AiThority Interview with Brett Weigl, SVP and GM, Digital, AI and Journey Analytics at Genesys
Hi Brett. Welcome to our Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your role and responsibilities in your current company. How did you arrive at Genesys?
As the GM for Digital, AI and Journey Analytics at Genesys, I’m focused on ensuring our customers have the best digital-first tools to deliver orchestrated experiences that build loyalty and trust among their employees and customers. In the digital landscape that the world operates in today, interactions between businesses and people have become transactional—our goal is to use AI and other digital tools to create empathetic experiences that turn those impersonal transactions into personal engagements.
I joined Genesys in early 2021, after more than 7 years at Salesforce where I led the Digital Engagement product team. I came to Genesys because I saw a real opportunity here to truly bring together real-time engagement across all touchpoints in exciting new ways.
What is experience orchestration? How is this different from conventional customer experience management?
Customers want to be known, supported and understood throughout their entire experience. This requires businesses to have the intelligence and capabilities to process insights and act in real time to build experiences around people’s needs. Experience orchestration enables organizations to predict, listen, understand and act to unify experiences across an organization. This differs from conventional CX management tools which have traditionally been based on efficiency and effectiveness but have been unproductive when it comes to creating personalized connections. With experience orchestration, organizations can move beyond those transactional capabilities and instead create people-centric experiences based on empathy.
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Could you share some classic examples on how Genesys delivered experience orchestration to brands?
One recent example is our work with the airline, Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic began to unlock experience orchestration capabilities on the Genesys Cloud CX platform in the second half of last year, with a focus on integrating channels to have better visibility into customer behaviors. Previously, they struggled with having a single customer view, which means customers could have been bouncing from channel to channel without the context and details of their inquiry following them. Now with Genesys innovations, Virgin Atlantic has seen a 40% reduction in open tickets and 30% of all social media contacts resolved via self-service.
In your recent research, you have highlighted “strategic personalization” driving revenue and loyalty. Could you please explain how to strategize experience management for customers, employees and decision-makers?
Understanding what customers prefer when it comes to personalization is essential for the ability to be strategic in creating experiences that build loyalty. While any customer likes a good deal, there is a misconception that a personalized experience means getting a deal or marketing email. In our experience, and reinforced in the State of Customer Experience study, customers value receiving services when they need them on the channel they want. These personalized experiences based on services and channels outranked deals in value by 46 percentage points. A people-centric, experience-driven strategy focuses on understanding the channel preferences of your customers and aligning your offerings to meet those preferences.
Voice is losing its sheen. Please elaborate—what is taking its place in the CX journey?
Voice is still the most preferred method of contacting an organization overall, but what customers really want is the ability to engage on their terms. Sometimes it’s a straightforward question that can be answered more quickly by a chatbot. Other times it’s a more complex issue that’s best suited to a specialist over the phone. Generational preferences also are at play here. Our research found that voice quickly declines in popularity with each younger generation—Gen Z and millennials increasingly prefer unassisted or asynchronous interactions. This just underscores how important an omnichannel strategy is, and equally important, that those channels have integrated systems that provide fluid experiences for the customer and visibility into the customer journey for agents.
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What are the major benefits of investing in AI for customer experience? How can customers improve the way their AI tools interact with end-users?
There is an abundance of benefits for AI in customer experience. AI is an essential ingredient in powering experience orchestration and putting empathy into action. AI enables organizations to listen to customers; understand and predict what they’re looking to achieve; act quickly and precisely; and then learn continuously from the process. Our research found that using AI to understand customers and personalize their experiences is one of the top strategic priorities for organizations over the next two years.
Additionally, we expect to see organizations continuing to explore innovations in generative AI and large language models to reduce agents’ administrative workload, freeing them up for higher value-add interactions.
ChatGPT3 and 4 have become the staple of every data scientist and AI engineering teams in recent weeks. Could you shed some light on the progress GPTs could make in the next 2 years?
As new AI technologies like ChatGPT emerge, they have the potential to transform the way we work. Businesses should explore the use of this technology to make customer engagement more seamless and improve employee efficiency as it has the power to drive impact across several use cases, including making information more usable, improving self-service outcomes and removing language barriers.
At Genesys, we’re beta-testing generative AI on the Genesys Cloud CX platform for various use cases, including new agent-assist capabilities, such as summarization, which provides automatically generated summaries for agents to accelerate their work during wrap-up time following a voice call or a digital interaction. We’re also working on relevant capabilities, including smart replies, auto-tagging images, charts and articles, and machine translation, among others.
Given the growing potential of this technology, I foresee many more exciting applications to come in the next few years that can augment and improve the way we deliver customer experiences, if we take the necessary steps to ensure customer safety and security.
What kind of training and investments should CEOs make in their employees to achieve CX excellence? How do you achieve these in your current organization?
When employees feel valued, supported and engaged, customer satisfaction rises. Your work environment and bottom line improve, too. One way to create more engaged employees is through gamification. The gamification or performance management programs we use at Genesys help gauge quality in a more efficient, real-time and comprehensive way. Organizations need to take advantage of these to stay ahead of competitors, as customers are demanding higher quality interactions with brands, all of which drive continued loyalty and a positive impression with customers.
Additionally, using AI and automation to identify clear CX improvement goals helps ensure clarity is instilled in the employee journey. Managers can consistently measure the impact of actions on business results and employee expectations and deliver personalized performance-driven learning that is hyper-relevant, timely and uniquely focused on each employee.
Genesys research found the No.1 CX priority for organizations over the next one to two years is to improve employee experience with new technology (or by connecting existing technology). One way CEOs and business leaders can do this is by investing in technology like AI and automation to help save time and effort for employees, especially for routine or repetitive tasks. This allows customer experience employees to focus on high-value, customer-facing tasks that create positive experiences and increase customer loyalty.
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Your take on the future of AI-powered apps for customer experience and customer support across industries:
Providing efficient CX is no longer enough for today’s businesses. No matter the industry, customers expect great customer service infused with empathy. Using AI to build a more people-centric organization helps personalize customer experiences in real-time, building brand loyalty and sharing of wallet through every engagement.
The turnkey AI we know today helps automate routine tasks, allowing employees to provide better service when it comes to more complex tasks. In the future, more AI solutions like bots will develop using natural language processing for clearer conversations and voice-based escalation that minimize customer frustration when they are not understood even before the customer reaches a human. This is crucial for high-touch industries such as financial services, healthcare and travel, where data is sensitive and handle time is critical. Additionally, the implementation of knowledgeable bots will be more prevalent to help increase self-service throughout the customer journey or a seamless transition to an agent with all contextual data preserved for more efficient service.
Thank you, Brett! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
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Brett Weigl is GM for Digital, AI and Customer Journey Genesys. He specializes in digital-first solutions for complete customer experience and AI across both digital and the contact center. Previously, Brett led the Digital Engagement product management team at Salesforce Service Cloud. Before Salesforce, Brett led product for social media engagement solutions at ExactTarget (later acquired by Salesforce). Brett has a 20-plus year background in hi-tech since 2004 in SaaS companies.
Every year, Genesys orchestrates billions of remarkable customer experiences for organizations in more than 100 countries. Through the power of our cloud, digital and AI technologies, organizations can realize Experience as a Service, our vision for empathetic customer experiences at scale. With Genesys, organizations have the power to deliver proactive, predictive, and hyper-personalized experiences to deepen their customer connection across every marketing, sales, and service moment on any channel, while also improving employee productivity and engagement. By transforming back-office technology to a modern revenue velocity engine Genesys enables true intimacy at scale to foster customer trust and loyalty.
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