Businesses are focusing on customer experience (CX) more than ever before. In 2018, CX became the top brand differentiator outweighing price, product quality, people and every other factor. Businesses that provide customers with a differentiated and personalized customer experience will thrive and those that do not will struggle to survive. This means delivering consistent and empathetic experiences to customers across a variety of touchpoints, whether that’s over the phone, SMS, email, a mobile app or website.
COVID19 shifted experiences to digital-first
In fact, the pandemic has shifted the primary means in which customers interact with their favorite brands, with more people engaging via digital channels. A simple example is buying a coffee. Although there has been the capability to purchase a coffee through an app, most people chose to queue up in a line and wait. When the pandemic hit, buying through the app became the only way and that’s likely to stay.
Today, we can do almost anything through the web or apps and this includes buying groceries, scheduling car maintenance or refinancing a mortgage. The challenge for companies is that these digital interfaces are rarely connected, and this creates disjointed experiences for customers. For example, a customer might try and purchase an item through a website, and if the process fails may call customer service. If that contact center agent does not have access to those previous digital touchpoints, it leads to a pretty frustrating experience for both the agent and customer where they need to start over in figuring out the issue. Not to mention, if that agent is actually the right one to answer that customer’s problem – often customers need to be transferred to a different department. Anyone reading this has likely gone through something like this and knows how frustrating it can be.
Genesys brings together customer experience silos
One company that’s aiming to connect these two worlds and help brands deliver more personalized and empathetic customer experiences is Genesys. Genesys recently announced its intent to acquire Bold360 from LogMeIn. For those that don’t know Bold360, the company offers a digital engagement suite and has an extensive knowledge base that enables organizations to access the right information at the right time. This allows brands to drive better and more consistent digital experiences and empowers their agents with key insights to better respond to customers.
Bold360 will be rolled into Genesys’ newly created Digital Business Unit, headed up by GM and EVP Barry O’Sullivan. This is a good move for both companies, because it gives Genesys some best-in-class digital customer service tools and hopefully enables LogMeIn to focus and modernize its other products, which include the GoToMeeting Suite.
I recently had a chance to have a video call with O’Sullivan to discuss the acquisition. As a customer experience and contact center solutions vendor, Genesys already provides customers with some digital engagement capabilities for contact center agents. Bold360 complements these capabilities with a Digital-First approach, and the Acquire product aimed at marketing and sales use cases. I want to be clear that Bold360 also provides value to contact center agents as the AI-powered analytics make agents smarter. The combination of Bold360 and Genesys gives a complete view of CX to anyone that interfaces with a customer.
A real-time view of all data is required for personal and self-service
I asked O’Sullivan to provide an example of how the combined platforms might work. He walked me through an example of a mobile operator, which has a set of questions and answers that come up often. There is also a set of knowledge around the devices offered. Those datasets could be loaded into the system and that provides the agent with a real-time view of all the data they would need to answer any question the customer might have instead of having the agent have to look for it.
Alternatively, the data can be used to automate answers through self-service. O’Sullivan added, “This acquisition is about entering a new market for us, which is the Digital-First market. We want to let our customers easily access the knowledge they have built up in a format that can be used by agents, sales, marketing or anyone else that’s customer-facing.”
Digital was already rapidly becoming the primary means for businesses to interact with customers. The pandemic just accelerated the transition. Business and IT leaders need to continue to focus on CX but broaden the aperture and ensure all digital transactions are being merged with traditional interactions. Genesys and Bold360 have tremendous potential in bringing these two worlds together.