From AI to RPA, discover the terms that define digital customer experience.
Posted January 2, 2019
In today’s digital customer service environment, every touchpoint leaves a lasting impression—and there are a lot of touchpoints to consider. Every time a customer makes a purchase through a mobile app, uses their computer to check receipts or contacts a company with a question or concern through an online service, it affects their opinion of the brand.
If the consumer finds a company’s customer service channels easy to use and genuinely helpful with whatever task they are seeking to complete, they are likely to return. This provides a strong base for customer loyalty and, by extension, corporate growth. But, as long as it can take a brand to endear itself to a customer, just one bad experience can quickly sour their impression and nudge them towards a competitor.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of key digital customer experience terms and definitions that should be top of mind to help improve the customer journey:
- DCX (Digital Customer Experience): The culmination of a customer’s experience in digitally dealing with a corporation. The experience is based in the customer’s perception of their interactions, including efficiency and accessibility.
- Digital Transformation: The process of integrating digital technology into all areas of business and finding solutions to traditional problems using new technology. This transformation enables businesses to continually shift their processes in order to work alongside evolving technology.
- Digital Strategy: The application of digital technologies to business models in an effort to form new, differentiating business capabilities.
- Digital Platform: The tool(s) customers use to interact with a business. This can include tablets, smartphones, desktops, laptop computers and even smart watches.
- UI (User Interface) & UX (User Experience): UI and UX design are the two cruxes that shape a customer’s experience while using a digital platform. UI applies to the layout and design that provides an experience, which appeals to a customer’s vision of a product or service. UX is a process geared towards giving customers a hassle-free, enjoyable experience while purchasing your product or using your service.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence): A computer program that continuously learns and grows as it processes data. AI used in customer service situations assists by quickly proposing solutions to customer issues, researching information and answering queries by referencing keywords.
- SM (State Machine): A computer program where all possible ‘what-if’ situations are programmed directly into the machine’s code. Vending machines are considered to be simplified state machines, where a combination of buttons trigger a specific purchase. In computer programming, state machines are popular for behavior modelling. Early conversational bots were designed in this manner, but were known for leaving customers frustrated if they were searching for information outside of the program’s parameters.
- ML (Machine Learning): A branch of artificial intelligence based on the concept that the program can analyze and learn from data it is provided, recognize and identify patterns and make decisions based on that information with minimal human intervention. This is the cornerstone of all adaptive learning technology.
- RPA (Robotic Process Automation): The process of using AI and machine learning algorithms to perform repeatable or high-volume tasks. These tasks often include answering frequently asked questions, assisting with customer searches, maintaining customer records and performing data calculations.
- Conversational Bots: Also called “chatbots” or simply “bots”, they are adaptive AI programs used heavily in customer service scenarios. Bots can have basic conversations with customers and respond in natural, helpful ways. They can also direct customers to an appropriate human counterpart when they are unable to fulfill a customer’s needs.
- VA (Virtual Assistant): A contract or freelance employee hired by a company to provide administrative assistance remotely, or an entity such as Siri or Alexa, which are voice-activated conversational bots that use data and natural language processing (a branch of AI) to answer questions and interact with humans. These can also be referred to as digital assistants.
- Cloud Contact Center: A digital communication hub for all incoming and outgoing customer communications, hosted on a secure internet server. This enables crucial customer information to be made available from virtually anywhere.
- IoT (Internet of Things): A network of devices using software, sensors, electronics and connectivity that interacts, connects and shares data with one another. This implies adding internet connectivity to traditionally disconnected devices such as household appliances.
- Big Data: Extremely large sets of data which can be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends and associations. Big data is often used to parse and understand patterns related to human behavior and interactions. However, data is collected in such large volumes that a machine or program is required to crunch the numbers.
- Small Data: Provides meaningful and insightful pieces of information (often derived from big data calculations or captured in one-on-one conversations) and is packaged in an accessible and relatable way so that it can be easily understood.
- Service Economy: Nearly every product today has some sort of service component (new subscription models, transportation-as-a-service, e.g.). Managing the way customers perceive the services attached to their purchases can offer as much value to the customer as the products themselves.
- Service Commodity Goods Continuum: A continuum with pure service at one endpoint and pure commodity goods at the other endpoint that illustrates the idea that all products fall somewhere on this indistinct line. This concept also helps convey the differences between services and commodities, mainly that goods are normally structural, can be transferred in an instant and can be returned, whereas services are delivered over a period of time and once delivered cannot be ‘returned.’
With a better understanding of the key factors comprised within the digital customer experience, you’ll be more prepared to utilize the tools at your disposal to provide customers with the best digital customer service possible.