DCX Links

Oct 10, 2022

A compilation of all the industry news, ideas, and insights links to date

Edition #66

Check into the future: Hotels are getting an upgrade - The Hustle

In the 2030s, hotel experiences will be transformed with automation, customization, and differentiation. Hotels will prioritize sustainability and become more responsible employers. Advanced technology such as VR and 3D glasses will enable customers to look into different room options before booking.

Gen AI in high gear: Mercedes-Benz leverages the power of ChatGPT | McKinsey

Mercedes-Benz is the first automotive manufacturer to implement generative AI (gen AI) into their vehicles, with a beta program involving over 900,000 users. On the podcast "Drivers of Disruption", Mercedes-Benz's CEO Philipp Skogstad and McKinsey's Ben Ellencweig discuss the potential of gen AI for the automotive sector, including opportunities for repair and diagnosis, sales, personalized marketing, and R&D, as well as potential risks associated with using gen AI.

Edition #65

Everybody hates GM’s decision to kill Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for its EVs - The Verge

GM's new electric vehicle won't have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, causing backlash from consumers. They're developing their own software platform, Ultifi, to keep up with the industry's tech transformation in the EV era.

Hume - The AI toolkit to understand emotional expression and align technology with human well-being.

ui illustration

Edition #64

32 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know for 2024 (superoffice.com)

why invest in customer experience

Customer experience is now the number one priority for businesses, with the potential to double revenue. This is because customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, and 86% of buyers are willing to pay a price premium for luxury and indulgence services. To provide a positive customer experience, companies need to invest in customer feedback collection and provide a consistent experience across all channels, both online and offline.

Customer Experience Is Everyone’s Responsibility (hbr.org)

Companies must create cross-functional relationships and use feedback from customers to create a great customer experience. This is difficult in today's digital-first world, where customers interact with companies in various ways.

Engaged Employees Create Better Customer Experiences (hbr.org)

Investing in employee experience (EX) can benefit customer experience (CX). Companies should connect employees and customers, integrate journey maps, and identify pain points that affect the customer.

Edition #63

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas: Meet one of the minds behind one of the most delirious, mind-boggling vessels ever made. (slate.com)

A ridiculously massive cruise ship labeled "Icon of the Seas," which contains a water park on top, as well as many pools and decks, and is many, many stories tall.

Jay Schneider, chief product innovation officer at Royal Caribbean, discusses the design process behind their Icon of the Seas cruise ship, which has become the most successful launch ever. The design is rooted in what their guests wanted, focusing on family vacations. They incorporated a theme park called Thrill Island, featuring adrenaline-pumping activities and a water park. They went through an iterative process to design the features, making trade-offs to ensure feasibility.

5 Terrible Customer Service Experience Stories | Examples of Bad CS (proprofschat.com)

customer service experiences

Many companies make mistakes with their customer service that lead to a bad experience. Examples include Walmart not honoring their price matching policy, Comcast changing a customer's name to a bad word, Walgreens not responding to a serious health issue, and Whirlpool not offering a refund or exchange. To prevent similar mistakes, businesses should prioritize customer needs and show empathy to clients.

What’s the future of generative AI? An early view in 15 charts | McKinsey

Three flowers in a vase made out of polygon shapes. Parts of the flowers and vase are distorted and stretched.

According to McKinsey research, generative AI (gen AI) has the potential to contribute $4.4 trillion to the global economy annually. McKinsey has put together 15 charts that answer questions regarding the speed of technology development, its impact on jobs, the industries that will benefit the most, and how workers will perceive it.

By the end of the decade, gen AI is expected to achieve a level of task performance on par with humans, with the most significant impact anticipated in knowledge work. Businesses are currently working on applications to address various use cases, and identifying the use cases with the highest value is crucial. Despite its potential, most organizations have not yet embraced gen AI.

Edition #62

Using AI to Build Stronger Connections with Customers (hbr.org)

Generative AI applications are spurring innovation, however, many people are concerned about data privacy and customer experience. Companies need to prioritize model risk, data privacy, and ethical use of data when utilizing AI technology to ensure customers have a good experience.

AI-enabled customer engagement has the potential to create more value for customers, employees, and shareholders, and can be used to personalize customer experiences. Companies should start with no-regret cases to get comfortable with the technology and eventually use it to enhance employee and customer interactions.

What Is Conversational Commerce in 2023? | Vonage

Everyone is staring down at a mobile device. If there was ever a captive audience — this is it. So it’s no surprise that savvy businesses are using the intersection of their ecommerce and social channels to engage consumers and complete sales, as consumers initiate and complete transactions from their smartphones. There’s even a name for this innovative transaction: conversational commerce.

What is a CDP?

Edition #61

How Data Pros Can Create The Future Of Customer Experience Insights (forbes.com)

This Forbes article discusses how organizations need actionable insights to improve CX and must leverage more diverse data and advanced analytics to produce these insights. However, most organizations lack the data infrastructure and analytics resources they need to develop effective customer insights

The Value of Digital Transformation (hbr.org)
Despite 89% of large companies undergoing digital and AI transformations, only 31% of expected revenue lift and 25% of expected cost savings have been realized. The authors analyzed McKinsey's Finalta benchmark to understand how digital transformation creates value, tracking 80 banks from 2018 to 2022. Their findings reveal that digital leaders create significant shareholder value compared to laggards, often by introducing hard-to-replicate improvements.

True Stories Of Customer Service Done Right (forbes.com)

This article discusses how providing a compassionate customer experience can lead to lasting brand loyalty and how small gestures can make a big difference.

Key takeaways:

  1. A great customer experience is more important than a great product.

  2. Problems are okay, but friction in resolving them is not.

  3. Delight customers with small gestures.

  4. Meet people where they are with compassion and humanity.

Edition #60

The best part of BMW's new flagship electric sedan? The back seat

The Axios article discusses the BMW i7, an electric sedan equipped with a 31-inch drop-down screen, Amazon Fire TV, 5G connectivity, and an optional 36-speaker 4D sound system. The car, designed for an enhanced passenger experience, allows users to stream media, play games, and access various subscription apps. It also offers an optional "Executive Lounge" feature for added comfort.

After all, what is customer experience? – Cers Blogs (hanken.fi)

There is a lot of talk about customer experience, but it is difficult to define. Through research, it was concluded that CX refers to customers' spontaneous and non-deliberate responses to offering-related stimuli during their customer journey along a series of touchpoints. Without a common definition of CX, it is difficult for researchers and practitioners to understand and manage it.

AI and the Future of Preventative Healthcare: Predicting Health Behavior Changes (fagenwasanni.com)

AI has the potential to revolutionize preventative healthcare by predicting and shaping health behavior changes. AI can provide accurate predictions, enable early intervention, and help design effective interventions. However, ethical and privacy concerns must be addressed to ensure fair and equitable use.

Edition #59

Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers (hbr.org)

As true today as it was in 2010. A study of 75,000 people interacting with contact centers and self-service found that customers want a satisfactory solution to their service issue, not above-and-beyond customer service.

Companies should focus on reducing customer effort, addressing the emotional side of interactions, minimizing the need to switch service channels, and focusing on problem-solving, not speed. Satisfaction does not necessarily lead to loyalty, and customer service can often lead to customers being disloyal.

Six customer experience pitfalls to avoid | McKinsey

Companies are now focusing on delivering best-in-class customer experiences to stay competitive. To achieve this, organizations must cultivate a customer-centric culture, focus on agility and design thinking, and consider the customer in all decisions.

Building organizational capabilities and culture to plan, execute, and sustain the transformation is critical, and avoiding pitfalls such as failing to link CX to business value, fragmentation, and focusing on touchpoints instead of the customer journey is essential.

Customer Service Compilation - YouTube

A little fun to add to your day. Enjoy!

Edition #58

Qualtrics Brings Generative AI to "Every Part" of Its platform - CX Today

Qualtrics has launched its XM/os2 platform, which is powered by AI and has access to a large database of human sentiment. This will help organizations use AI to produce better experiences for customers and employees. It will be available in private beta in October and generally available in early 2024. DISH Network is already using it to analyze video feedback and provide personalized coaching to managers.

Meta's Threads erupts as potential customer service channel | TechTarget

Threads may or may not be a Twitter-killer, but if 100 million people signed up for it in its first five days, your customer service team should consider supporting it -- and fast.

Gen Z consumers want technology-enabled, self-service options | Retail Customer Experience

A survey of U.S. adults showed that Gen Z shoppers prioritize tech-enabled self-service solutions over traditional shopping preferences, such as a convenient location or neat store. The survey found that technology is seen as making shopping better by most, although the type of shopper (bargain hunter or convenience-minded) impacted how they felt. Companies that implement technology into the shopping experience can attract younger consumers and satisfy other shoppers.

Edition #57

Twilio Introduces Generative AI for Service, Sales, & Marketing Teams - CX Today

Last month, Twilio launched a new AI offering, CustomerAI, which embeds generative AI into its Customer Engagement Platform to help businesses gain new customer data to use for service, sales, and marketing activities.

CustomerAI will also help with customer responses, campaign content, lead conversion, and more. It is intended to create a more cohesive customer experience and better collaboration between departments.

For better loyalty, focus on the customer experience, not just a point program | Retail Customer Experience

Retailers and brands need to shift their focus from points and discounts to providing better experiences in order to gain and maintain customer loyalty. This includes recognizing customers, understanding their purchase behavior, providing conveniences and solutions to problems, and collecting customer feedback. Brands should use customer data platforms to understand customer needs and measure loyalty progress.

Federal Executive Forum Customer Experience in Government | Federal News Network

This webinar will cover strategies and initiatives to improve customer experience by CX experts from the Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, Education Department, and Agriculture Department.

Edition #56

Google introduces new AI virtual try-on feature (blog.google)

Google is introducing two new features that bring the clothes-shopping experience to online shoppers: virtual try-on for apparel and new filters to help shoppers refine their search results. Virtual try-on uses AI to show shoppers how clothes will look on real models of various sizes, skin tones, body shapes, ethnicities, and hair types. The filters help shoppers refine their search results by color, style, and pattern, and they can see options from multiple retailers.

A phone animation shows Google’s virtual try-on feature. The phone shows models in varying sizes wearing a green top.

Average UK customer service issue takes nine hours to be resolved (marketingtechnews.net) - Yext recently did a survey that showed it takes 9 hours for a typical customer service issue to be resolved, which is much longer than the expected time of 14.5 minutes.

Ikea's AI-Powered Billie chatbot revolutionises customer experience and empowers co-workers | Retail News UK (apparelresources.com)

Ingka Group, the largest retailer of Ikea, has implemented an AI-powered chatbot named Billie to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Billie is available around the clock and can handle multiple conversations simultaneously.

Since its introduction, Billie has resolved 47% of customer inquiries, resulting in cost savings and enabling 8,500 call center co-workers to gain diverse skills. The success of Billie has led to an increase in sales, and Ingka Group plans to increase its share of digital sales to 10% in the future.

Edition #55

AI Customer Experience: Explore 4 Cutting-Edge Strategies (cmswire.com)

This article discusses the role of AI in customer experience and how it is changing the way companies interact with customers.

Key takeaways:

  1. AI is used to analyze customer data in order to personalize customer interactions and optimize business processes.

  2. AI is making it easier for companies to craft personalized, positive experiences at all customer touchpoints.

  3. AI can be used for real-time decision-making and predictive analytics to provide a hyper-personalized customer experience.

CVS Health Says 50 Million Digital Customers Spend 2.4X More Than In-Store Shoppers (pymnts.com)

This article discusses CVS Health's progress in creating a more robust omnichannel offering and the strategic acquisitions and streamlining of its ecosystem to focus on customer experience.

Key takeaways:

  1. CVS Health has completed the acquisition of Oak Street Health and Signify Health to expand its in-home value-based care offering.

  2. CVS Health has exceeded 50 million unique digital customers and achieved a 30% increase in digital sales.

  3. CVS Health is on track to close 300 stores in 2023 and a cumulative total of 900 stores by 2024.

How Ikea is driving digital customer experience | Computer Weekly

Ikea's franchisees in four Southeast Asian markets and Mexico are implementing chatbots, conversational commerce, remote planning, and other digital capabilities to create a better customer experience.

They are integrating different systems into one platform to create a single view of the customer and improving their backend systems to forecast demand, reduce cost, and increase stock accuracy. They are also developing a remote planning service for customers in cities further away from an Ikea store.

Edition #54

4 Innovative Ways Businesses Are Using Kiosks | Square (squareup.com)

The article discusses the benefits and examples of innovative uses for business kiosks. See how McDonald's and the New York City subway system are evolving their systems.

How are experience research teams keeping pace? (usertesting.com)

This 10th annual Experience Research Industry report shows how the industry continues to mature and grow. Investment in experience research is growing, and research professionals report that their organization understands the wide-ranging benefits of research. 

The state of CX: Emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities| SurveyMonkey

Learn about how exactly customer experience professionals need to evolve their initiatives. How have consumers' expectations evolved? And how can CX leaders successfully navigate this new environment? Download the full report to learn more about emerging trends that will transform how CX professionals work and engage with customers.

Edition #53

Economic potential of generative AI | McKinsey - Generative AI applications have been gaining attention due to their broad utility and ability to converse with users. This report explores the potential of generative AI. It estimates that it can generate up to $4.4 trillion of value annually across 63 use cases by augmenting the capabilities of individual workers and automating some of their activities.

The hybrid world is taking shape, creating an opportunity to design immersive experiences...anywhere - Brian Solis: This is an example of a portal that appears on a beach, instantly transporting shoppers into a thematic virtual store for Serendipity Furniture Co. AMixedreality glasses will eventually become portable and straightforward unlocking immersive worlds everywhere.

Must-Read Customer Experience Books in 2022 - Qualtrics Discover the top 10 must-read books for CX leaders in 2023, aimed at enhancing customer experiences and fostering trust and loyalty to gain a competitive edge in the market. These titles cover various topics, including rethinking established practices, strengthening business-customer relationships, leveraging customer feedback, gaining an advantage over rivals, and propelling growth in the B2B arena.

Edition #52

The NYSE built a virtual trading floor for IPO events (emergingtechbrew.com) - The New York Stock Exchange is working with video game developer Unity to create a virtual replica of its iconic trading floor, enabling companies to host stock-market debut events with remote workforces. The platform has seen regular use and is an example of a metaverse-like product with a clear use case that is gaining traction.

Design for spatial user interfaces: Creating immersive experiences in three-dimensional space - Discussions | 1984.design - Spatial user interfaces are powerful tools for creating immersive experiences and allow users to interact with digital content in a natural way. Designers need to understand user needs and tasks, the principles involved, and the challenges and constraints that come with designing for spatial user interfaces. Designers should put the user at the center of their designs and create experiences that are visually stunning, intuitive, and accessible.

Blame the Bot: Anthropomorphism and Anger in Customer–Chatbot Interactions - (sagepub.com) - Companies often use chatbots with humanlike features (e.g. names and avatars) to assist customers in service settings, but little is known about how this affects customer responses. This research finds that chatbot anthropomorphism has a negative effect on customer satisfaction and firm evaluation when customers are in an angry emotional state. The underlying mechanism driving this is the gap between pre-encounter expectations of chatbot efficacy and the actual experience.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s to roll out AI drive-thru ordering (usatoday.com)

CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, is using AI technology to automate voice ordering in participating drive-thru locations across 44 states in order to increase accuracy, speed, and revenue. The AI technology has already improved revenue in tested locations.

Edition #51

Using Technology to Create a Better Customer Experience (hbr.org) - Organizations must balance customer empathy and technology to create compelling digital customer experiences. To do this, companies should focus on what customers need to achieve their goals, offering experiences that help elevate their self-perception and creating value-enhancing reactions to maximize the value of existing products and services.

SmileDirectClub Announces U.S. Launch of Patented SmileMaker Platform | SmileDirectClub, LLC Newsroom - SmileDirectClub has launched SmileMaker Platform, a new AI technology that allows customers to view their potential smile transformation in minutes through a mobile device. After taking a mobile 3D scan, customers receive a "Custom Smile Plan," and a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist reviews further scans to determine candidacy for clear aligner therapy.

Chatbot set to replace US eating disorder helpline pulled for pushing diets (morningbrew.com) - This article highlights one of the challenges of using chatbots in sensitive areas such as mental health support, where a small mistake can have serious consequences.

Edition #50

Executive’s guide to developing AI at scale | McKinsey - This interactive guide was created to assist executives in gaining a solid understanding of the processes, technology, and talent required for developing artificial intelligence and analytics applications, enabling them to make informed decisions and investments in their tech stacks and teams for building reliable solutions at scale.

How companies use dark patterns to keep you subscribed (pudding.cool) - The author conducted an experiment where she signed up for 16 different services and then tried to unsubscribe or cancel. She examines the harms of dark patterns, manipulative design, and confusing design in subscription services and how they can harm economic, privacy, and autonomy.

The Dark Side of CX: The costly patterns that turn loyal customers into brand haters - Melding psychology, chess, evolutionary theory, and systems thinking; this book breaks down the fascinating science behind bad customer experiences. You'll understand why knowledge of these patterns is essential when building, diagnosing, and improving experiences within your business.

Edition #49

Alta Adams - ChowNow Stories - The other side of the conscious consumer story. The conscious business.

Customer Experience Is Everyone’s Responsibility (hbr.org) - This article explores how leaders can lay the foundation for great customer experiences within their company walls before it’s served up to customers. It requires a cross-functional commitment and collaborative execution.

Six customer experience pitfalls to avoid | McKinsey - To successfully enhance customer experience, companies need to build the right organizational capabilities and culture to plan, execute, and sustain the transformation.

Delighting Customers Is Key To Meaningful Customer Experiences (forbes.com) - In today's competitive marketplace, businesses need to go above and beyond to delight their customers. This means providing an exceptional customer experience that exceeds their expectations.

How Telcos Transform Customer Experiences with Conversational AI - (nvidia.com) - Webinar 5/31 - Join Infosys, Quantiphi, Talkmap, and NVIDIA to learn how telecommunications companies are using AI to improve operational efficiency and enhance customer engagement.

Edition #48

The fashion industry’s digital transformation: Now or never | McKinsey

In this McKinsey article, the authors emphasize the urgency for the fashion industry to embrace digital transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital channels, and companies that do not adapt risk falling behind. To successfully transform, fashion businesses must focus on four key areas:

  1. Digital-first mindset: Companies should prioritize digital channels and integrate them into their overall strategy. This includes digital marketing, e-commerce platforms, and virtual showrooms.

  2. Agile supply chain: To keep up with rapid changes in consumer demand and market trends, fashion brands must have an agile supply chain. This involves leveraging digital tools for real-time data sharing and demand forecasting.

  3. Data-driven decision-making: Fashion companies should use data analytics to gain insights into customer preferences and behavior, allowing them to create more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns and product offerings.

  4. Building digital capabilities: To support digital transformation, businesses must invest in digital infrastructure, tools, and skills. This can be achieved through strategic partnerships, acquisitions, or in-house development.

8 Best Practices for Creating a Compelling Customer Experience (hbr.org)

Companies should focus on eight areas in order to create a compelling customer experience, such as orchestrating a marketing ecosystem, aligning company and customer needs, delivering amazing customer convenience, reinforcing digital marketing, and adjusting customer incentives. Digital technology, knowledge, and resource sharing are essential for successful customer journeys. Additionally, customer data can be used to understand customer perceptions and expectations.

Global Consumer Insights Survey 2023: Frictionless retail and other new shopping trends | PwC

Long exposure, drone shot of cars moving in different directions at night, with triangle graphics on top

This article discusses the frictions that are impacting consumer experiences in 2023, and how companies must respond to these changes in order to meet consumer needs.

Key takeaways:

  1. Consumers are realigning their shopping habits and adopting cost-cutting behaviors due to concerns about inflation and the macroeconomic climate.

  2. Consumers are seeking less friction in their shopping experiences but are still experimenting with digital platforms and the metaverse.

  3. Companies must identify, isolate, and mitigate the friction between them and their customers in order to provide optimal experiences.

Edition #47

Delta’s Bold Digital Ambition Takes Off - WSJ

Delta Airlines' Chief Digital Officer, Eric Phillips, discusses the airline's focus on leveraging digital capabilities to tailor interactions and improve the overall customer and employee experience. Delta's latest initiatives include free in-flight Wi-Fi and Delta Sync, a platform that delivers loyalty members customized in-flight entertainment and experiences.

Key takeaways:

1. Delta is focused on driving a premium, differentiated experience for customers by delivering more convenient, rewarding interactions and making free Wi-Fi available from gate to gate.

2. Delta is committed to connecting and supporting airline operations by improving the overall travel experience when disruptions happen and using digital solutions to empower employees.

3. Delta Sync is a central part of Delta's vision to create more personalized travel, and the airline is working to roll out the platform this summer.

The retail industry's biggest bets on emerging tech in April (retailbrew.com)

article cover

The article highlights some of the most interesting and notable retail experiments with emerging technology in April 2023, including Starbucks' NFTs, American Eagle's augmented reality experience, AI Fashion Week, Metaverse Fashion Week, and Panera's updated voice ordering capability.

Key takeaways:

1. Starbucks released its second collection of NFTs to beta users of its Web3 loyalty program, Starbucks Odyssey, featuring images that commemorate the first Starbucks store.

2. American Eagle announced its new resale site, RE/AE in partnership with ThredUp, alongside an augmented reality experience in Snapchat, allowing users to try on 200 items from a curated collection.

3. AI Fashion Week and Metaverse Fashion Week showcased designs created with various imaging software and hosted virtual runway shows and pop-up shops.

Airbnb CEO Interview: How AI Will Radically Change Its Service (skift.com)

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky talked about its new product launches in New York City on May 2, 2023. Source: Skift

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has revealed that the company plans to incorporate AI into its app, with a focus on personalized recommendations and improved customer service. Chesky said that while some launches will come later this year, major changes will be made by mid-2022.

He also discussed upcoming updates to the Airbnb platform, including paid products and services for hosts and guests and a potential ad product that he wants to do differently. Chesky also talked about Airbnb Experiences and how the company has had fits and starts with it but believes the market is there, and someone could build a billion-dollar company just with experiences.

Edition #46

Insights From the Frontline: CX Experts Share Customer Conversation Takeaways (cmswire.com)

I was interviewed for this article by Jennifer Torres of CMSwire, discussing the critical role that customer feedback plays in shaping the customer experience. I highlight the fact that customers can provide valuable insights and ideas for improving products and services and that companies that listen and act on customer feedback can gain a significant competitive advantage.

The article also emphasizes the importance of being proactive in soliciting customer feedback rather than waiting for customers to come to you with complaints. Companies can create a customer-centric culture that fosters loyalty and long-term success by actively seeking out customer feedback and using it to drive continuous improvement.

Overall, it provides a valuable reminder that the customer experience is not just about delivering a product or service but about building relationships, understanding customer needs and expectations, and constantly striving to improve.

The Secret To Successful Digital Transformation: It's All About The People (forbes.com)

Airbnb: 5 Product Lessons on how to introduce new features | Medium

The article discusses five product lessons that can be learned from Airbnb's introduction of new features. These lessons include understanding user needs, testing and iterating new features, communicating changes effectively, providing clear instructions, and considering the impact on existing users. The author also provides examples of how Airbnb has successfully implemented these lessons in their product development process.

Edition #45

Research - NFT Tech - Brands in Web3 & the Metaverse

The report analyzes 314 brands that launched a total of 526 web3 projects in 2022 and Q1 2023. The report also scores brands based on aesthetics, originality, purpose, and fluency, providing a comprehensive overview of the quality and uniqueness of web3 projects launched by top brands.

Roblox is reaching adults, helping brands, and building a metaverse (fastcompany.com)

Roblox, the popular online gaming platform, is expanding beyond its reputation as a children's platform and attracting older users and investors. The company is diversifying into new areas, such as virtual concerts and education while improving safety measures and moderation. This shows how Roblox is growing up and becoming a more inclusive platform for all ages.

Building a Great Customer Experience in the Metaverse by Karolyne Hahn

The metaverse is not just a buzzword.

It's a game-changer for businesses seeking a personalized and seamless customer experience.

‣ Provides new ways to discover & explore products
‣ Creates a seamless experience between physical & virtual products and
‣ Offers personalized experiences based on customer data and preferences.

Neal Stephenson on The Future of the Metaverse | a16z Podcast (simplecast.com)

The concept of the metaverse, first coined by Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash, is becoming a reality as companies work towards building their own versions. Stephenson himself is working on Lamina1, a blockchain company for creators.

While the present metaverses differ from Stephenson's original vision, there is a discussion on the design decisions being made, the intersection with gaming, the involvement of AR/VR, the role of IP, and the use of artificial intelligence. Stephenson discusses what he's building and where he gets his ideas from.

Web3 Funding Continues To Crater — Drops 82% Year To Year (crunchbase.com)

The article reports that VC-backed funding for Web3 companies has dropped in Q1 2023, with only $2.2 billion raised compared to $3.6 billion in the previous quarter. The decline is attributed to a decrease in the number of mega-deals and a shift in investor focus towards more early-stage investments. Despite the drop, the overall trend for Web3 funding remains positive, with a growing interest in decentralized finance and NFTs driving investor enthusiasm.

Edition #44

How Chipotle built its $3 billion digital business | Nation's Restaurant News (nrn.com)

Chipotle, the popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, successfully built a $3 billion digital business through several strategic initiatives. Here are some key factors that contributed to their digital success:

  1. Embracing technology: Chipotle invested in mobile apps and digital ordering platforms to enhance customer convenience, allowing them to place orders ahead of time, pick them up from the restaurant, or receive delivery.

  2. Streamlining operations: Chipotle implemented separate assembly lines for digital orders, improving speed and efficiency for both in-store and online customers.

  3. Effective marketing: Chipotle leveraged social media and targeted promotions to attract new customers and boost digital sales.

  4. Collaboration with delivery partners: Chipotle partnered with third-party delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, expanding their reach and making it easier for customers to enjoy their meals at home.

  5. Loyalty program: Chipotle introduced a rewards program to incentivize repeat business and build brand loyalty, offering exclusive deals and promotions to members.

  6. Data analytics: The company utilized customer data to personalize marketing efforts, optimize menu offerings, and make data-driven decisions to drive growth.

Overall, Chipotle's digital transformation was a result of its willingness to adapt, innovate, and invest in technology, all while keeping the customer experience at the center of its strategy.

IDC study: Digital Customer Journey for Manufacturers  |  Google Cloud

Read the whitepaper from IDC to learn how manufacturers can future-proof their business by engaging with customers more effectively in the digital age.

Less than 20% of manufacturers believe their business model is future-proofed. Can customer experience improvements impact business growth?

In this whitepaper, learn about:

  • The growing importance of the customer experience in manufacturing and how it affects a change in financial performance

  • The industry's efforts to improve customer experience in manufacturing and what successful manufacturers are investing in

  • The different ways manufacturers can drive full data transparency, real-time insights with AI, and embrace digital platforms for CX excellence

Merging Digital, Physical Banking Experiences | PYMNTS.com

The "Digital-First Banking Tracker®" examines the growing demand from consumers for their primary financial institutions (FIs) to provide financial guidance and tailored support in a difficult economic environment. Integrating digital and physical aspects into a unified, omnichannel banking experience enables FIs to maintain a pervasive digital presence and remain significant wherever their customers require assistance, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Edition #43

ZERO10 AR Fashion Platform

AR Fashion Platform is now open for digital fashion enthusiasts. Make your virtual clothing wearable in AR.

Inside Dot Swoosh, Nike’s big bet on Web3 (retailbrew.com)

Nike has long held a certain elite status as a first mover in the worlds of sports and fashion. It appeared to jump headfirst into the deep end of Web3 in late 2021 with its purchase of digital design studio Rtfkt for an undisclosed sum. But while other brands have seemingly leaned into the speculative world of crypto via NFT sales, Nike has shied away from it with Dot Swoosh.

  • Nike's Dot Swoosh beta lets users sign up for the company's digital goods. The sign-up process is similar to that of a high-tech online video game Club Penguin. Nike has yet to release any digital items, though the company says big things are coming soon.

  • Nike has repeatedly emphasized that Dot Swoosh isn’t about speculation or trading. The brand seems to be focused on keeping its digital creations close to home.

When digital services fail. The interdependent woes of the Natwest… | by H Locke | Apr, 2023 | Medium

A hand holding an iPhone. The screen is showing the Apple icon of never-loading-again hell

In this Medium post, the author talks about the problems and results of digital services messing up. As we rely more on digital stuff, the effects of their failing become a bigger deal. It's important to have strong systems, backups, and safety nets to keep things from going bad. Plus, companies need to be good at talking, working together, and understanding each other to fix problems and bounce back from service outages.

Edition #42

Fear of flying? This flight simulator at KCI airport could help (fastcompany.com)

A new flight simulator at Kansas City International Airport aims to help passengers overcome their fear of flying. The simulator, "Flight Sim Adventures," provides a realistic flying experience in a controlled environment, allowing users to take the pilot's seat and learn about the aircraft and its controls. The simulator can help reduce anxiety and increase confidence for those with flying-related phobias by educating passengers and demystifying the flying process.

AI customer service for higher customer engagement | McKinsey

Multiple converging factors have made the case for AI-based customer service transformation stronger than ever. Among the most important: increased customer acceptance of (and even preference for) machine-led conversational AI interactions. Meanwhile, related technologies, such as messaging platforms, are becoming more accessible.

Technology Vision 2023 | Tech Vision | Accenture

The next wave of business transformation will shift from building isolated digital capabilities to creating the foundations of a new reality. The goal is not an incremental improvement but a step change. Fusing digital and physical is not only generating new products and services; it’s the force behind a new era of scientific research.

Edition #41

One big thing: How chatbots could change us

Illustration of a brain turning into a computerized image of a brain with two sparks moving around it.

Researchers are studying the impact of AI-driven text and image generators, like GPT, on human creativity, judgment, and decision-making. Generative AI has the potential to be a "launchpad for creativity" due to its ability to produce multiple possibilities, but concerns arise over its influence on productivity and originality.

The introduction of AI in the workplace raises questions about its social influence trust, and how it changes interactions compared to human colleagues. For example, people prefer human judgment but favor algorithmic advice for specific predictions. Researchers are also examining if co-creating with AI affects the meaning of work.

As generative AI tools might influence critical thinking, learning to work with them could become a new job skill. The key challenge is understanding how AI changes human responses to various situations.

ChatGPT Responds to Common Customer Support Queries | HackerNoon

The Hacker Noon article discusses how ChatGPT, powered by OpenAI's GPT, can effectively handle customer support queries in various sectors. By integrating ChatGPT, businesses can reduce response times, improve customer satisfaction, and cut operational costs.

However, the AI model may sometimes generate irrelevant or incomplete answers. Thus, using ChatGPT alongside human operators is recommended to maintain high-quality customer support.

Uber redesigns app for simpler, more personalized experience | TechCrunch

An Uber logo is seen on a sign outside the company's headquarters

Uber recently released an updated version of its app that aims to simplify and personalize the experience for customers. The new app has a more straightforward home screen that removes the friction of a few extra taps when booking a ride or ordering a delivery. It also allows customers to more easily access saved locations, and some iPhone users can track a ride’s progress on their lock screen.

“Click-to-cancel” rule would penalize companies that make you cancel by phone | Ars Technica

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing a "click-to-cancel" rule. If approved, the plan "would put an end to companies requiring you to call customer service to cancel an account that you opened on their website" The proposed rule would be enforced with civil penalties and let the commission return money to harmed consumers.

Edition #40

Qualtrics accepts $12.5B all-cash acquisition offer to go private | TechCrunch

Qualtrics International Inc. website on a laptop

Qualtrics, the software company behind an experience management platform used by thousands of companies such as Uber, Coca-Cola and Pfizer, has accepted a $12.5 billion all-cash offer from private equity firm Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments).

When Surveys Attack: Defending your customers from the fatigue epidemic | by Naveen Maheshwary | Mar, 2023 | Medium

Naveen Maheshwary discusses the negative impact of survey fatigue on customers and offers strategies to minimize it.

Zoom Repurposes Its Contact Center for Use in the MLB - CX Today

Zoom Repurposes Its Contact Center for Use in the MLB

Zoom has entered into a multi-year partnership with MLB. The partnership aims to improve fan engagement and streamline internal operations. Zoom's contact center will be used for remote customer support, helping fans with ticketing and other services.

The platform will also enable virtual events and experiences for fans during the games. Zoom will provide MLB with various tools such as video webinars, virtual backgrounds, and live event assistance.

Edition #39

Executives Need to Invest in Understanding the Customer Experience (hbr.org)

The article discusses the importance of delivering superior customer experience and how it requires a cultural shift emphasizing pervasive information sharing and organizational intent analysis. Executives and managers need to invest in understanding the customer experience, as it is not just limited to customer service, support, sales, or IT departments.

Companies need to assign accountability and treat CX as a strategic necessity that is a part of everyone’s job. Additionally, having a formal CX role in place is important, but the responsibility and stewardship of CX need to be part of every executive function.

Prioritizing digital customer experience in the service industry | McKinsey

Consumers are more likely to recommend companies that have greater availability of digital services.

The service industry has been slower to adopt digital transformation compared to other industries due to its reliance on human interaction. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for a seamless and personalized DCX. The article provides examples of how companies in the service industry, such as airlines, hotels, and banks, are leveraging technology to enhance their DCX.

4 keys to bridge physical/digital customer experiences | EY - US

Aerial cable bridge autumn

The four key areas that companies need to focus on are designing for the customer journey, building agile operating models, leveraging data and analytics, and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.

Companies need to understand their customer's needs and preferences, be flexible and adaptable to changing trends, use data to provide personalized CX, and enable cross-functional teams to work together.

The article emphasizes the importance of bridging physical and digital CX to provide a holistic and differentiated CX that meets the customer's expectations.

Edition #38

How The Metaverse Could Shape The Customer Experience In Banking (forbes.com)

Making Money in the Meta verse

The metaverse opens up endless opportunities for financial institutions to customize the banking experience to individual customers. Depending on a customer's preferences, access needs, and habits, banks can use AR and VR technologies to adjust how they interact with customers. For customers who prefer to conduct banking in the "real" world, the metaverse still offers opportunities to enhance the customer experience.

How to use ChatGPT as a Product Manager | Medium

Check out how ChatGPT is currently being trialed by a product manager at LinkedIn. He’s using it to help him visualize and explain his thoughts to his team members.

Customer Journey Mapping 101 (Updated 2023) - Qualtrics

When carried out effectively, customer journey management can transform your internal operations and customer experience. Customers will be more likely to engage for one interaction and across their entire lifecycle with your brand, increasing customer lifetime value.

Your customer experience will be improved with journeys that are personalized. You’ll have put yourself in your customer’s shoes and adapted your strategy to reflect your customer’s perspective – which in turn will create more memorable, positive experiences and increase your revenue.

Internally, you’ll break down internal silos, empowering you to streamline services across departments because teams will know what is required from them to deliver the experiences that customers expect.

Edition #37

Best 32 Customer Experience (CX) Podcasts You Can Listen in 2023 (ninetailed.io)

I found this great list compiled by Esat Ertung at Ninetailed.io that lists the best customer experience podcasts to listen to in 2023. Whether you're just starting or looking for new ideas, this is a great place to hear from leaders in the industry.

How Digital Customer Experience Has Transformed in the Past Decade (cmswire.com)

The digital customer experience has exponentially evolved over the past decade, hurried along by the COVID-19 pandemic. The always-on customer expects brands to be ready to do business at all hours of the day, and they expect exceptional customer service to go with it. Today, customers can interact with a brand through their brick-and-mortar storefront, mobile app, website, and chatbot.

All businesses are expected to have digital elements for all of their channels. Customers are used to hyper-personalized interactions that are emotionally satisfying. In addition, they want to be in control of their narrative, given the many choices that brands present them with for purchasing, subscribing, and contacting customer service.

23 Digital Customer Experience Stats To Know for 2023 | TELUS International

Only 3% of U.S. companies were customer-obsessed in 2022 — putting customers at the center of their leadership, strategy, and operations. 62% of customers feel emotionally connected to the brands they buy from most. 75% of consumers are likely to leave a review, post on social media, or create some other form of user-generated content if they have a positive customer experience. Read more stats

Edition #36

Build Your Own ChatBOT - CustomGPT

This week I conducted a test of Custom GPT in order to construct a chatbot that could answer queries based on paged from a public website. The initial results have been mixed but promising, after a database issue was resolved the system crawled and indexed 548 pages and built a test bot in a matter of minutes. I want to commend Alden de Rosario, CEO of CustomGPT, for his swift and helpful response to my service request.

Try it out for yourself.

ARK Invest_013123_Presentation_Big Ideas 2023_Final.pdf (ark-invest.com

ARK began publishing Big Ideas in 2017 to provide investors with information about the long-term impact of innovation. This annual research report seeks to highlight the current technological breakthroughs and their potential for super-exponential growth in the future. ARK's research has confirmed that innovation is picking up speed and that the company's strategies are well-positioned to take advantage of these changes.

CX without design only gets you halfway | McKinsey

Companies are putting renewed focus on delivering exceptional customer experience (CX) Many are attempting to do so with siloed CX and design teams. A combined CX-design approach to discovering customer needs will help companies create a seamless end-to-end experience.

Edition #35

Design your data strategy in six steps | IBM

The focus has shifted from traditional business intelligence to real-time decision-making and predictive models. Therefore, the data strategy must be aligned with the business strategy and enable data solutions applicable across the entire organization.

The approach should empower people and define use cases that meet business needs, including traditional analytics, data science, operational analytics, digital and IoT data, data visualization, and new product development.

IBM has developed a six-step framework to help organizations design and implement their data strategy while maximizing their strengths and resources.

Data-informed, not data-driven. Performance Indicators are an important… | by Tom Scott | Stacks (wellcomecollection.org)

Wellcome Collection's goal is to challenge people's thoughts and feelings about health by connecting science, medicine, life, and art through digital platforms. In addition, they aim to deliver outstanding user-centric digital experiences, innovative content, and support for researchers.

Their approach is based on the principle of embracing decisions made with an understanding of their audiences. To do this, they collect qualitative and quantitative data to inform and provide insight into their work, but the data collected is not the primary or sole driver for decision-making. The goal is to be "data-informed" rather than "data-driven."

Five trends that will reshape customer experience | SAS

Survey: 60 percent of respondents believe real-time analytics drives customer experience. Fifty-eight percent crediting significant improvements in customer loyalty and retention to analytics. Nearly three-quarters of respondents to the HBR survey say they have increased their spending on real- time customer analytics in the past year.

Free HBR Report: Real-Time Analytics: The Key to Unlocking Customer Insights & Driving the Customer Experience

Edition #34

How a major New Zealand retailer reinvented itself around customer satisfaction | McKinsey

Sir Stephen Tindall founded The Warehouse (‘TWG’) in 1982. TWG partnered with McKinsey to launch 250 new initiatives, aiming to simplify everything from pricing and store operations to supplier negotiations. A central transformation office met every month to monitor progress and results. This initial transformation helped TWG achieve its highest annual profit in a decade, doubled its stock price and lifted its Organizational Health Index score.

Forever 21’s CMO on the brand’s one-click strategy (retailbrew.com)

Forever21 is embracing a new online checkout technology through a partnership with fintech company Bolt. The key piece of the tech is a one-click checkout solution that allows its online customers to skip certain steps and check out with, well…one click. The retailer will likely continue to integrate newer tech to be more “omni-focused,” connecting the “the online to the offline.

Five exercises to help you build more empathy | (ted.com)

Empathy is one of the most important and most trying parts of being social creatures. What exactly is empathy? And crucially, can we have more? Stanford psychology professor Jamil Zaki PhD studies these very questions. In a TEDxMarin talk, he says empathy is actually a skill that can be developed rather than a fixed trait.

Edition #33

Delivering The Connected Customer Experience Through Smart Use Of Tech, Data, And Commerce (forbes.com)

In the era of bolstered commerce strategies and economically savvy consumers, brands need to plan and target in this new world of consumerism accurately. Courtney Trudeau, vice president of technology at Merkle, discusses what delivering an unparalleled customer experience looks like and how brands can do it.

What should every brand do in 2023?

  • Every brand should be articulating an enterprise-wide CX vision and ensuring that every person at the company knows about it and shares a passion for it. Everything stems from there.

  • Ensuring data and technology aren't siloed, that trust between brands and consumers isn't broken, and that all departments are interconnected via the cloud builds the solid foundation marketers need to succeed.

What Is Digital Customer Experience?- Workflow™ (servicenow.com)

The digital customer experience (CX) is the total of every interaction customers have with all of a business's digital touchpoints, including websites, social media, mobile applications, email, instant messaging, live chat, online ads, and digital kiosks at brick-and-mortar locations

Examples of effective digital customer experiences

  • Ordering coffee from your couch: Starbucks pioneered the omnichannel experience via its app, which allows customers to place orders ahead of time, pay for them via their online account, and pick them up at a nearby store

  • Checking into your hotel room: Marriott Hotels was the first major hospitality chain to allow guests to skip the front desk and check in to their rooms via their mobile phones

  • Custom fits in an off-the-rack world: Stitch Fix’s entire business model revolves around personalization, offering bespoke fashion recommendations to each of its customers through its app

Putting the human at the center of digital experience | CX Strategy | Retail Customer Experience

While consumers and providers prefer digital interaction, they have very different takes on it. For example, only 35% of consumers are satisfied with digital experiences versus 75% of the companies offering those experiences. One way to overcome this challenge is to make digital experiences more human-centric by bringing people from the edges of the interaction right into its center.

Take a total, unified and holistic view

  • Human experiences aren't islands; what a customer experiences impacts the experience of employees, business partners, etc.

  • It is more human-centric to offer a total digital experience that unifies all experiences rather than a fragmented one

  • Organizations must factor in what is happening day-to-day in the world to appeal to stakeholders

Edition #32

WhatsApp service interactions soaring as customers demand chat app support | MyCustomer

Messaging apps became the fastest-growing customer service channel in 2022. Consumers are rapidly embracing WhatsApp for support queries. Customers want to talk to brands like they talk to their family and friends. As chat apps become more important, organizations must treat them as an important service channel.

  • 80% increase in WhatsApp interactions in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021

  • 62% rise in rich communication services (RCS)

  • Customers are increasingly expecting more conversational experiences

Artificial intelligence in strategy | McKinsey

Yuval Atsmon is a senior partner who leads the new McKinsey Center for Strategy Innovation, which studies ways new technologies can augment the timeless principles of strategy. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, he explains how artificial intelligence is already transforming strategy and what’s on the horizon.

20 Top-Notch VoC Solutions for 2022 - CX Today

Are you looking for a VOC solution? This list identifies 20 solutions for companies of all sizes to consider.

20 Top-Notch VoC Solutions for 2022

Edition #31

Best Customer Experience Conferences to Attend in 2023 | Apizee

An up-to-date, global listing of CX-related events and perspectives on why to attend, how to get your manager to approve the expense, and how to prepare for an event.

Best Customer Experience Conferences

Digital consumer survey finds growth opportunities | McKinsey

For many population groups, digital adoption is not yet mainstream.

Digital is here to stay, with 125 million new consumers in the United States and Europe adopting digital channels since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are still plenty of opportunities, according to McKinsey’s third annual global consumer sentiment survey.

Brain Food Newsletter (fs.blog)

This is one of my favorite Sunday morning reads. Chock full of thoughtful and thought-provoking ideas. Farnam Street (or FS) focuses on timeless lessons and insights for work and life. You won't find fads, sound bytes, or strategies that work for a while and then fail when things change. Instead, you'll find insights and wisdom that makes things easier, not harder.

Edition #30

Moving past e-commerce to NeXT commerce | McKinsey 

According to this article from McKinsey, e-commerce needs a significant upgrade grounded in a commitment to become indispensable to the customer through an exponentially deeper level of engagement online and offline. Delivering on this vision requires companies to put digitally driven commerce at the center of their organizations so they can orchestrate experiences that meet customers’ ever-rising expectations. McKinsey calls this next horizon of value NeXT commerce.

The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI (maggieappleton.com)

The dark forest theory of the web points to the increasingly life-like but life-less state of being online

A flood of Large Language Model (LLM) copywriting and content-generation products has come out in the last six months. These new models are poised to flood the web with generic, generated content. We're about to drown in a sea of pedestrian takes. Goodbye to finding original human insights or authentic connections under that pile of cruft.

Bad experiences are driving customers away—faster than you think

Table showing how consumers rate the importance of different aspects of customer experience, and which things they think are worth paying more for.

Imagine losing one-quarter of your customers in a single day. For good. Because that’s precisely what could happen after just one bad customer experience. In the U.S., even when people love a company or product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences and 17% after just one bad experience.

Edition #29

Emotional AI Is No Substitute for Empathy | WIRED

In 2023, tech companies will be releasing advanced chatbots that can closely mimic human emotions to create more empathetic connections with users. The problem is that the majority of emotional AI is based on flawed science.

How Spotify’s Wrapped campaign for 2022 came together (itsnicethat.com)

Spotify first experimented with creating year-end lists in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the company launched its Wrapped campaign.

It’s now an established online trend, when social media and real life conversations are taken over by people sharing their listening habits.

Go on a deep dive with the designers to learn how they pulled it together this year.

Chattermill, which uses AI to extract insights from customer experience data, raises $26M | TechCrunch

Chattermill in action

Founded out of London in 2015, companies such as Uber and Amazon use Chattermill to unify all their customer data, integrating with social networks, customer feedback and support tools, online review sites and more to establish a “single source of customer truth,” as the company puts it.

Chattermill says it has developed its own deep learning models for extracting meaningful insights from the aggregated data.

Edition #28

Customer experience trends: what does a Gen Z customer expect? | CXDojo (medium.com)

Generation Z characteristics as a customer

Gen Z customers, born between 1997 and 2012, expect convenient and personalized experiences from brands. They prefer to interact with brands through various channels, including social media and messaging apps. Gen Z values transparency and authenticity from brands and expects them to be socially and environmentally responsible.

To meet the expectations of Gen Z, companies must deliver personalized, convenient, and transparent experiences across all channels. Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with widespread access to technology and the internet, shaping their expectations for customer experiences.

How Emotions Drive Consumer Decision-Making (cmswire.com)

Emotionally connected customers promote a brand to their family and friends, and 70% of respondents said they spend twice as much with those brands they are emotionally connected with. This article discusses the role that psychology and science play in crafting such an experience and how a brand's emotional motivators play a role in crafting it.

Becoming a chatbot: my life as a real estate AI’s human backup | Artificial intelligence (AI) | The Guardian

Are you really talking with a chatbot?

Brenda was a conversational AI that could answer questions about apartment listings. Like all conversational AIs, she had some shortcomings. To compensate for these flaws, the company recruited a team of employees they called the operators. When Brenda went off-script, an operator took over and emulated Brenda’s voice.

Edition #27

DoNotPay is launching an AI chatbot that can negotiate your bills - The Verge

DoNotPay is launching a new AI-powered chatbot that can help you negotiate bills and cancel subscriptions without having to deal with customer service. In a demo of the tool posted by DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder, the chatbot gets a discount on a Comcast internet bill through Xfinity’s live chat.

7 Examples of Bad Customer Service Experience (And How to Fix Them) (revechat.com)

poor customer service experience

Customer service experience is critical for any business, and the consequences of getting it wrong can be severe. Hubspot research says, “83% of companies that believe it’s important to make customers happy also experience growing revenue.”

When businesses slide their service standards, they face negative consequences that seriously affect the overall business. Understanding good customer service and how it is closely associated with business success helps companies build strong client relationships. Customer service experience is vital for any business, but how important is it?

Age of Invisible Machines - | UX Magazine

Cobus Greyling shares his take on the new Wall Street Journal bestselling business book, Age of Invisible Machines by Robb Wilson with Josh Tyson

Edition #26

Chatbots And Automations Increase Customer Service Frustrations For Consumers At The Holidays (forbes.com)

According to a recent survey by cloud contact center provider UJET, consumers view using chatbots for customer service as an increasing source of frustration. The survey raises questions about today’s AI capabilities—particularly regarding channeling human empathy.

As Frontier Airlines seeks to cut costs by eliminating live operators, customers may lose their loyalty due to poor customer service. This problem arises when companies put too much trust in technology that isn’t quite ready for prime time.

Frontier Airlines: In a Digital Age, Is a No-Phone Customer Experience Model a Step Too Far? | CustomerThink

Frontier Has 1 Million Seats on Sale Starting at Just $19

Frontier Airlines has removed the option to call its customer service representatives. Instead, the carrier will ask its customers to contact them only via digital channels. Customers expect more, not less, effective interactions with brands across all sectors.

The success of Frontier’s strategic decision will be a yardstick for the rest of the industry. Competitors such as Delta are already making gains in the CX battle.

8 Insightful Customer Journey Analytics Examples (genesys.com)

Figure 2

Customer-centric enterprises are increasing their investment in customer experience technology that enables teams to measure and improve key business outcomes, such as maximizing lifetime value or reducing costs.

Analytics are helping CX leaders connect the dots between customer behavior and business metrics. Learn how leading enterprises are using customer journey analytics in the real world.

Edition #25

It’s that time of year when the predictions for the next year start coming out. Here are some 2023 CX Trend Predictions to consider and debate.

The Top 4 Customer Experience Trends In 2023 (forbes.com)

  1. Immersive Experiences and the Metaverse

  2. Personalization

  3. Conscious Customer Experience

  4. Authenticity

CX TRENDS FOR 2023: the rise of empowered CX, bright cx and more!

Top 5 Digital Customer Experience Trends for 2023 (techmahindra.com)

  1. Opt for Mobile-first Approach

  2. Growing Use of Subscription Models

  3. Enhance Experience with Omnichannel Presence

  4. Offer Self-Service Options to Your Customers

  5. Personalized Advertising to Witness Downfall

Edition #24

Empathetic Customer Experience : Long-term Value, Innovation as an Asset - Soul Machines (Whitepaper - registration required)

Empathetic Customer Experience eBook

There is currently an empathy deficit in the digital Customer Experience (CX). Humanized AI can create future-facing competitive advantage and value for businesses including insights about customers’ needs, preferences, and emotional states with the brand. Global brands have already invested in Soul Machines’ Digital People to realize this advantage.

The authors Greg Cross and Fergus Hay, CEO of Elysian Fields, discuss why businesses should invest in assets enabling empathetic CX. They say businesses should also invest in AI to create value out of long-term relationships with customers.

The best customer experience, data and design books of 2022 | MyCustomer

CX books

A look at 15 of the best customer experience management books and what makes them so special by Ricardo Saltz Gulko.  

Top 5 Financial Customer Experience Trends for 2023 and Beyond (thefinancialbrand.com)


The report says that customer experience should be a top priority for executive leadership in every industry, and two-thirds of consumers say financial companies they do business with need to improve the way they serve customers.

To accomplish this, financial institutions must eliminate silos and accelerate digital transformation to shift their focus from communicating with customers to creating experiences for them. A great customer experience goes beyond not making errors and can result in diminished trust and loyalty.

While more than three-quarters of banking leaders say that their organization views customer experience as a critical business priority. Still, fewer than half consider their organizations to have a high level of CX maturity.

Edition #23

Great expectations: Customer experience in the metaverse (fastcompany.com)

Customer Experience Teams In 2023 Thrive Or Wither (forrester.com)

The challenges of 2022 will create an inflection point for customer experience (CX) programs in 2023. CX programs that help their organizations achieve their brand aspirations will thrive despite belt-tightening. Differentiation has already narrowed in at least one industry in eight of the 11 countries for which Forrester has year-over-year Customer Experience Index data. To stand out from this tightening pack, companies must embrace customer obsession and pursue CX innovations that differentiate their brand, rather than relying on CX strategies that consumers perceive as similar.

The 5 Biggest Business Trends In 2023 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now (forbes.com)

Futurist, Bernard Marr, shares his perspective on top trends for 2023 - Focus on his predictions for two, in particular, Accelerated digital transformation (Ai, 5G, Blockchain, and more), Immersive customer experience (AR, Metaverse, Avatars).

Edition #22

What is CX? | McKinsey

Five gold star rating customer review

This article offers a brief overview of customer experience-related topics and answers questions such as:

Malcolm Gladwell with Stephanie Mehta: Untangling the contradictions in conversation | Qualtrics AU

Video interview between New York Times Bestselling Author Malcolm Gladwell in conversation with former Fast Company Editor Stephanie Mehta. (Registration required) Well worth the time and effort.

Digital Disruption: New Face, Same Brutal Pace | Bain & Company

Of the 1,400 business leaders surveyed across 13 countries and all major industries, 70% are already experiencing significant digital disruption. 85% believe disruption will maintain its blistering pace or even accelerate over the next five years. Early-stage transformers are more advanced but behind the strong digital chasers. Almost 80% of disrupters gained market share over the last two years, and almost two-thirds are building “Engine 2” digital businesses outside their core as a response to both opportunity and disruption.

Edition #21

The Weird Science of Generative AI — The Information

We're living through the palace revolution of artificial intelligence. In this article, they look at the rise of generative AI, testing the most remarkable new applications and teasing out some of the ethical quandaries emerging alongside the tech.

Truist has a new digital assistant – could it be the best one yet? – Tearsheet

Chatbots are becoming central to most customer engagement strategies, with the market expected to hit $102 billion in 2026. Truist Assist is built on Amazon Lex, an AWS product that helps companies build conversational interfaces.

The digital assistant is built through a collaboration of multiple teams that collectively prioritized client co-creation and teammate satisfaction. As a result, the product is not made to resemble a decision tree, whereby consumers can't access a human agent until they’ve already fulfilled specific requirements in the system.

Holoride In-Car VR Entertainment Launches In Germany - VRScout

In-vehicle VR entertainment system is available in select Audi vehicles in Germany. Holoride uses real-time vehicle data, including steering, braking, acceleration, and acceleration.

The company's Pioneers’ Pack includes everything you need to transform your car into an “always-in-motion virtual space” where you can play games, browse the web, and more. The system will be available in additional markets soon, beginning with the United States in early 2023.

For successful digital initiatives, try ‘multi-capping’ | MIT Sloan

Digital innovations can stall when dictated to regional subsidiaries and other business units far from corporate headquarters.

Multi-capping provides a safety net for executives to take ownership of new offerings — especially if they came up with the ideas — without losing their hard-earned business relationships, pay, and benefits. It also helps to overcome the “not invented here” bias by putting executives in leadership or board member roles at subsidiaries.

For example, Toyota Motor North America routinely places executives in multiple concurrent roles. This practice lets executives lead digital transformation, maintaining their position within the enterprise.

Edition #20

Who’s Who in Artificial Intelligence? Top 50 Influencers to Follow - Onalytica

This report highlights the Top 50 influencers who are driving the most engagement on the topic of Artificial Intelligence across LinkedIn & Twitter. There’s a variety of different influencer personas you can discover in this list ranging from Academics & Researchers, Event Speakers, Journalists & Contributors to Content Creators, and more.

The AI Bill of Rights and Its Effect on Marketers, CX (cmswire.com)

I recently spoke with Jennifer Torres from CMSWire about the potential impact of the "AI Bill of Rights" on marketing and customer experience.

The White House released a set of guidelines for the ethics of artificial intelligence in its new "bill of rights" The document is intended to serve as a guide for the design, use and deployment of automated systems. The OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) sought input from citizens from various sectors of communities nationwide including industry leaders, developers, policymakers and other experts. The blueprint highlights five principles that include protection from “unsafe or ineffective systems” Equitably designed algorithms and systems that are not discriminatory. The AI Bill of Rights could have a significant impact on how brands and their customers interact.

What’s better for measuring CX - CES or NPS?

I sparked a spirited debate on Linkedin when I argued that Customer Experience Score (CES) is a better metric to use than Net Promoter Score (NPS) for measuring customer experience and gathering actionable feedback. Check out the conversation in the Customer Experience Professionals Group on Linkedin. (You may need to join the group to view the post)

Age of Invisible Machines by Robb Wilson

A treatise, well worth reading ASAP, on how conversational AI and hyperautomation will change customer and employee experiences.

Artificial Intelligence and hyperautomation are changing the nature of every job at every company. Wilson's book debunks common myths about conversational AI while laying bare the inevitable complexity of restructuring your business to unlock the massive opportunities this new era affords. A must-read for every business leader. You'll discover ways of internalizing and orchestrating new technologies that are force multipliers for rapid growth in your organization. You will learn how to develop a strategy for hyperautomation by identifying the outdated processes and systems holding your organization back.

Edition #19

Love At First Chat, With Lemonade's Chatbot Maya | by Juliette van Winden | Marketing in the Age of Digital | Medium

Lemonade is an insurance company that delivers an easy, seamless customer experience. See how far the Lemonade app has come (video below) since this article (link above) was written in 2019.

A beautiful confluence of Conversational AI, thoughtful journey management, integrated e-commerce, access to a human being from within the app, and so much more. A true delight.

Japan’s transcosmos and NTT Launch Demo of Virtual Contact Center in the Metaverse - Dash Network

Japanese organizations transcosmos and NTT Communications recently launched a demo test of a virtual contact center in the metaverse that sought to find new ways of working for remote employees in the post-pandemic era.

The initiative aims to improve working conditions for employees while also supporting communication between businesses and their customers. The test also hoped to establish operational rules and a standardized model for virtual contact centers, accompanied by a corollary verification target that information sharing and escalation in the Metaverse can reduce managerial needs.

Seven Top Digital Customer Experience Trends For The Next Five Years (forbes.com)

By putting human needs at the center of design decisions and leveraging digital technology for delivery, you can create truly personalized experiences that are highly relevant to each customer.

Artificial intelligence will become (even more) more prominent.

Virtual reality (VR) is quickly becoming more real and less virtual, immersing customers and employees in ever-more realistic, sensory-rich scenarios (sight, sound, space) that can create strong emotional connections with users and provide companies with the ability to observe and record physiological markers as they do so.

As individual-level digital data increasingly accumulates, it is compiled, stored and shared in often opaque and sometimes unintended ways.

Edition #18

An Updated Matrix Of Conversational AI Technologies | by Cobus Greyling | Aug 2022 | Medium

The conversational AI landscape is becoming more complex, especially with the advent of voice bots and implementations, which demands orchestration between multiple skills, etc. There is also an immense focus on presets, bootstrapping, industry-specific templates, and the like. This post attempts to categorize products, platforms, and technologies to create a simplistic overview of Conversational AI technologies.

The Metaverse in 2040 (Pew Center Research)

Hype? Hope? Hell? Maybe all three. Experts are split about the likely evolution of a truly immersive ‘metaverse.’ They expect augmented- and mixed-reality enhancements to become more valuable in people’s daily lives. Many worry that current online problems may be magnified if Web3 development is led by those who built today’s dominant web platforms.

Three ways to initiate impactful customer journeys | Experience Business Cliffs Notes (mathieuhannouz.com)

Marketing is all about creating connections with customers. Unfortunately, 86% of consumers are likely to leave a brand they were once loyal to after only a few bad customer experiences. In today's real-time world, customers expect brands to anticipate their needs and desires and meet them in the moments that matter most. Using customer and business-initiated events, you can create journeys that will automatically take your customers into a path of decisions to respond to their engagement to complete a business outcome while delighting them at every turn.

Edition #17

How Truist, product of the decade’s biggest bank merger, built its first AI assistant (emergingtechbrew.com)

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Truist is the new bank formed in 2019 by the BB&T-SunTrust merger. Truist Assist is the bank's first-ever AI-enhanced virtual assistant. It uses natural language processing to answer 100+ potential customer questions. The assistant also passes off queries to one of Truist’s six contact centers. The bank's previous chatbots were used for basic transactions like scheduling bank appointments, without any machine learning involved.

This AI-powered stroller can drive itself (axios.com)

The Ella smart stroller.

An artificially intelligent stroller with hands-free cruising is the latest gadget meant to make parents' hectic lives just a little easier. The smart stroller, called Ella, is packed with parent- and caregiver-assisting tech. There's also a "rock-my-baby" mode, meant to soothe a restless baby or help one stay asleep even after the walk is over. Ella can drive itself — only when there's no baby inside! — if a child wants to be held rather than strolled.

Strategic leadership for the digital economy | MIT Sloan

A global survey of more than 4,000 business executives revealed most aren’t confident that their leaders are ready to weather the next disruption. Only 9% of survey respondents felt their leaders had sufficient skills to be able to lead in the digital economy. Leaders must set a tone of agility as well as experimentation if they want their organization and employees to succeed, according to MIT Sloan senior lecturer Doug Ready. Leaders who cultivated these signature mindsets were more likely to turn their companies into talent magnets.

Case Study: Chewy and Customer Experience as a Marketing Wedge | by Ryan Duffy | Knowable | Sep 2022 | Medium

How Chewy stands out in a hyper-competitive e-commerce market by obsessing over customer experience — plus 5 key takeaways for founders and marketers.

Edition #16

Customer Experience Statistics You Should Be Aware Of In 2022 | Squaretalk

Customers spend 140% more with companies with great experience than those who had unsatisfactory ones.

86% of consumers are willing to spend up to 25% extra for better customer service.

Customers are 2.4x more likely to keep doing business with a brand if they receive prompt or quick support with their problems.

100+ Customer Experience Stats To Prepare For 2023 – Lumoa

Meta’s Make-A-Video AI achieves a new, nightmarish state of the art | TechCrunch


Edition #15

Customer experience and the future of work | MIT Technology Review

This report, “Customer experience and the future of work,” examines how organizations worldwide are reassessing their CX workforce and processes in the post-pandemic era. Based on a survey of 800 executives and a series of expert interviews.

Beyond good and bad: Challenging the suggested role of emotions in customer experience (CX) research - ScienceDirect

I came across this research paper from 2020 this week. The paper goes into excruciating detail and challenges several notions regarding emotion's role and its influence on CX.

Customer Experience Research Fundamentals | Smaply Blog

Two people discussing a visualization of a customer experience

Knowing your customer and understanding his or her experience with your product is crucial for improving it. This article covers the following key topics and processes.

  • What is customer experience research?

  • Why is customer experience research so important?

  • How to conduct customer experience research?

  • Different methods for customer experience research

DeepMind’s new chatbot uses Google searches plus humans to give better answers (technologyreview.com)

The trick to making a good AI-powered chatbot might be to have humans tell it how to behave—and force the model to back up its claims using the internet, according to a new paper by Alphabet-owned AI lab DeepMind.

Edition #14

Experience Business Glossary | By Mathieu HANNOUZ

Came across this glossary of CX terms produced by Mathieu Hannouz, a Marketing and Customer Experience Technologist and the Director of Digital Experience Evangelism at Adobe. He provides not just a definition, but explores the business value of each term.

In Russell Wilson's return to Seattle, Amazon's 'Just Walk Out' tech gets the cheers at new stadium store – GeekWire

Just Walk Out is billed as a frictionless way for fans to avoid concession lines and get back to their seats faster. Professional sports franchises across the nation are rolling out checkout-free stores from Amazon and other competitors in a test of the nascent technology.

Walmart Now Lets You Use Your Own Photos For Virtual Clothes Fitting | PetaPixel

In March 2022, a virtual fitting room service launched that gave users 50 different models with various body types and heights to select from in order to find what they believed would be the closest match.

However, users still had trouble envisioning how the clothes would look on their own bodies. Now the company lets anyone upload photos of themselves to the app and see what clothes would look like on their individual bodies.

Walmart lets you use your own photos for virtual clothes fitting

Digital Cities

As our world becomes increasingly digital, cities are reinventing themselves yet again. But the next generation of cities won’t be built with wood or bricks or steel. This time around, cities will be built with code.

Edition #13

The wellness industry: Trends and predictions | The Next Normal | McKinsey & Company

What will the wellness market look like in 2030? Connected and customized according to a number of McKinsey executives. The wellness market is booming. Consumers intend to keep spending more on products customer'sve their health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness. In this edition, The Next Normal explores the fast-changing, fast-growing wellness industry.

A secret to retail CX in 2022: The prepared contact center agent| Customer Service | Retail Customer Experience

The engaged, prepared agent is your secret to retail CX in 2022, and smart technology can help you support the people who are the face of your brand. Help agents adjust to the new ways of working required to help customers who are increasingly reaching out via digital channels. Equip them with the tools they need to deliver the experiences today's customers demand, giving them choice and autonomy to make their own decisions and create a healthy work-life balance and ensuring that your staffing levels set them up for success.

10 Impressive Examples of AI in Marketing

Artificial intelligence marketing (AI Marketing) is leveraging customer data and AI concepts like machine learning to anticipate your customer’s next move and improve the customer journey.

AI in marketing may feel more science fiction than fact to many, but it’s not a far-off concept; it’s here right now. According to Salesforce, just 29% of marketing leaders used AI in 2018, but that number surged to 84% by 2020. And by the end of 2021, global spending on artificial intelligence hardware, software, and services is expected to exceed $340 billion, per a forecast from IDC.

Here are ten examples to give you a sense of the range of applications and opportunities.

Edition #12

Life-saving CX: 4 Ways To Revive And Thrive With A Playbook For Digital Engagement | The Drum

Bad customer experience (CX) is a killer, but doing it well can be an incredible (and not necessarily expensive) unlock. Appnovation’s Richard Palmer tells us how brands can make sure they’re on the right side of that divide.

Are CX Professionals Ready to Create Metaverse Experiences? (cmswire.com)

The big question is, where does the average brand go with metaverse experiences today? Entrepreneurs whose CX team is, well, non-existent and CX ownership falls on “someone.” Or the brands that do have a chief customer officer or VP of customer experience that reports to the C-Suite.

The automotive industry is investing more in digital transformation and electric vehicles | ZDNET


The automotive industry is in the midst of a historic digital transformation. The Trends in Automotive report highlights the digital imperatives that are transforming the customer experience.

Edition #11

Five Strategies For Improving The Customer Experience (forbes.com)

Shopping has changed significantly over the last two decades, but the focus on customer experience likely isn’t going anywhere. Jesse Haynes is the VP of Marketing at Guardian Baseball, a baseball equipment eCommerce company.

How telcos can create an empathetic customer engagement strategy (Reader Forum) (rcrwireless.com)

Telecommunications companies are continually looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. Your customer engagement strategy can be part of this — and core to this is empathy. More than just the current buzzword, empathetic engagement is key to growing stronger, longer-term customer relationships. That means understanding what being more empathetic really means when it comes to your customer engagement strategy — and you can’t afford to get this wrong.

How To Use The Customer Experience To Create Differentiation In The ‘sea Of Sameness’ | The Drum

Experts from VMLY&R, Cloudinary and PA Consulting discuss customer experience trends, challenges and emerging tech that can help optimize the CX to boost engagement, conversions and revenue. Watch the full session here. (Registration required)

Aflac virtualizes the customer enrollment experience | CIO

When the pandemic put its independent agents and franchises at grave business risk, Aflac IT set about augmenting their work with digital capabilities that make them ‘bionic,’ tech chief Richard Gilbert says.

Edition #10

Analysis Of The Gartner Chatbot Deployment Guide | by Cobus Greyling | Aug, 2022 | Medium

Cobus does an excellent job of breaking down the 10 key points from Gartner’s chatbot deployment guide and adding some elements he believes are missing.

How Capital One is using data and AI to level up customer experiences | VentureBeat

Transformative customer experience is table stakes these days — and high-quality, usable data and machine learning are the foundation of products and services that deliver. On the opening day of VB Transform 2022, Molly Parr, the VP of product and digital customer experience at Capital One, spoke with VB’s senior editor and writer, Sharon Goldman, about how the company is delivering on that demand.

Ethics And Conversational Assistants | by Patrick Meyer | Towards Data Science

In recent years, trust and consideration of ethical rules have become an essential part of the AI landscape. Early abuses have led legislators to regulate the industry after the fact. This article discusses the ethical issues of conversational assistants considering these new regulations.

Edition #9

Elevating digital customer experience in the next normal | McKinsey Live | McKinsey & Company

Great customer experiences are getting easier because of predictive analytics—especially now that the pandemic has driven more of us online than ever before. For example, an airline built a system that helped identify and prioritize customers whose relationships were most at risk because of multiple flight delays or cancellations. The system worked so well that priority customers’ satisfaction increased over 800%, reducing churn by 60% —great results for just three months of development.

3 Exciting New Trends in the Gartner Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle

Emerging technologies for 2022 fit into three main themes: evolving/expanding immersive experiences, accelerated artificial intelligence automation, and optimized technologist delivery.

5 Emerging Customer Experience Trends Your Brand Should Know (entrepreneur.com)

The demand for an excellent customer experience is increasing as new technologies emerge. Today, if a business wants to stand out, it must also have a personalized, data-driven, and customer-focused approach.

Edition #8

The 4 Biggest Threats to Your Organization’s Customer Experience Initiative

This research outlines the four high-stakes threats to a CX initiative. Executive leaders supporting CX initiatives should leverage this research to create action plans and adopt preventative measures to reduce the severity of these threats.

Digital health: An opportunity to advance health equity | McKinsey

Digital health solutions have the potential to make healthcare more equitable. Here’s how innovators can deliver on that promise.

Thriving In The Online World: Why Digitally Empowered Agents Are The Future Of Insurance (forbes.com)

The insurance industry has typically been slow to understand the digital customer experience, but that is quickly changing as agents adopt digital tools such as interactive advisory services, live simulations, and digital AI health assessments to provide personalized product recommendations that help customers understand their unique life situations and achieve their financial goals.

Edition #7

The 4 Biggest Threats to Your Organization’s Customer Experience Initiative

This research outlines the four high-stakes threats to a CX initiative. Executive leaders supporting CX initiatives should leverage this research to create action plans and adopt preventative measures to reduce the severity of these threats.

How the Pandemic is Accelerating Digital Transformation | Journal by getAbstract

The coronavirus pandemic and the need to avoid person-to-person interactions has pushed us further into a digital world. The crisis will have lasting effects on the way we work, do business and interact with each other.

How Capital One is using data and AI to level up customer experiences | VentureBeat

Transformative customer experience is table stakes these days — and high-quality, usable data and machine learning are the foundation of products and services that deliver. On the opening day of VB Transform 2022, Molly Parr, the VP of product and digital customer experience at Capital One, spoke with VB’s senior editor and writer, Sharon Goldman, about how the company is delivering on that demand.

Edition #6

Conversational AI & Automation: The Essential Guide | Cognigy

A very comprehensive resource to learn about Conversational AI & Automation. This guide is for any organization or leader that has been planning to dive deep into the world of conversational AI and automation.

Text Messages Versus Other Forms Of Communication: What Consumers Prefer Most May Surprise You - Benzinga

Business text messaging is showing no sign of slowing. In 2020, business messaging traffic reached 3.5 trillion, indicating a 9.4% increase from 3.2 trillion in 2019. According to a survey by Cloudili, 93% of consumers believe businesses should use text messages to interact with them over any other form. 

How data should REALLY be used to drive strategy and differentiation | VentureBeat

A successful strategy is preceded by a data-driven culture throughout the organization. Therefore, data should be embedded in every decision, interaction, and process, not just in some cases. That makes any decision-making easy, fast, and aligned with the “set of choices” that are core to strategy implementation.

Edition #5

Dig-in.com | Digital Insurance

Found this site recently that focuses on the digital opportunities in the fintech and insurance industries. Subscriber-only content.

Customer Service The Marriott Way (forbes.com)

“Technology is an opportunity for the customer to take control over their travel experience.” The modern customer is increasingly enjoying a digital, self-service experience. However, if there is a problem at any point in their journey (no pun intended), the customer must have easy access to someone who can help, be it an agent on the phone or an employee at the front desk.

Artificial Intelligence and You: Survive and Thrive through AI's Impact on Your Life, Your Work, and Your World

What is artificial intelligence? Why will it affect you? How do you and your business survive and thrive through the AI revolution? If you’ve been looking for a readable, useful book that addresses these questions in your language, here it is. (Currently free if you have Kindle Unlimited)

Nike Opens Its First ‘Style’ Concept Store in Seoul, South Korea – Footwear News

The athletic clothier Nike is experimenting with new in-store models that include immersive XR experiences. Last week, the company opened a proof-of-concept store in Seoul, Korea. The store has a Mixed-Reality content studio and QR codes that unlock bespoke AR experiences. 

Edition #4

PARALLEL REALITY™ unlocks simpler, personalized airport experience for Detroit customers | Delta News Hub

Using facial recognition technology, travelers in Detroit Metropolitan airport can each see personalized flight information tailored to their unique trip on a single, shared digital screen.

In addition to seamlessly moving through bag drop, security touchpoints and boarding, eligible customers who opt in to using digital identity at check-in can access the PARALLEL REALITY exhibit via facial recognition through the camera at the kiosk screen (non-digital identity customers can access it by scanning a boarding pass).

Parallel Reality gif

Forrester: The Three Customer Service Megatrends in 2022 (callminer.com)

Agility, resilience, and flexibility continue to be essential to long-term contact center strategies that can anticipate and adapt to change. As a customer service leader, your workforce is at the center of this. The pendulum is swinging from automation to increasingly important touchpoints powered by human agents. This report reveals the top three customer service megatrends that customer service leaders must pay attention to in 2022.

Continuous Product Design: CPD Foundations Certification

Continuous Product Design is a cross-team approach to building better digital products faster — based on a shared, quantified, and continuous view of customer signals. Emerge as a CPD leader in your org – in just one hour. CPD Foundations is a free digital leadership certification in Continuous Product Design. It’s geared for busy enterprise digital leaders like you.

Which Customer Journey Mapping Strategy Is Best? (cmswire.com)

There’s no one single way to create a customer journey map. See how brands are approaching journey mapping today in strategic, emotional and goal-driven ways. Shameless plug, my thoughts are included in the article.

Edition #3

Identifying Unmet Needs in a Digital Age (hbr.org)

Innovation is all about finding and filling people’s unmet needs. But even innovators and organizations renowned for their scanning capabilities often have trouble perceiving and correctly interpreting those needs. Drawing on their work as researchers, teachers, and consultants, the authors outline a four-part framework to help innovators diversify how and where they look.

What Customers Expect Out of Their Digital Experience (entrepreneur.com)

Why do customers expect a personalized experience? What can businesses do to effectively deliver personalization, and what are the consequences if they don't? Read on to learn how to get personal with customers.

Unlocking the Metaverse: New Opportunities in Games Infrastructure | Future

The final layer of retooling for the metaverse involves creating the necessary tools and services to actually operate a metaverse itself, which is arguably the hardest part. It’s one thing to build an immersive world, and it’s quite another thing to run it 24/7, with millions of players across the globe. 

Edition #2

What Customers Expect Out of Their Digital Experience

To gain a true competitive edge in today's environment, digital businesses need to elevate their customer journeys to prioritize personalized experiences. Personalization is the next customer experience "must-have" that will define 2022 and 2023. In the past two years, 73% of businesses have increased personalization efforts in their customer experiences.

Why AI Customer Journeys Need More Friction - HBR.com

Friction isn’t always a bad thing, especially when companies are looking for responsible ways to use AI. The trick is learning to differentiate good friction from bad, and to understand when and where adding good friction to your customer journey can give customers the agency and autonomy to improve choice, rather than automating the humans out of decision-making. Companies should do three things: 1) when it comes to AI deployment, practice acts of inconvenience; 2) experiment (and fail) a lot to prevent auto-pilot applications of machine learning; and 3) be on the lookout for “dark patterns.”

Edition #1

Customer Experience in the Age of AI (hbr.org) Article from David C. Edelman and Mark Abraham

Excerpt: "We are now at the point where competitive advantage will be based on the ability to capture, analyze, and utilize personalized customer data at scale and on how a company uses AI to understand, shape, customize, and optimize the customer journey."

An AI-enabled workforce is the future of customer engagement (fastcompany.com)

AI isn't just for chatbots - AI and Machine Learning need to be at the core of all of your business systems garnering insights and enhancing processes at the speed of business.

The Frictionless Organization by Bill Price and David Jaffe

According to the authors, friction tanks customer loyalty. In their 3rd book on CX, they present 9 steps to become frictionless, profile 20 companies that are striving to remove friction (Amazon, RedHat, Trek Bikes, Uber, Xero, and others), and share a lot of "How to?" details, and of course feature fun cartoons from Jon Kudelka.