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Santha Subramoni
Heads Cyber Security Unit ,TCS.

The buzz is all about reimagining the customer journey. But how do you realize the reimagined customer journey. As consumers and customers ourselves what we want is a seamless experience. I want to be able to raise a request at any time of the day even outside of so called business hours, from anywhere possibly where I don’t immediately have a network connection and still get an instant response with a number I can track or which gets tracked for me. Even if I get dropped or suddenly lose internet which happens all the time, I don’t want to repeat everything all over again and a call back would be nice.

Rather than being judged by my prime, elite etc. status, I would like to be able to judge the service I am getting.

What does the customer want and what organization need to do?

Very simply the following is what the customer wants:

  • Reach out: Always available and always on customer service – Systems need to be reimagine or packaged in such a way that they can respond to the customer even outside fair human support hours. Emails need to be responsive and intelligent, many of the request for assistance need to be self-service based, and more intelligent IVR and chat based systems enabled. All in all the customer touchpoints need to be able to process a First Time Right experience

  • Interact with ease: Every interaction should get a 5 star rating from the customer. This needs to be enabled by having immediate access to the available data about the customer, knowing their interaction history, understanding their sentiments and overall making everything easy for them. Handoffs between channels and between the handlers and wait time is not appreciated by customers at large. This translates into faster access to customer information, intelligence to be able to under customer intent and to have lot of alternative course of actions available and to select the best one by situation

  • To be acknowledged: Acknowledging a customer connect is by far most important in the customer journey. An automated but intelligent response with a possible call for action is what is needed. A notification is also an acknowledgement. Keeping the customer informed of the status. This requires ability to have a single orchestrated view of the customer request or service at any given point

  • To be recognized and remembered: Getting the name wrong or not knowing the relevant information of the customer is just not done. Customer delight goes beyond just the name – likes/dislikes, habits and preferences. Customer 360 view and data analysis is required to ensure the insights and experience

  • SME experience with every interaction – be it a machine or human – the person handling the interaction needs to be the best. Enterprises need to ensure that both man and machine are equally equipped and knowledgeable to process the service. The right action, right offer right response would be enabled only if the right information is available digitally and right time

Pega provides the right means and methods

The consistent them in delivering a seamless customer journey is automation and intelligence. Like with transformation programs – starting right is important. Starting right but keeping it simple is also important.

Hardwired bots that do the straight forward things like responding with a interaction id or more intelligent bots that understand your issue from a text and respond or actually action like get a substitute ordered or have your car picked up. The crux here is the immediate response.

We also need intelligent systems backing up the channels that recognize a customer like visual IVR or currently prevalent voice biometric and also record and leverage the conversation for future or for picking up a dropped conversation. Other data ingestion and imaging techniques read digital, semi structured and unstructured formats to automate receiving, processing and sending without losing precious time. The real time analytics, sentiment analysis and next best action ensures that the conversations with customer are contextual and empathetic.

The nirvana stage is where people supported by machine learning and AI are able to actually handle touch points of the customer journey without needing so called experience or subject matter expertise. So anyone can be an SME with a little help.

Pega’s suite of products for process automation and AI enable much of above by providing the right tools and frameworks as foundation blocks. From enabling orchestrated view and processing via the core case management system to an intelligent desktop via the customer service portal. Multiple and cross channel handoffs are realized via Pega’s multi-browser support, IVR integration, virtual assistant and Pega mobile. Pega enables transactions to be automated via bots as well as adding intelligence to the bots and processes via the Next best Action technology. The multitude of functions be it co-browse or sentiment analytics completes the experience for the customer and the agent. The frameworks or applications for specific business processes like collections, disputes, new customer onboarding, KYC provide the front to back automation ability. And the always on brain in the real time and adaptive analytics and Work Force Intelligence technology ensure that the processes are self-learning.

As an ending note and a Pega solutions provider, I would want to see more capabilities added to Pega’s roadmap that will include imaging, more intelligent voice integration, character recognition and AI aligned to industry trends – supporting deep and general AI.

This is the foundation. There are so many things we can do. But this is what is absolutely needed in today’s world with less time, even lesser patience, more angst and the work life balance amidst all.

AI helps in mindshare ,wallet share and market share by providing empathy and intuition in experience

It is important to break down enterprise GTM view into lower level customer journeys. This can be expanded to include other ecosystems like Vendors , employees , institutions so that the transformation is holistic while being incremental

  • Every journey outcome needs to be measurable and the AI intervention need to bring multifold increase in that outcome to justify ROI

  • All the data crunching that goes into AI needs to be focused to identify what can be dome help the customer rather than what be done to sell more

  • This approach will incrementally transform front office , back office , data services and analytics journey by journey, product by product

  • It is important to identify what foundation technologies are required to be present in the enterprise for above

  • Enterprise also need to be able to have an ecosystem of experimentation, analysis and upgrading an experiment into a pilot and then scale basis ROI.

About the author(s)
Santha Subramoni
Heads Cyber Security Unit ,TCS.

Santha has 23 years of industry experience and held key roles spanning across multiple areas with experience in setting and scaling technology and business solutions practices from ground up with responsibilities that include Practice revenue growth, solutions, profitability and customer engagement across the stakeholder spectrum.

Currently Santha Heads Cyber Security Unit ,TCS.

Specialties: Cyber Defense Technologies, Managed Security Services, Cognitive Security Technologies, Security Platforms, Automation and Business Transformations

Prior to this role, Santha was Global Head, Intelligent Process Automation Segment for EIA unit.

Santha has a B Tech. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Kerala University.