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Digital Customer Strategy

2018 will see the digital age of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing arrive and it will up-end the market, drastically altering every customer experience across all industries. All CX practitioners need a plan for how they are going to adapt – or face getting left behind in the analogue dust. Or, more than likely, 2018 is going to be less dramatic. All of the research and data suggests that at least 50% of Tier 1 organisations are already at the beginning/planning phase of their AI journey. And that by 2020, 65+% of organisations anticipate their AI operations will be up and “running”. Whilst data presented like this is factually correct – it does not really reflect what is going to happen to real-world customer experiences. Yes, 2018 will see a range of new AI based channels opening up across all of our well-known brands (Banks, Telcos, Insurance, Government agencies, etc..). And a ‘choice’ of channels is great for CX – but these new choices are exactly that – customer choices. Not all customers will adopt these new channels all or even some of the time. Traditional channels for many customers will still be their primary choice, whether this be due to comfort, ease or that they only trust their traditional channels. Over time as more of us become comfortable with these new AI channels and they prove to be able to satisfy our enquiries, they will absolutely begin to reduce traditional channel volumes. However, I am pretty certain that 2018 is going to be a blip on the radar – not a paradigm shift for the AI channels. So, what is the real message here? I believe 2018 should all be about ‘equilibrium’ – organisations must find the right balance between their new super sexy AI chatbots and their traditional channels that many of us will still rely on. This balance needs to still empower businesses to investigate and offer new ways of engaging with your customers but not at the expense of ignoring or neglecting your traditional channels. Customer choice means that I should get a Great CX no matter the channel I choose.


Scott McMillan

Head of Strategy and Innovation

Exceed Global


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