Procurement Mega Trends and The Importance of Early and Continuous Adoption for The Purpose of Strategic & Operational Evolution
A short article by Sherif Abdelmageed, Strategic Sourcing Lead at…
An article by Marek GRABOWSKI, Customer Journeys Management Director and Barbara DYMERSKA, Customer Journey Director from Orange Polska.
Automation (including Robotic Process Automation) and artificial intelligence (machine learning) are undeniable trends that create today’s telecommunication market, which is now becoming an increasingly important part of innovative Customer Service Models. It is not by chance that Gartner’s analysts confirm the growth of companies using the after-sales solutions. In 2018-19 itself, companies which have invested in the development of artificial intelligence and automation have shown an revenue increase by 4%-14% (Gartner’s 2019CIO Agenda Survey). Companies that did not invest in the development of new technologies were unable to secure customers’ experience, remaining far beyond their competition.
The technological race continues and it is safe to say that it has overtaken today’s market and its distinctive – exponential growth leads to the conclusion that there is less and less space remaining for human relations. But is it for sure?
Customers journey approach using empathy and design thinking enables a holistic way to visualise how the contact with a company looks from a customer’s perspective (touchpoints). The end-to-end attitude also requires strengthening of analytical aspects and integration of many reporting systems to enable precise observation of customers’ paths and creation of predictive models of their behaviour at various stages of the processes they are in.
Building strong understanding of paths of the customers enables companies to precisely profile and implement technological solutions which address true customer needs. Taking Orange as an example, we know that essential touchpoint for human interaction is first and foremost the “I Buy and I Complain” journey. For instance, approximately 50% of customers still decide to choose the phone channel in order to make a complaint. However, it does not mean that the whole complaining process shall be handled by people. The Robotic Process Automation comes handy here. Robotisation of basic, simple and repetitive orders not only accelerates the work but also equalises standards and helps to eliminate so-called “human errors” (up to robotisation of 50% BL assignments).
Voice and chatbots are widely used in other paths leading to efficient support of customers’ experience. Such solutions efficiently help customers in line with self-services approach by eliminating simple cases such as payment instalments or information on customer account balance. Feedback from clients regarding their cooperation with Orange artificial intelligence, we often receive answers such as“ on one hand, it is so nice to talk to someone who is alive, but on the other, Max (Orange AI VoiceBot) has no bad days;)”.
The benefit of implementing artificial intelligence solutions in the company is their multi-channel nature. The VoiceBot’s abilities can be transferred to the chat or vice versa. Although chatbots, considered being the communication hub of the entire digital world, are a solution demanding a bit different approach than the natural language recognition used by the VoiceBot. A chabot must not only understand the text, but also identify pauses and read the logical context from multi-threaded and multitasking expressions that are not always written at the exact same moment. Conversely, the chabot is more interactive – customers may send pictures, tables and even links which seems to be a much greater asset than implementing challenges
Needless to say, to create a completely new experience to meet the need for digitised customers, even a large Millennials group. Especially the last ones are increasingly giving up traditional contact channels, such as contact centre and stores. They also value constant 24/7 access to information.
With this in mind, we responded to these needs and launched the Utech project, which digitised the “I Need Help and I Buy” path. Thanks to this solution, the customer has a simple way to verify the status of his trouble ticket or order. It allows access to the full range of information without downloading the application, without registration, without logging in. The customer receives the status of the case on an ongoing basis, he can freely manage this status (change dates, cancel). He can also contact the technician directly and see where he is (solution taken from Uber). At Orange, we care about closed loop – that is why the customer has the opportunity to rate the service and technician and share feedback. We do it to improve the process.
The transformation that companies go through is supported by a different way of implementation than before. Constant improvement on production and ongoing enhancement of customer experience involves working in Agile methodology. Agile perfectly addresses customer needs and, additionally, statistics show that due to agile project management, the time for introducing to market is on average 37% shorter and increases team efficiency with an average productivity increase of 16%. It is worth mentioning that Agile and the associated implementation of new technologies also involves cultural changes. In the following years it will only be “more agile”.
In times of the technology race, the trends identification that really determines the organisation’s actions and the customers’ behaviour is an essential element of every company’s strategy. Without a doubt, the following years will pass under the slogan of “Mobile First”, not to mention that there will also be a digital expansion, which will consequently result in omnichannel expansion. All these aforesaid changes will lead to personalisation. The true personalisation.