Future of Customer Engagement: Key Trends to Watch in 2017

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In the early 1980s, children at a school in Nicaragua did something remarkable: they spontaneously created a language. Brought together for the first time in a school for deaf children, they had no shared sign language and so they developed their own.

The result, ISN (Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua), is a grammatically complex, expressive language that speaks to our natural need to engage with others. Those children created a way to share, learn and converse with each other because that’s what humans do.

Remember the last time you chatted with a good friend: it’s likely that your conversation felt natural, easy. Now compare it with the last time you booked movie tickets or spoke to your bank over the phone. You probably felt frustrated by an unintuitive voice menu or by a voice recognition system that, you’d swear, was set up for a language other than your own.

This is the customer engagement paradox. Conversing with other humans is easy, but because human conversations rely on things that are hard to standardize or teach to computers – context, nuance, cognitive ability – our interactions with businesses and software are often underwhelming.

But that is changing. Cloud-based communications providers are innovating faster than traditional equipment manufacturers and artificial intelligence is finally at a place where we can have comfortable voice interactions with computers.  Both of those technologies are changing the way companies engage with their customers.

For 2017, we see those advancements in communications and artificial intelligence fueling three key trends:

  • Contextual communication: contact between a customer and company is driven by the context in which it was initiated.
  • Omnichannel conversations: the interactions between a customer and a company become a continuous conversation regardless of which channel is used for each interaction.
  • Human plus: as AI becomes more useful, bots will support the conversations we have with humans.

Read the source article at Contact Center Solutions.