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September 5, 2018

A wave of new cognitive and automation capabilities is enabling leading companies to radically transform their customer experience — at a lower cost. The volume of customer information companies now possess is huge. Today, a brand can not only know what customers have purchased, but also the when, where, why, and in combination with what other purchases or life events.

Thanks to more widely available (and affordable) automated intelligent systems, companies can analyze streams of customer data to gain critical insights and transform both the purchase and post-sale customer experience. In fact, businesses can now seize the Holy Grail of customer experience: giving customers what they want before they know they want it.

So far, the bulk of digital transformation efforts have focused on increasing operational efficiencies and cutting costs. But businesses can now apply intelligent automation to wow buyers throughout the customer life cycle, from selection and sales, to ongoing use, to customer service and support.

These new capabilities can elevate customer experience processes in ways that strengthen the companies’ top and bottom lines, not only by reducing costs, but by providing proactive customer support that boosts loyalty, wallet share, and revenue while collecting data to guide future product design.

We have identified six ways in which intelligent automation can improve customer experience.

1.     Intelligently automating

Companies can begin by determining how they might leverage intelligent automation both in manufacturing as well as throughout the product lifecycle. They should also think about how they can combine product usage, maintenance, customer transaction, and service data to elevate customer experience, thereby driving loyalty and ensuring enduring revenue streams in the future.

2.     Preventing breakdowns

Predictive maintenance, enabled by IoT, is a revolutionary app for intelligent automation. Global spending in this area is predicted to grow from $2.2 billion in 2017 to $10.9 billion by 2022, according to market researcher - IoT Analytics.

Otis Elevator, for example, uses smart sensors to gather information from its more than 300,000 elevators and escalators in service, alerting building owners and the firm’s 33,000 service technicians when the machines are at a risk of breaking down.

3.     Fixing problems

Companies can take smart maintenance a step further by fixing products remotely, just like smartphone apps update themselves. Many automobile brands (led today by Tesla) receive “over the air” updates to fix faulty software or upgrade features.

4.     Eliminate and improve

Eliminate recurring product issues. Intelligent automation can help companies pinpoint problems with products in the field, and fix design flaws in future updates or product generations. Sensor analytics solution provider KONUX’s cloud-based AI system continuously monitors sensor data to detect anomalies and improve system performance, offering recommendations for extending asset life cycles.

Improve product usage. Companies can employ intelligent automation to help customers get greater value from their purchases, as sensors can monitor how they use them, while AI can advise on how to improve their usage. Agribusiness giant Cargill, for example, offers an IoT-enabled spectrometer to help dairy farmers analyze the forage their cows eat, enabling the farmers to make better decisions in real time.

5.     Supercharging field

Intelligent automation can complement the capabilities of human agents and repair personnel with automated advisers that walk them through the best solutions to customer problems. Tetra Pad, which makes food processing and packaging systems, delivers work instructions and guidance via a mobile app with augmented reality.

6.     Enabling Do-It-Yourself

Using remote diagnostics, AI and other technologies, companies can empower customers to solve their own problems. Computer and printer maker HP, for one, has developed a chatbot, a virtual intelligent agent, that helps customers diagnose and solve hardware problems while it learns (and improves) from each exchange.

The resulting customer experience improvements (at a time when products and services are increasingly commoditized) are likely to produce greater and more enduring values. Applying intelligent automation with a Machine First™ approach, harnessing the power of technologies, can create new and innovative ways of engagement and services leading to customer delight. Who wouldn’t want happier customers and fast-paced growth?

Read Taking a Machine FirstTM Approach to Digital Transformation to find out how intelligent automation can drive a Business 4.0 journey.


PR Krishnan is the Executive Vice President & Global Head, Enterprise Intelligent Automation at TCS. In his current role, he defines how emerging and disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, smart automation, machine learning and cognitive thinking can solve complex business challenges. Over 35 years, he has worked with more than 600 TCS customers, helping them adopt transformative digital business models that use the latest advancements in data center, network infrastructure and cloud technologies. In his previous role at TCS, he was the Global Head of IT Infrastructure Services unit. Krishnan holds a master's degree in Instrumentation Engineering.



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