Who We Are
Eytan Hattem CCXP,
Cemantica | CEO and CX Business Lead
Customer experience has always been at the heart of Eytan’s career and his passions; from his proven track record in international technology implementation projects through to his work as a business consultant supporting clients in their digital transformation journey, aligning business goals with the customer experience.
As a certified CCXP professional, Eytan created Cemantica to help organizations from different sectors understand and transform their customer journeys through best practices and innovative technologies.
A true evangelist and thought leader, Eytan speaks and writes regularly within CX industry media with authority and passion, is a trusted and respected judge at global CX awards, plus mentors fellow CX professionals and start-ups to spread the power of customer experience.
“How do we want our customers to feel?” is not a question a machine can answer without input, it requires a human capacity to understand behavior, how relationships are managed and what triggers emotion. It could be that in the future machines will be able to imitate these skills, but currently we are still a must-have in any CX equation.
In this article I would like to describe the way I see the journey management space evolving in the future, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence in the service of better designed customer experiences.
Volatile markets require brands to quickly adapt to fluctuations with little time to prepare, as was formulated a couple of years ago by the VUCA concept (a framework for understanding VUCA). One of the proven techniques to maintain a flexible backbone, open to rapid transformation, is to adopt the journey management model. This model is defined as the process of designing, implementing and optimizing the interactions that customers have with a brand along the customer journey as they are perceived and understood by the customer.
The implementation of this type of approach encompasses many benefits for the organization, such as improved quality of service, better alignment with customer needs and expectations, increased profitability and more personalized product and service offers.
While the practice has many outstanding benefits and is a must for any organization that wants to put its customer at the heart of the business activity, it still relies on significant human intervention along the process in the form of data entry, data analysis, training, governance, timely execution of initiatives and more. This fact could be a barrier to many organizations that struggle with time allocation, resources availability and budget constraints, resulting in restrained customer experience programs that are not delivering the expected outcomes, thus generating frustration, which finally leads to their abandonment.
This is where the integration of artificial intelligence in the journey management space can be of value; saving time and energy for CX teams in various tasks such as: building persona profiles, designing customer journeys, detecting customer pain points and extracting insights that would contribute to the improvement of customer experience as well as the achievement of the business objectives.
The answer to the current journey management practice challenges is the establishment of a model, that I would like to call Generative Journeys, which will make use of the various forms of artificial intelligence (cognitive, analytical and generative), capable of not just collecting data and extracting analytics, but also of building the journey automatically from the data and taking actions by creating novel and realistic content such as text, images, audio and video. AI will become the automation engine of many of the CX Program tasks, that are conducted today by CX professionals and other functions in the organization, freeing their time to focus on generating business value.
So how will the model work?Experiences are triggered when customers interact with the organization through the communication channels across the journey stages. This layer is the place where the actions the organization is taking to improve CX. During the interaction process a significant amount of data is collected through the touchpoints and stored in different information systems, such as CRM, ERP, BI and other business applications. This data lake is the source upon which AI mechanisms can nourish to produce their insights and drive action.
The generative journey model will make use of all the data collected and will add on top of it the human inputs regarding the organizational brand values, the customer experience strategy, the business goals and the market trends, to decide which type of approach to apply to each customer segment on every touchpoint. The result will be an autonomous system that can collect customer feedback, analyzing and acting upon it automatically by producing personalized content or taking an action that will fix an issue a customer is facing, in real time.
AI possesses the capacity to profoundly enhance customer experience in various domains, leading to valuable outcomes, beyond just revenue generation and cost reduction. Generative technologies can be applied across the customer lifecycle to enhance CX by delivering personalized content that creates engaging and memorable experiences.Here are a few practical examples:
The technologies capable of executing the various CX tasks are already available, they are just not fully orchestrated around a journey management methodology. The evolution towards this model will be gradual until a certain point in time where all the operational work will be managed by artificial intelligence engines. CX professionals will concentrate their efforts on defining the right CX strategies, developing the customer experience culture in the organization, surfacing the ROI of CX initiatives and connecting them to business goals. This is how the joint effort of AI and CX professionals will make the right use of the competitive advantage each one has in the benefit of an optimized operating model that truly seeks to continuously improve customer experience over time.
From a journey management technology perspective, the approach will expand to connect journey mapping tools and CX orchestration/insights platforms to create a holistic model of collection, analysis and visualization of customer feedback data. AI will participate in the analysis of the data but will also add generative capabilities that trigger automated actions to address customer issues, needs and expectations, completing the missing ACTIONABLE piece where many companies struggle.
Like many big bang tech trends, AI only works when it applies to a real and practical context, otherwise it can be lost in theory and never add real value.This is true for the Journey Management space as well, which remains a domain that requires much human involvement and manual work.
The future of journey management, as explained in this article, is a combination of powerful generative artificial intelligence engines together with human emotional intelligence (known as “Human-AI teaming”) that will harness the best of breed of both worlds in the service of better customer experience. Journey maps will evolve from manually maintained maps to dynamically orchestrated data infused journeys that autocorrect themselves and provoke actions that will continuously improve customer experience.
My personal estimation is that 2024 will be transformative for the journey management domain; companies, software vendors and consultants will need to shift their way of doing things to accommodate the new trends that will dominate the future.
The revolution has started and now we need, as CX professionals, to apply it correctly to make use of its power for the benefit of customer experience improvement. I am jumping on this train with much enthusiasm to discover how to best transform the theory into practice and will publish my next articles around the way this should be implemented progressively.
Countdown to Consumer Duty: What does it mean for Customer Experience?
What are Generative Journeys?
What is Total Experience?
The importance of a CX approach in your enterprise
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