Fluid Expectations: IBM Studio Talk
We wrapped up the CX Academy speaker sessions with a strong finish. Ramsi Bedeir (CX Director, IBM Studio) and Alex Tattis (Senior CX Strategist, IBM Studio) delivered a stellar presentation on enhancing the customer experience using AI.
Being generalist designers and strategists, they showcased examples and case studies from across industries – equipping the audience with key learnings on how we might apply them to the retail industry. As Ramsi shared, “fluid expectations is the idea that any experience a person has will trickle down to other experiences. A simple greeting from an associate with a tablet could go from retail to healthcare.”
Their talk covered three key focus areas on where AI is being used to enhance customer experience design: insights, customer interactions and automation. Within insight development, AI is being used to “design delightful experiences – converting analytics into emotion.” Burger King’s “Hungry People in Traffic” is a brilliant example of using real-time data to deliver Whoopers to customers stuck in Mexico City’s traffic. Using digital billboards, banner ads on Waze and voice-command ordering, BK can fulfill orders and deliver them to precise locations using the Google Maps API. Beyond a PR stunt, the BK app increased app downloads by 44% and daily delivery orders by 63%. How might we anticipate what the end user expects and delight them with a wow experience?
Today’s familiar digital touch-points are also rapidly transforming. There’s a shift from old wave forms of communication like email, websites, apps and digital ads; to IoT, chatbots, VR, image recognition and voice-enabled devices. How might we use this emerging set of tools to create a more humanistic approach to AI?
Lastly, the speakers explored the realms of AI-powered automation of processes. Today, AI is predominantly being used to optimize supply chain, operations and logistics – but a close second is within marketing and customer-centricity. Through “Intelligent Automation”, processes run by technology, followed by human involvement when necessary. An example is Google Duplex which can fulfill mundane tasks like restaurant reservations and car rental bookings.
While the opportunity for transformation is substantial, organizations still struggle with inherent challenges, such as siloed business units, lack of senior management buy-in, limited understanding of AI, lack of funding and data, and the difficulties of integrating technologies across channels. Yet, organizations have the opportunity to invest in the long-game of AI; with an eye towards digital and cultural transformation, they can equip themselves with the right tools to stay ahead of the game.
Knowledge-building, investing in AI-powered solutions, building cross-functional teams and implementing proper governance of deploying such tech solutions – are ways of tackling these challenges. Through various initiatives across the Group – such as The Greenhouse, CX Academy, Shift and co-leadership of digital business managers – we are moving towards disrupting ourselves from within. As IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty notes “[Technologies] are in service of humans. They are here to extend what you and I can do. To extend the human capability.”