In April, I attended Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience (CX) 2018 in Chicago. By the time I boarded my flight home, my notebook was filled with insights, takeaways from breakout sessions, a list of tech tools that can help my clients run better companies, and much more. Throughout the three-day event, I noticed a common theme was how technology is empowering businesses, large and small, to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
1. The technology revolution has arrived – Today’s world is connected more than ever before. Now, it’s just as easy to speak with someone in India as it is in Indiana. From augmented reality to blockchain to big data and more, innovative technologies are being introduced almost daily—and we’re doing everything possible to keep up with the pace of change. As I walked the conference show floor, I heard from Oracle partners about their new products disrupting industries for the better. I also watched demonstrations on how to use big data to enhance customer experience in every type of business—from retail to healthcare. What we’ve been calling “the future” of technology is here, with customer expectations still one step ahead. It’s up to companies to make sure they don’t fall behind.
2. Artificial intelligence is coming, and it’s not a bad thing – When I ask business owners about artificial intelligence (AI), they often respond with, “you mean the robots that are going to take away jobs from humans?” The reality is AI will do more to supplement or complement the work being done by humans. I saw firsthand how Pepper the Robot can handle simple, mundane customer tasks, which can then free up a company’s resources to create personalized interactions, address complicated inquiries, and focus on the bigger picture within the business. Entrepreneurial companies looking for a competitive advantage, along with running more cost-efficient businesses, are researching AI tools within their industries today. My advice is for your company to do the same.
3. Despite tech innovations, don’t forget that we still live in a human world – Bryan Kramer gave an informative, educational workshop to remind business owners of the importance of creating and nurturing a human-to-human (H2H) customer experience. He talked about companies embracing their mistakes and imperfections with humor and sincerity to reinforce relationships with customers. AI and other advanced technology will definitely play an important role in allowing businesses to run more effectively, but the personalization and customization offered by H2H relationships will be a company’s competitive advantage and their unique selling proposition.
The best part of attending Modern Customer Experience for me was seeing their technology in action. Now, I can share what I learned with my small- and midsize-business clients so that they’re prepared for what’s already here, as well as what’s ahead.