customer engagement video

3 Key Trends Shaping Customer Engagement

Published May 12, 2017 by Glen Kunene

In this Communications in Context video segment, Head of Platform Marketing Francisco Kattan identifies three emerging trends in communications and artificial intelligence (AI) that will shape the future of customer engagement. (To read the full transcript, scroll below the video.)

3 Key Trends Shaping Customer Engagement (Full Transcript)

Francisco Kattan, Head of Platform Marketing at Nexmo: Yeah. So, as I wrote in the article, we see three important trends in customer engagement. One is contextual communications. And this means that the contact between customers and companies is driven by the context in which the interaction was initiated, such as why you may be contacting the company or maybe what device you’re on.

The next trend we see is omnichannel conversations. And here the idea is that the interactions between the customer and a company become a continuous conversation, regardless of which channel is used for each interaction. So, for example, if a brand sends you a message about a package delivery and you decide to call the company back, then the contact center agent should know that you are calling about that package delivery.

And the third one that we see is what we call human plus. And here the idea is that artificial intelligence becomes more useful, and bots actually support the conversations that we have with human agents rather than replace those agents. So the combination of a live agent plus the power of artificial intelligence will make for better conversations that improve customer service and make agents more productive.

“the combination of a live agent plus the power of artificial intelligence will make for better conversations”

Glen Kunene, Editor-in-Chief, Content Marketing at Nexmo: That’s an interesting point you made about AI enhancing and making agents more productive rather than replacing them, because I think that’s maybe a fear that’s out there about AI becoming so advanced that human beings are no longer needed.

FK: Totally, yes. No, we think it augments the human interaction. And it makes it more relevant. It makes it more interesting and more productive and actually more natural, as well.

GK: Okay, great. And so what’s fueling these trends as you see it? And why do you believe they’ll be so impactful, because you identified three among a lot of different developments going on in communications?

FK: So, these trends are being fueled by the need of companies to provide a better experience for customers and also, frankly, by the recent advancements in technology. Specifically, we think cloud communication platforms, artificial intelligence.

So if we look at cloud communication providers, we see that they are making faster progress. They’re innovating faster than traditional equipment vendors. And because their capabilities are now available as API building blocks rather than just packaged applications, companies are able to more rapidly innovate. And then with artificial intelligence, we think that AI is now at a point where most consumers are comfortable having conversations with computers. And so that’s fueling that trend as well. So, these advancements, we believe, will have the most impact in B2C-type industries, especially the ones that are experiencing the most intense competition and where improving the customer experience is critical to retaining customers.

I’d say, for example, industries that are being disrupted by the digital natives, such as financial services, transportation, travel and hospitality, and retail, to start, these companies need to defend their customers from the digital natives that are disrupting them. But over time, we see every industry adopting these same trends.

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