As companies strive to improve customer experience through better customer and employee engagement, they inevitably face the problem of scalability. How can we provide a seamless, convenient, and consistent experience to all our customers? And how can we best equip our employees to do so, as well? The technologies in our recently published “The Forrester Tech Tide™: AI, Automation, And Robotics For Customers And Employees, Q2 2019” may seem like a diverse set at first blush, but they all tackle the problem of scaling customer and employee engagement. They just go about it in a few distinct ways:

  • AI technologies focus on engagement through conversation and content. Chatbots, voice assistants, and conversational computing platforms all supplant the user interface with natural language, while content intelligence helps find the right assets for the right customer.
  • Automation technologies improve engagement with decision-making speed and scale. Robotic process automation, digital process automation, and digital decisioning platforms all take previously manual processes and automate them for better, quicker customer and employee outcomes.
  • Robotics technologies engage with the material world. Customer service robots, delivery robots, and industrial robots all automate physical processes by interacting with customers, employees, and their environment.

Most companies believe that investment in AI, automation, and robotics for engagement will decrease operational costs. While this is true, our research shows that the revenue upside from delivering better customer experience could deliver a greater impact on the bottom line over time.

Since these technologies are being deployed by CIOs and their teams as well as customer insights professionals, I had the distinct pleasure of writing this report with my colleague J. P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst on our CIO team. This type of collaboration between IT and the business (or business technology and marketing and strategy, in Forrester-speak) is one we increasingly see mirrored in our clients who are adopting these technologies successfully. So, CIOs, CI pros, and anyone else interested in the latest and greatest AI, automation, and robotics technologies for customer and employee engagement, please enjoy the report!