Your roadmap to innovation @scale: A 5-point solution to become a CX technology leader with a future-proof strategy

Your roadmap to innovation @scale: A 5-point solution to become a CX technology leader with a future-proof strategy

A road trip will only be as successful as the map you use. If you don’t know what roads and turns you need to take in order to reach your desired destination, how will you get there? The same is true of a brand’s CX strategy. How will you carry your brand into the future without an innovation roadmap? In this fast-paced world, a failure to innovate and forge ahead is not an option.

Have you heard the phrase, “innovate or die”? That might sound a bit dramatic, but the simple truth is a brand will fail if it can’t innovate at scale. This has been true for even reputable and well-established household brands. The lack of an innovation mindset is what killed many once-successful brands such as Blockbuster and Kodak. The reason is simple. Innovation is the key when creating a winning approach to CX to drive customer satisfaction.

“Companies that innovate at scale have 56% increase in customer retention and see a 45.6x improvement in customer satisfaction.”
—Omer Minkara, Aberdeen

Just like any road trip has a starting destination, so does your path to innovation. You can’t rely on luck to carry your brand into the future. You need to know where you’re going to stay on track. An innovation roadmap must have a clear starting point, path, and destination in mind to successfully navigate innovation at a pace that will future-proof your business.

1. Roadmap your CX innovation goals and initiatives

The need to create a detailed innovation roadmap is standard practice for most companies when it comes to new product development. But what about your CX innovation? The truth is you need a CX roadmap to advance rather than relying on luck.

To succeed at scale, you need a roadmap that will help outline your strategic goals, initiatives, and structured activities to enable your CX teams to drive and support business growth. It can also shine a light on areas that need improvement or expansion and illuminate fields worth investigating for innovation opportunities that may materialize as the marketplace changes.

When developing your roadmap, ensure the creation process is strategic, visionary, and specific. For example, “Here's where I want the company to be in five years,” and then map out what that looks like. Specify the goals you have for each quarter and each year to ensure you reach the desired end result at the chosen time.

2. Future-proof your CX roadmap with AI

Economic uncertainty and rapidly changing buyer needs make it vital to future-proof your CX strategy. Innovation is what enables brands to future-proof their roadmap. Here are a few common areas to consider.

“Innovation is what enables brands to future-proof themselves.”
—Omer Minkara, Aberdeen

We all know that voice interactions will not disappear anytime soon. However, 52% of customers list chat as their preferred channel, but only 31% of businesses offer chat as a primary option. [1] Improving chat features clearly should be a focus for most brands.

The majority of customers (81%) want more self-service options. However, just 15% of consumers are satisfied with the current offerings from brands. Innovating self-service is key when it comes to customer loyalty and revenue. Studies show that 41% of consumers will abandon a brand after two bad interactions. [2]

Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as an integral part of delivering the customer experience, yet only one in four companies surveyed say they are employing AI or machine learning to better reach and serve customers. In addition, the majority of executives (59%) rate their first-contact resolution (FCR) with customers as “poor” or “less than adequate.” [3]

AI solutions will continue to expand and serve as the best way to reach customers and deliver better experiences. The many options include sentiment analysis, personalized communication, efficient AI routing, and real-time agent coaching.

Analytics applications are also emerging areas to improve customer experience. These include industry-specific understanding, accurate data interpretation, and pattern recognition. Analytic tools such as these are some of the best ways to inform decision-makers on sales opportunities, key performance drivers, and service problems. [4]

You can also enable fast resolution through AI-driven self-service to scale human connections by empowering customers and employees with answers through self-service and knowledge management. With AI, you can identify trends and root causes across 100% of your customer and agent interactions. Whether you’re analyzing a voice, text, or digital conversation, you can measure and uncover insights to drive improvements to CX.

In addition, you can leverage tools for a complete conversational customer journey. AI solutions can help you build dialogues, intents, and labeling entities by analyzing and improving bot conversations based on historical data in addition to controlling and deploying new versions of the bot into production.

“90% of best-in-class firms deliver truly data-driven customer interactions by standardizing data across the organization.”
—Omer Minkara, Aberdeen

3. Be flexible on your road to CX innovation

Any road trip is more enjoyable if you can be flexible. You might want to pull over to check out some unexpected attractions. Similarly, agility is an important part of your innovation roadmap. You must reevaluate as you go, make important stops along the way, and enact changes that become necessary. The key to an innovation journey is that it may take you in unexpected directions.

While creating an innovation roadmap, you have to form a lot of assumptions about current and future market needs. The resulting assumptions are then used to compile a set of innovation scenarios and then you must assess the likelihood of success for each scenario.

But let’s be honest, we can prepare as much as possible, but nobody can know with certainty how customers' needs and behaviors will develop or how technology will advance. Therefore, your roadmap needs to be updated regularly to reflect new information, technological achievements, etc.

In order for your roadmap to remain useful, a process must be put in place for making regular updates. This will enable you to decide whether any plans or scenarios need to be revised to reflect important changes.

Now, let’s take a look at how AI can help you create an effective innovation strategy and update your roadmap as needed.

4. Harness the power of purpose-built AI solutions

Think of the modern-day road trip compared to the road trip experience of a few decades ago. No matter where you travel, the process is entirely different, and the reason is modern technology. Gone are the map books of the past, replaced by apps on our phones. These mapping applications make it easier than ever to plan a road trip, know how long it will take to reach your destination, and find alternative routes when a detour becomes necessary.

CX technology has similarly changed the innovation roadmap experience. Having too many disparate tools makes it difficult to build and manage an innovation roadmap. Creating a truly effective innovation strategy can only be realized by replacing a legacy technology infrastructure with a platform that can unify all information across the organization. This means every customer touchpoint—from the website to a mobile app, to the contact center—must be integrated and seamless.

“Firms using AI grow revenue by 21.5% and decrease service costs by 17%”
—Omer Minkara, Aberdeen

Having purpose-built AI for CX based on real-consumer conversations is the best way to improve productivity and customer experiences by building the right self-service and agent-assisted journeys.

Learn more about purpose-built AI for CX here.

AI Users Enjoy Superior CX Performance Gains

However, keep in mind, all AI is only as powerful as the data it’s trained on, so data silos need to be eliminated. The foundation of any innovation strategy is a unified data layer, meaning a platform where all data is stored in one place, no matter where it comes from. Then you can leverage machine learning to take the guesswork out of your innovation roadmap process.

67% of organizations have yet to incorporate AI into their knowledge management strategy counter to data on AI’s significant, and increasing, market impact—leaving room for prepared organizations to pull ahead of the pack. [5]

AI can use customer insight data to predict needs and intent and then measure customer satisfaction to ensure your roadmap can be evaluated using strong KPIs. CX leaders can leverage these insights and make the data actionable to remove friction and roadblocks to make it easier to accelerate innovation at a faster pace.

Watch this video to learn more about how Enlighten AI for Business can help you achieve your innovation goals.

5. Foster a culture of innovation for continuous CX improvement

By leveraging the available AI solutions, CX leaders can focus more on innovation and speeding up the time to consumption for new products and services. That’s the only way to beat the competition! Automated processes that eliminate complexity make it far simpler to accelerate innovations and stay ahead of the competition and customers’ expectations. [6]

  • Enable fast resolution through AI-driven self-service
  • Leverage tools for a complete conversational AI journey—build dialogues, intents, and label entities through analyzing and improving bot conversations, and control and deploy new versions of the bot into production
  • Scale human connections by empowering customers and employees with AI-and data-driven self-service and knowledge management
  • Identify trends and root causes across every single interaction to analyze, measure, and uncover insights to drive CX improvements
  • Engage consumers based on trusted company knowledge while aligning each response using conversational AI that acts as the brand’s best employee, creating fully personalized experiences
  • Give employees a by-their-side conversational AI experience, acting as an empowerment booster, and producing accurate, informed, brand-specific, prompts
  • Promote smarter guided interactions, AI-driven personalized coaching, and offload repetitive tasks, leading to better overall agent and customer experiences

As with any new initiative, creating a successful and evolving innovation roadmap isn’t always easy, especially when it involves embarking on a project that can seem broad and complex. However, the benefits innovation can yield are worth working toward. If you continue to innovate and use the latest AI solutions as part of your CX strategy you’ll be more competitive, drive more revenue, build better customer loyalty, and optimize productivity and efficiency.

Embracing cloud-based CX solutions will enable your businesses to foster a culture of innovation so you can continuously improve your CX offerings and maintain a competitive market advantage. AI makes it possible for you to streamline decision-making, align CX strategies combined with business goals, enhance productivity, and foster innovation @scale. By harnessing the power of AI, businesses can confidently navigate the complex CX landscape, unlock their full potential, and achieve sustained success.

Learn more about how to innovate @scale by watching this webinar: Accelerate CX innovation @scale with purpose-built AI.

[1] NICE: Digital-First Customer Experience Report (2022)
[2] NICE: Digital-First Customer Experience Report (2022)
[3] NICE: The 3 Stages Toward AI-powered, Digital-First Journey Excellence (2022)
[4] NICE: Illuminate Your Path to CX Innovation with Enlighten AI (2023)
[5] Deloitte Insights: Knowledge management strategy (2020)
[6] NICE: The New Standard for Exceptional Customer Experiences