Genesys Xperience – My Perspectives on CX and DX
We’re all consumers, and while we know good customer service when we see it, we don’t think of it in terms of CX or DX – customer experience or digital experience. Maybe that’s a good thing, and it’s probably better if we leave that for the contact center vendors to worry about. Based on all the recent industry events I’ve tracked in this space, they’re plenty worried about it. For good reason, though, as these technologies hold great promise for the holy grail that all businesses are after – improving customer service.
To illustrate, Genesys is so focused on these things that their big industry event last week was called Xperience, and one of their main announcements was the launch of Genesys DX. For this post, I’m going to put my consumer hat aside and provide an analyst perspective on two takeaways – Genesys DX and why CEO Tony Bates talked about his mum.
Takeaway 1 – Genesys DX: immediate and empathetic customer engagement
Before explaining the juxtaposition of these two terms, Genesys DX is a new, standalone platform that serves as an overlay to their Cloud CX and Multicloud CX platforms. All contact center vendors are ramping up their AI capabilities to automate customer service and provide more personalized interactions. Genesys DX blends the company’s existing AI portfolio – such as what they got with Altocloud in 2018 – with their Bold 360 acquisition, which closed last month.
For contact centers, the focus is on elevating customer service from transactional to conversational. Bold 360 brings natural language understanding – NLU – to chatbots that use conversational AI to understand intent, extending self-service further than before, and optimizing the use of live agents. Being AI-based, Genesys DX is constantly engaged across all communications channels, always learning and always improving. Being cloud-based, this model can scale, and that’s what contact centers need to handle today’s higher traffic volumes.
Another element that can easily be overlooked is how Genesys DX is built to work across all business units – not just the contact center, but Sales and Marketing, where customer interactions are quite different. Each has different context when it comes to understanding what customers want, but the common thread is that they’re all using digital channels and having digital customer experiences – hence the DX moniker.
So, how does “immediate” and “empathetic” fit together here? These seem like unusual terms when talking about CX, but they are core to the Genesys DX product promise. Instant gratification has been hard-wired to the North American psyche for decades, but add to that the heightened anxiety we’ve all had during the pandemic. More than ever before, customers want their answers now, and there’s a case to be made that many prefer service that’s faster rather than accurate. I don’t understand that mentality, and I probably wouldn’t fare well working in a contact center.
That aside, by pulling data from all communications channels and all lines of business, Genesys DX provides a centralized knowledge base where information can be retrieved and accessed at wire speed. Aside from digital channels being always-on for customers to use at any time, engagement happens right away, so customers aren’t left waiting in a long queue or being told they’ll get a call back in 30-45 minutes.
Not only that, but with a rich knowledge base to draw from, agents – and chatbots – can have deeper engagement with customers, showing the empathy needed that turns good CX into great CX. Circling back to my earlier comment, this aligns with the idea of making customer interactions less transactional, and more conversational.
Takeaway 2 – Why is Tony Bates talking about his mum?
This is a good example of a simple, passing reference saying a lot. One of the first things Tony Bates mentioned in his keynote was that digital experiences have become so common during the pandemic that even his mum is having them. Ease of use has always been the key for mass adoption of technology, and during 2020 video applications like Zoom showed just how quickly this can happen.
There’s a bigger story, though, that goes beyond adopting digital communication tools like video, webchat, SMS, etc. Digital channels are an important part of the story, especially for the contact centers, as they have become the preferred mode of engagement for many customers, and that’s a key driver for Genesys DX.
However, beyond communication, our entire world is becoming digital, touching everything we do. We’ve been trending that way for years – think e-commerce and online shopping – but the pandemic took things to another level overnight. During 2020 we had to go touchless, and that gave rise to doing just about everything in new ways, especially digitally – think groceries, banking, healthcare, government services, education, etc.
All of this is new, and we’re learning as we go – not just consumers, but technology companies as well. CX has been reinvented around this new reality, and the more recent term – DX - reflects that. With so much change, there’s a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, and from there, it’s not hard to see why empathy is now so integral to CX. The notion of “I know how you feel, we’re all going through this” seems universal, especially when you consider that the contact center agents that house-bound, stir-crazy customers are talking to are in the same boat themselves. Nobody signed up for this, but this is where we are in 2021.
Aside from the rise of digital communications and digital experiences, all companies have had to adapt to these changes, and each one has a story to tell. During Xperience, three companies were showcased in that light on a roundtable session. Led by John Hernandez, EVP and GM for Genesys Multicloud, this session brought perspectives from Whirlpool, AT&T Business and Vodafone. What I found so interesting here were the specific challenges faced by each customer in their business during the pandemic, and the role digital technology has played.
Dan Schulte from Whirlpool talked about how heavily they rely on data – from their customers and their products – to improve CX. Their products in particular are the core appliances that people run their homes with, making them “essential services”. With so many people working from home now, these appliances become even more essential, and he talked about “oh no” moments where agents could empathize about how important those appliances were to keep customer households running.
Joerg Knoop of Vodafone explained that with work from home, their German subscribers needed a different broadband experience. Their offerings were generally built to support downstream traffic, but with workplace needs, upstream capabilities now needed to be higher. By providing 50 Mbps service both ways, customers now have better digital experiences, and as a result, they’ve had higher CSAT scores. As another service provider, Paul Rosenbaum from AT&T talked about how the pandemic led them to innovate, both to offer new services and finding new ways to support customers.
To wrap up, today’s “experience economy” is clearly being driven and shaped by digital technologies. While it’s too early to tell if Genesys DX will be a game-changer, during Xperience, Genesys did a great job showcasing the various forms that DX takes. It’s probably more extensive than most people realize, but if Tony’s mum is happy, then Genesys must be doing something right.