Emerging Technology

Tech-Driven CX Isn't Science Fiction: A Philly Tech Week Wrap-Up

07 May 2018, Ashley Kinder

A gradient wheel showing industries that value customer experience

Ten years ago many people only considered AI and machine learning as leading roles in science fiction movies, like A.I. or The Matrix. Yet here we are, living in the time of predictive web searches, self-driving cars, and robots serving coffee.

For Philly Tech Week 2018, this science fiction was center stage. On Tuesday evening Hero Digital hosted a panel that explored the impacts AI and machine learning have on customer experience (CX). From B2B to in-store customer engagements, this technology helps brands execute in a meaningful way to consumers — such as tracking a pizza delivery from oven to doorstep or suggesting products based on account activity.

On the surface, it’s seamless. But these well-crafted customer experiences have layers and layers of back-end complexities that are simply too complex (and time consuming) for humans. According to Gartner, by 2020 nearly 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human. And we’re seeing it now – take the once innovative idea of a self-checkout line, which has now evolved into a checkout-free store, such as Amazon Go.

We continued the CX discussion at Philly Tech Week’s Introduced Conference, where Kevin Hanley, VP Digital Marketing, gave his thoughts on a thoughtful approach to user experience. The secret? Think holistically about the message by making it timely, relevant, and personalized. Fellow panelist Matt Pritchard, VP Digital Marketing at Campbell Soup Company, expanded, “understand the friction points in a customer’s journey and then back up to digital solutions.”

Kevin also stressed the importance of acknowledging that entire CX experiences can happen offline for some companies. In that situation, being data informed (vs. driven) and having empathy are paramount to really good CX. So, the million dollar question remains: are people loyal to brands or experiences?

According to Kevin, brand loyalty only comes after a customer has encountered multiple positive experiences. And like Oz behind the curtain, marketers and technologists have the mountainous task of ensuring customer needs are satisfied at every digital, in-store, and offline moment. At Hero Digital, that’s our craft.

Customer journey poster from Phillt Tech Week

Learn more about how to prepare your brand for widespread reliance on AI and machine learning with our foundational guide.