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Analytics and the Power of the Human Touch: 5 Predictions for the Future

December 27, 2019 Jim Iyoob

Everyone knows the story behind the demise of at least one brand or company that eventually failed to thrive due to an inability or refusal to innovate and change with the times. Many of these major businesses that experienced failures were, at one time, hugely successful and popular. Perhaps you remember the joy and anticipation of searching the shelves for that newly released video on a Friday night at Blockbuster or browsing aisles of new toys at Toys R Us. These are just two examples of large companies that thought incorporating new and evolving technologies into their game plans weren’t necessary, and ultimately paid the price for those decisions in the end.

The truth is new technology is king and it’s constantly evolving. When it comes to successful business strategies, staying up-to-date on what’s new and what’s to come in the world of analytics is a must. To be clear, there’s certainly expected to be huge advancements in technological resources in this field over the next decade. The question is, which of the technologies should you keep your eye on and how can you ensure you don’t lose the human touch needed to get the most out of the analytical breakthroughs?

You read that right: while artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics continue to grow and become increasingly important for sustained success, so will human intelligence (HI). Read on for five predictions on what’s ahead and how AI and HI will need to work hand in hand to reach their maximum potential.

AI Isn’t Going Anywhere and Is Growing Larger

Currently, most businesses across a wide expanse of fields utilize AI in some way. The technology is often used for providing predictive analysis on customers and for automating some work processes. It’s expected that AI will eventually be interwoven with how consumers communicate and engage with nearly anyone and anything, including friends, companies, other technologies and even their homes.

What’s important to not lose sight of in this technological advancement equation is the equal importance of human intelligence. AI is only as good as the people that know what to do with it. In the case of analytics, if it can’t be deciphered and put to good use to make positive and effective changes, what difference does having the data make? The best way to make use of analytics gleaned through AI is to keep a human element involved. Experts, such as Data Scientists, will be a crucial link between pinpointing customer needs and developmental weaknesses among team members. The human element is the key to instituting actionable coaching and development plans to spur continued improvements.

Evolving AI Will Allow Team Members To Reprioritize Tasks

While many companies already rely on some form of AI or system to generate their customer and performance data, most of them still count on people to detect anomalies, compile reports, score leads and any number of other manual processes. It’s predicted in the not-so-far-off future that most, if not all, these tasks will be automated thanks to marketing software and analytics updated with more advanced AI features.

This provides benefits to help companies improve two-fold. First, this technology is able to evaluate all the data points available to it, not just a single one at a time. This provides a deeper look into a brand’s performance and where additional focus is needed. Second, with the software compiling the data, leaders are free to focus on training and coaching team members and putting actionable plans in motion.

Consumers Will Demand Personalized Service

The cold, hard truth is that many businesses will only be as successful as their customers are happy in relation to the experience they’re provided. The customer experience (CX) offered by a brand can easily make or break it. According to a survey from the Sitel Group, more than half of the consumer market is willing to spend extra money on a product or service from a company that provides top-notch CX. Businesses would be wise to take note of this important statement.

It will no longer be enough for a brand to take a channel perspective and expect all customers to want the same experience and modes of engagement. Businesses will require a deep understanding of the various ways customers wish to communicate and will then need to act and deliver upon these customer expectations. Continued and heightened engagement over social media, online chat services and email will likely stay relevant and popular for the time being. This doesn’t necessarily mean all automation, bots, online interactions and the like. Sitel points out in its study that human interaction is still preferred by 70% of consumers, so having a live voice ready to assist will continue to be crucial to delivering excellent customer experiences.

The Goal of Personalized Customer Experiences Will Be Achieved Through Prescriptive Analytics

Speaking of exceptional and personalized customer experiences, prescriptive analytics may well be the key that pinpoints what that customer will need or want next. For some businesses, that may take the form of offering the right product or service at just the right time to the right customer. For other companies, implementing more effective prescriptive analytics may involve putting into play a recommended solution to a found problem.

Human intelligence will drive positive outcomes here as solutions are implemented, monitored and adjusted in real-time, as needed. No matter what this looks like for a particular brand, inviting in some form of prescriptive automation will be imperative for quickly meeting customer needs.

Businesses Will Gain a Better Understanding of End-User Happiness With Sentiment Analytics

Gone will be the days of solely relying on traditional surveys and call-center data. The wave of the future is gaining a sense of customer attitudes, loyalty and satisfaction through the collection of additional behavioral data. This could include the analyzing of customer interactions through a brand’s website and any other offered channels of communication and engagement.

Although it’s still in the very early stages and not nearly ready to be rolled out in its full form, an exciting up-and-coming area of ingenuity is in the field of facial recognition. You may already be familiar with facial recognition thanks to your iPhone, but expect this technology to go next-level in the field of sentiment analytics. This technology could usher in the possibility of monitoring customer experiences and gauging if they are successful through the detection of frowns, smiles and other facial expressions. This could quickly provide recommendations on how to best proceed, whether through steering the exchange back on track or providing positive feedback for offering a successful resolution resulting in a satisfied customer.

With so many AI advancements on the cusp of making a breakthrough and revolutionizing how companies do business, it’s important to keep your own brand’s goals in mind. How will you utilize game-changing technologies to your advantage without losing that all-important human element? The key to continued success and growth for any company lies in embracing new advancements in AI technologies while refusing to let go of the importance of also utilizing human intelligence. Etech is your partner for melding advanced AI technologies and human intelligence for enhanced call center quality monitoring. Contact Etech to explore its services and how they can benefit your own business, your team and, ultimately, your customers.

This blog was earlier published on LinkedIn.