Events can be a terrific opportunity to uncover the key trends that are propelling an industry — to witness first-hand and participate freely in thought leadership. And perhaps no event is more suited to this sort of observation than the intimate GDS CX Innovation Summit 2021.
This year’s summit was a virtual event owing to the ongoing COVID situation, but I was impressed with how the GDS team kept the intimacy and meaningful conversations of an in-person conference despite the miles between attendees. Insight abounded! And the experience was rich, collaborative, and interactive, not at all like a passive one-way online seminar.
GDS Summits bring together CX business leaders (generally: director, vice president, and C-level) and solution providers for content and meaningful 1:1 discussion about specific problems and challenges facing leading companies. As a summit sponsor, FICX got to be a key participant in these discussions. I wanted to take a few moments to discuss the key themes I heard in the content as well as the one-on-one discussions I got to be a part of. Any opportunity to spend time collaborating with likeminded industry experts is a great time investment.
Hot Topics @ GDS CX Innovation Summit 2021
1) Growing CX Investment
Companies that attended the GDS CX Innovation Summit 2021 are at the leading edge of the larger trend to rapid expansion of investment in CX automation and digital self-service. Every summit discussion included insight and some mention of how companies are putting their money where their customers are.
The reasons for this are clear. Most industry observers say that great CX will be a key source of competitive advantage in the months and years ahead. Even government technology teams are seeing increased budgets for automation and digital self-service, especially for cloud-based tools and platforms.
2) Focus on Top Challenges
Companies also seem to be spending a great deal of time and energy understanding the relative importance of their CX challenges. As with any element of business strategy, prioritization is critical. GDS Summit attendees understand as well or better than others that it is critical to identify and mitigate the key barriers that thwart sales conversion and customer satisfaction.
There is no company that is without multiple opportunities to improve CX, but key projects prioritization is an essential part of any customer experience strategy.
3) Changing Consumer Priorities and Behaviors
Digital has dramatically changed expectations of consumers about sales and service, and their preferences on how and when to engage with companies. Where a few years ago people may have expected to speak with an in-person associate or call center agent to do business, now they expect to be able to get most answers and complete most actions on their time and without human assistance.
This is critical to summit attendees and all business leaders because many of the world’s largest organizations — especially in categories like commerce, financial services, telecom, and healthcare — have processes and systems that were created well before digital.
Today, such companies — all companies, really — must struggle to keep up with changing customer expectations and competitive sets. The gap between legacy processes and customer expectations has placed enormous demands on call centers. COVID exacerbated this issue, because fewer people were able to visit retail locations to have questions answered, and because work-from-home agents tend to be a little less productive.
Contact center costs have increased, as have wait times, creating two growing problems for leading brands.
4) Shortened Consumer Time Expectations
Digital has shortened our collective ability to wait for things we want. People expect answers immediately. Credit (or blame) Google and other amazing sources of information. We see this play out generationally as well. A ten-minute wait can be tolerable for an older customer, but eternal for Gen Z.
5) Limited Development Resources for Digital Services
Developing automated and digital self-service experiences has historically required dev resources – either internal developers or an outside team. The challenge is that for most companies, devs are in noticeably short supply.
Nationally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there is a shortage of 1M developers and grows 190,000 each year. Most companies have far more dev projects than they do people to complete them. They have long development waiting lists or dev queues that govern when a project will begin and ultimately when it can be completed. Fewer devs often means longer dev queues, which makes it tough for CX leaders to get their projects completed, as well as respond to competitor and consumer behavioral changes. Some of the most affected industries include:
The gap in developer talent is even more profound when it comes to mobile skills. Particularly in the US. Many American and European developers started their training and experience in PC-based programming.
But mobile now represents the most connected time. Globally. demand for mobile app developers grows about 20% per year. That was not lost on any summit attendee.
6) Concerns About Employee Experience
Concomitant with the increasing demand on contact center resources has been growing concern for employee experience. More calls — and especially low-value calls — make contact center staff more tired and frustrated. Most companies — from CEO to rank and file agent, recognize that any way we can leverage technology to deliver service can have value in improving employee experience.
7) Growing Reliance on Digital CX
Digital automation and self-service are key elements of any progressive customer experience strategy. Technology is clearly a critical element going forward. Most companies are either already acting on a digital CX strategy or working to build one as soon as possible. Metrics are a key element of those strategies as people face their most business-critical challenges.
No-code digital cx platforms are clearly a leading disruptive technology. In addition to easy-to-use builders, these tools incorporate machine learning and AI in analytics to enable companies to further improve customer experience.
No-Code Tech at the GDS CX Innovation Summit 2021
Interest in new technology like “No-Code” platforms like FICX is growing quickly because it affords the sales, marketing, and customer service teams inside companies to develop customer experiences without knowing code. This ensures that projects are completed more quickly. Without taxing IT resources and without waiting for the dev queue.
Broken customer journeys prevent customers from getting what they need and do irreparable damage to customer loyalty. That is why we, as business leaders and innovators, set out to build a no-code platform that can automate broken customer journeys regardless of where they take place – on the web, in an app, in the contact center, or in person. Digital CX can deliver outstanding customer satisfaction along with greater efficiency for your organization. That was an extremely popular message at the summit.
FICX at GDS CX Innovation Summit 2021
FiCX is the world’s first “No-Code” CX Automation Platform, enabling CX leaders to address the many opportunities to improve and optimize CX. Our revolutionary platform uses a single set of integrations to empower the full range of customer collaboration capabilities. We help leading companies execute their CX strategy by offering a full range of no-code digital automation capabilities that deliver interoperable digital experiences. We also seamlessly connect to customer relationship management (CRM) and data analytics toolsets so that you can digitize the tech stack you already use.
With FiCX as a service provider, you can digitize any customer-facing experience and make it available anywhere customers interact with your brand. Additionally, our unified platform offers full analytics to gain customer insight that can empower future initiatives for your customer experience management program. For more information about FiCX, visit our website or request a demo.
Thanks to GDS
It is exciting to be one of the key solution providers in no-code, and I so appreciated our time at GDS CX Innovation Summit because it afforded us the opportunity to connect with likeminded leaders and industry experts to share ideas and forge new partnership(s). I would like to extend my personal thanks for the perspective and counsel of every executive and potential partner I spoke to at the event, as well as for the entire GDS team who worked so hard to create a powerful and productive experience for likeminded senior leaders. Based on the mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, I am not alone in this rosy assessment of the summit.