Guess what? I’m kicking off research on a new technology market! The Digital Customer Interaction Solutions Landscape, Q1 2024, report is now live, and a Forrester Wave™ evaluation will be publishing in June. The newly published landscape report lists the 26 most notable vendors in the digital customer interaction solutions market and the nine use cases on which they are focusing.

What are digital customer interaction solutions (DCISes)? Forrester defines them as:

Software solutions designed to orchestrate and enhance customer interactions across various digital interaction channels, such as chat, messaging, SMS, and social media. Some solutions may also support traditional channels like voice and email. These platforms excel at dynamically balancing automated and human-assisted experiences based on customer needs to improve interaction outcomes. Their native AI foundation facilitates agility and responsiveness to evolving customer needs and AI capabilities.

Why DCIS? Why Now?

The “shift to digital” in the contact center has been a work in progress. As it turns out, enterprise transformation takes time. Understatement of the century? I’ll grant you that.

I’ve been covering “digital interactions” in the contact center (read: chat, messaging, etc.) since I joined Forrester, but I’ve been close to this topic my whole career. Now, why am I telling you that? Well, to lend a bit of gravitas to what I’m about to say: This space has changed dramatically in the past couple years — and I don’t think it’s done changing.

In my research and day-to-day guidance sessions with Forrester clients, I’ve noticed some shifts:

  • Silos are breaking down — or at least, they’re starting to. Leaders are acknowledging the need to reshape their digital customer interaction strategy to offer a unified brand experience. One leader I spoke with noted the challenge of managing five-plus outbound messaging solutions, each overseen by different teams and each operating with their own triggers for sending a message.
  • Companies are ready to take digital channels seriously. At this point, most enterprises have dabbled in chat and messaging. Some have even pulled investments back after not seeing meaningful reduction in voice volume, labeling the initiative a failure. The next era of digital interaction strategies do more than simply replicating voice operations in a digital wrapper.
  • Advanced digital strategies demand advanced digital solutions. Although all-in contact center platforms may fulfill an omnichannel RFP checklist, most are built on a synchronous voice architecture. While they do a great job of pulling all channels into a single agent desktop, the customer-facing experience is not nearly so seamless. Recognizing the limitations of traditional contact center or case management solutions, forward-thinking buyers are choosing best-in-class providers to embrace new interaction paradigms.

Enterprises looking to implement cutting-edge digital interaction strategies benefit from technology partners equipped with advanced channel orchestration and AI strategies. Leaders with ambitious digital strategies can’t afford to wait for the “all-in” platform solutions to catch up with the far-nimbler DCIS vendors. Until capabilities equalize, a best-in-class DCIS is the only choice for enterprises looking to deliver differentiated digital interaction experiences.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m super excited about this research and am looking forward to digging in and sharing more on this space in the coming months.

Forrester clients looking to learn more about the DCIS market can read the full landscape report here. And if you need guidance on where you should take your digital interaction programs, let’s chat — book a guidance session with me. We’ll get you on the right track!