When we give customers the best customer experience, we as business have the best outcome.

This year it was my first time to attend PegaWorld in Las Vegas. The keynotes were very interesting and most of the breakout sessions were also good. My focus during Pegaworld was on CRM Customer Engagement.

Position of Pega CRM Customer Engagement in the market

Pega CRM Customer Engagement is recognized by market research firm Gartner as one of the Leaders in the Magic Quadrant. Reference customers gave Pegasystems’ overall package the best cost-to-value rating of any solution assessed for vendors in the Leaders quadrant.

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Also, Pegasystems is said to have the strongest ability in, and received the highest reference customer scores for modelling and predicting the customers’ behavior and for communicating the best next action to agents.

Trends in Customer Expectations
The customer expectations on customer service have changed driven by technology. When presenting the first iPhone ten years ago Apple predicted the iPhone would change everything and Apple was absolutely right. Of course, that’s not only valid for iPhones, but for all smart phones. When combining smart phones with mobile internet, you have the world at your feet. When in a traffic jam, your smart phone finds you the fastest way home. When in a shop and finding an irresistible offer, you can instantly check forums and review sites whether this product is really the product which fits you best and if the price is right. Without ever been in a restaurant, you can already take a look at the menu and read the reviews of other customers.

Customers nowadays are very well informed and they expect companies to be at least as well informed as they are. Before customers contact a contact center most of the times customers already tried to find the answer by themselves. The customers use the contact center as an escalation channel and therefore the customer interactions will be more complicated and take more time.

Furthermore, while online shops like Amazon and Coolblue have perfect customer services for ordering, f.e. when ordering before 23:00 the order arrives next day, as well as for returning products, customers expect the same kind of service from other companies. And not only on delivering and returning, but also on other kinds of customer services.
Customers don’t want to wait for answers, they are used to the 24x7 economy, they don’t want to enter the same information over and over again. Customers expect companies to recognize and to know them. They expect a personalized treatment and they expect the company they do business with to offer them the best service and offers.

Trends in Customer Service
The way customers communicate with companies is also changing. Let’s look at a few examples:
• Messaging apps Facebook reports there are already more than 1 billion business-2-consumer messenger interactions per month. These interactions are about things like opening hours, questions about inventory, making appointments, placing an order, complaining.
• Internet of Things Gartner predicts in 2020 there will be more than 24 billion connected devices, like cars, vending machines, smart trash bins, medical devices etc. For all these devices, the availability of a perfect customer service interaction which uses the relevant collected information by the device is very important.
• Virtual Communication Assistants (VCA) Gartner predicts next year 25% of all customer service operations are handled by VCA. Customer accepting more and more that they’re interacting with robotics technology.

Customers tend to communicate with customer services more and more using the digital highway. Gartner foresees within four years, the use of phones to contact customer service will decrease from 35% to 10% and the use of digital channels will rapidly increase.

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Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant
This Spring Pega introduced Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered bot which turns Pega applications into smart assistants on any channel like Facebook messenger, mail, SMS, Alexa and more. These intelligent assistants make personalized customer service and real work possible using natural language processing (NLP) in voice or text.

When designing a virtual assistant make sure it works seamless with human customer service. If the virtual assistant is not able to interpret a question of a customer, a human can translate the question into information the virtual assistant does understand, and the assistant can continue its conversation. If questions are not suitable to be answered by a virtual assistant, the conversation should be transferred to a human who should have access to the complete conversation history. By doing this, we give our customers the best customer service experience.

More information on Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant and demos can be found on https://www.pega.com/virtual-assistant..

• Gartner - Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center – May 2017
• Breakout session PegaWorld 2017: Contact Center Technology Trends and Developments - Neal Beliveau, Pegasystems & Pasquale DeMaio, Amazon
• Pegasystems - Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant

About Karen Messchendorp

Karen BPMConsultant BPMCompany







I am a senior BPM business analyst with more than 20 years of experience in IT business analysis and development. Optimizing applications and processes for both users and customers is what makes me happy.