Points of View

Customers Want Self-Service Their Way—Will HGS’ DigiCX Deliver?

Jul 10, 2016 Barbra McGann Reetika Fleming Melissa O'Brien

HGS wants to make it easier and more pleasant for customers to get the right answer fast—by making self-service a more fluid experience across channels. In a recent demo for the launch of DigiCX, HGS introduced a strategy for helping its clients optimize customer experience by guiding people looking for help or support across channels and devices with less effort. Behind the scenes, the service provider is employing a set of digital tools including elements of automation (Digibots) and analytics (DigiInsights).

 

Through a “show and tell” of DigiCX, HGS went through a scenario with a fast food customer. As this customer typed in a question about the nutritional value of his food, DigiCX used a sample FAQ page and applied DNA – Digital Natural Assist, a proprietary natural language processing solution –to proactively match the query to appropriate nutritional and allergen information. We saw how search field autofills as a person types, and how, over time, DNA “learns” patters in the inquiries, making the portal “smarter” and more relevant to a broader set of customers. As the demo continued, customers received proactive SMS chats on the phone they were using to call a help line, some opting to resolve their issue that way, thereby diverting the calls to a simpler, cheaper channel to resolve their inquiry.

 

HGS is working through a key value to increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty—creating the right balance of self-service, automation and personal interaction with agents called Digital Ambassadors, an approach that has been proven effective with high profile clients such as Infiniti UK.

 

At this stage, we see HGS putting into practice new ways of using commonplace tools like FAQs and SMS that have been around for a long time, with some emotional analysis (via speech and text analytics) built in for agent interactions. This foundation can be further developed over time with video chat and cognitive agents.  Also, the demo and infrastructure provide ingredients that HGS can use to work with clients on how to engage consumers in any industry on an omnichannel experience.

 

What we did not see is the starting point – how HGS works with clients to understand the context, the behaviors of the consumers (e.g., patients, retail shoppers, travelers) and identify the problem to be solved, and use this type of design thinking approach to build out the appropriate consumer centric solution. HGS did describe how they will study and analyze how people use the tool over time to evolve the content, increasingly in real-time, so it is the starting point that was left unsaid. And that is not uncommon. HfS often is on the receiving end of demos that go into detail about process and technology but we believe an effective demo leads with a description of the customer experience of the brand rather than how the system works.

 

As we noted in our recent Blueprint on contact center operations, we found that the biggest pain points for service buyers included lack of “burning platforms” for change from their service providers, and the lack of innovation on omnichannel with legacy engagements. Every contact center company needs to have a POV on, strategy around and tangible examples to share of omnichannel customer experience, if it wants to stay in business and be relevant in a few years, and HGS is clearly making this effort. Taking the DigiCX concepts a step further, it would be refreshing to see a service provider with less focus on “issue resolution” and more “issue prevention” which could ultimately lead to higher value services as the need for traditional agent assisted interaction handling decreases.

 

DigiCX is a thoughtful approach to bring a consumer focused omnichannel approach to life with the help of tried and tested technology enablement, with some work to be done.  HGS is headed in the right direction with a lot of really useful components—now it needs to further develop the strategy to really deliver for the hungry end customer.