By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO
Every month I write a column for Wharf Life, a fortnightly publication that’s available for free around Canary Wharf, Docklands, and east London as well as in an E-Edition online. Titled Virtual Viewpoint, I use this column to share my thoughts on a variety of technology related topics as well as my recent experiences. My latest Virtual Viewpoint was about grocery shopping at the local Canary Wharf Waitrose, something I’ve done regularly – and without much fanfare – since the store opened over 20 years ago.
For all those years I was always baffled by the wine bar in the middle of the food shopping court. On many occasions, I would wonder why on earth people would want to combine the drudgery of picking up their spuds and toothpaste with a glass of wine. I was especially perplexed considering the abundance of lovely bars in such close proximity. Yet, it’s always appeared consistently busy and continued to be a fixture of the store despite the updates and renovations over the years.
The penny finally dropped the other day after my wife and newborn son arrived home from the hospital, and we were suddenly thrust into the two-under-two club. A few days into the lovely chaos of both chasing a toddler and caring for an infant, and suddenly a trip to Waitrose felt quite exciting!
With a spring in my step, I put on my noise cancelling headphones with some relaxing music and the experience felt completely different to normal – more like a trip to a health spa. Oblivious to the mundanities of my shopping trip, I suddenly stumbled upon the bar. And that’s when the light bulb moment happened. I was in my personal spa, and the idea of a glass of champagne amid the shoppers made perfect sense.
Every company has a target customer base, and it’s no secret that designing your experience for your target customer is good for business. Yet within that target group there are a variety of subgroups that have different needs and expectations. Those variations could be based on age, location, access to technology – even number of children! It’s important that you consider these differences when making customer experience (CX) decisions.
As the leader of a conversational AI company, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am a huge supporter of implementing technology to improve your CX. But I am also a huge supporter of keeping the human at the centre of all CX decisions. While Creative Virtual’s V-Person™ solutions successfully automate digital customer service, forcing all customers to only self-serve with a virtual agent is never a good CX decision.
This is just one reason why it’s key to consult with experts on your CX strategy. This group of experts should include those experienced with your industry, with the technology, and with your identified use cases. It should also include your customers – the true experts on their experiences with your organisation, products, services, and employees.
Go beyond the typical customer surveys and dig into rich data like conversations with your virtual agent and contact centre. See what customers are actually asking, where they are experiencing pain points, and what they really love. Look for ways you can make experiences easier and more personalised. And be sure to take into consideration the varying preferences and needs of your whole customer base – get insights from both the carefree dad of one young child and the sleep-deprived parent of two-under-two!
If you’re local to Canary Wharf and want to discuss customising your CX with conversational AI, I’d be happy to meet you at Waitrose for a glass of wine and a chat. You can also arrange a session with one of Creative Virtual’s experts around the world by contacting us here.
A great resource if you’re evaluating different conversational AI solutions is the 2023 Chatbot Buyer’s Guide. It includes a technology comparison chart that can help you determine the specific functionality you’ll need to design the right experience for your customers.