Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 market agenda in the expertise area of Customer Experience. Most organizations have some degree of focus on managing how they interact with their customers, but it is often a disjointed and constrained process. Developing an effective customer experience has become an investment priority in recent years as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of good experiences to profitability, customer longevity and advocacy on behalf of brands.
Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Marketing, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Management, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, AI and Machine Learning, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Field Service
Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2021, continuing the tradition of transparency in our efforts to educate and guide the technology market but also our independence as we do not share our market agenda or analyst perspectives with any external party. Each year, we proudly formulate our market agenda that is not biased by clients or the technology industry, focusing on education rather than the prospect of consulting or software revenue. We review and refine our plan throughout the year to ensure we offer the expertise and insights organizations rely on to better understand – and navigate – the direction of the technology industry.
The industry is making huge strides with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). There is more data available to analyze. Analytics vendors have made it easier to build and deploy models, and AI/ML is being embedded into many types of applications. Organizations are realizing the value that AI/ML provides and there are now millions of professionals with AI or ML in their title or job description. AI/ML is even being used to make many aspects of itself easier. Organizations that want to build and deploy their own AI/ML models need to be realistic about the capabilities that are available today. As a practical matter, organizations should anticipate that a robust AI/ML deployment in the current environment requires a set of specialized skills and operational processes, including data operations (dataops) and ML operations (MLops). Collaboration across these disciplines and processes is also required.
The contact center has long represented the starting point for customer experience initiatives. Now, however, most organizations are finding that they need to invest beyond this singular point of engagement. When organizations look at customer experience holistically, they see the need to incorporate the perspectives of people in other departments and channels of customer engagement. These diverse new points of view come with an interest in deploying CX technology that also meets their needs. As a result, organizations are looking at not just vendors traditionally in the contact center space but those that operate across the entire customer journey, and shifting some of the existing contact center budgets to tools that fill multiple roles.
The pandemic has raised the stakes for self-service in every part of the customer journey. In 2020, the customer service industry underwent a shock to its collective system by pulling up stakes and moving agents to remote work. At the same time, consumers moved away from in-person interactions in stores and branches. This systemic disruption has led to longer call wait times and tougher interactions because collaborating and accessing company data systems from outside the office is difficult.