevate the customer experience by providing predictive preventative service.
Q: How will these technologies affect telecommunications?
I believe the next big trend is already happening, under the moniker, “Digital Transformation”. In fact, according to analysts at Gartner, two-thirds of CEO’s have transformation plans as among their top in their top 2019 and 2020 priorities. These company executives know they need to modernize their data analytics, create scalability and efficiency, and utilize advanced technologies to connect ever more closely with their customers. Moving to and coupling cloud services are the jump companies will need to make to stay relevant. You will see move standalone corporate data center infrastructure moved to shared cloud locations provided by Amazon Web Service and Microsoft Azure, among others. You will see more companies leveraging SAAS companies for their customer service tools. And you will continue to see more companies moving to CCAAS models for their contact centers.
Q: How will moving to the cloud help companies revolutionize the customer experience?
As a customer experience consultant, I probably get asked about contact centers moving to the cloud more than any other technical project or program. Many companies still have very reliable “on-premises” telephony equipment, and hear about the cloud or communications as a service (CaaS), but don’t understand all of the benefits. Typically, I will ask them a simple question, “How many update releases are you behind on your current telephony software?”. The common answer is roughly two. And then they sigh at the effort the release imposed on the organization. Cloud telephony systems upgrade with each release your provider pushes out, ensuring you have the latest feature set. Many times, cloud services come up for conversation when company business or technology leaders are looking to add to their current telephony system. Adding to traditional on-premises systems is often a large-scale integration project. Sometimes it is actually easier to just move the entire system to the cloud. As more companies realize the vast amount of customer data conducted through telephony systems, they are going to want access and systems that can more easily supply that information.
Michael Pace is foremost a proud father. In addition, the is also the owner of The Pace of Services and the President of the North East Contact Centre Forum. Starting with a solid foundation of Culture, the Best Talent, Process Management, the Right Technology, and Data Insights, he constructs the pillars of a customer experience strategy for contact centers or customer care teams, to help deliver awe-inspiring experiences. To learn more about Michael follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.