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Conversational A.I. for Customer xDNA and Intelligent Innovation at Scale

, , | March 24, 2021 | By

by Dr. Rob Nelson –

The emergence of the Sentient Enterprise

Artificial Intelligence at Scale Driving Customer Experience

In the past 12 months, there has been tremendous traction and advance of A.I. across industries. Moving from a buzzword, hype, or having some novelty level, firms have moved to an actual adoption, and more importantly, tangible business results. Organizations are now breaking through the struggle to implement projects that deliver business value and are well on their journey to become sentient enterprises. The examples and use cases are astounding in number. A great indicator is the number of start-ups driving radical innovations, for instance, in customer experience at scale. Recent research indicates that more than 50% of companies surveyed plan to deploy A.I. initiatives across 5 to 7 business unit categories within the next 12 months. Confidence in A.I. remains high, and it is becoming more “real” even for those signing on later than the trailblazers. We also see Automation and A.I. poised to start changing the labor market over time. Employees go about their daily tasks to make them more impact with greater customer insight, tools, and awareness of the business. Further, analytics as a service and the collaboration of data scientists, engineers, and subject matter experts is driving much more democratization of A.I., advanced cognitive analytics. Most importantly, two keywords we see now are “at Scale” and “customer experience”…

Robotic Process Automation at Scale

Gartner predicts that by 2022 85% of large enterprises will have RPA. Our experience at RCG is that increasingly firms have established teams, centers of excellence are aggressively pursuing automation opportunities, particularly in high volume and back-office processes across H.R./Payroll, Network & I.T., Supply Chain, Marketing, etc.  Firms are moving beyond simple bot building. They are not creating full-on digital works and striving for hyper-automation, and the use of meta bots and intelligent automation – combining computer vision and other A.I. Meta Bots are the automation building blocks that organizations scale. And, the demand for these is an indicator to us that organizations are scaling their automation efforts. They’re what we call “app resilient,” meaning that any time an application updates or changes, you make minimal edits to the bot itself. Those changes then automatically apply to any process utilizing that bot. Low maintenance and easy to use, Meta Bots help increase RPA adoption, reduce downtime, and ensure control over complex, enterprise-wide automation. One of RCG’s clients, in particular, had an initial automation / RPA program that sputtered. Still, with the right help, they re-focused their automation initiative and have yielded hard dollar results even amid the pandemic. More importantly, they are spreading automation across their enterprise, including the use of metabots to help them scale. A.I. is becoming increasingly critical to driving and achieving digital transformation, hyper-everything (personalization, etc.). Competitive advantage, or survival. See the examples at the end of this article about the use of A.I. by RCG clients on the journey.

Industries Transforming with A.I.

However firms choose to use A.I. in the product or their business model architecture; we have noticed something exciting. From FinTech to Health Tech to Insur Tech and beyond, we see many start-ups and exciting new technology plays that are poised to transform many industries and consumer and customer journeys and experience. A key trend is moving A.I./Intelligent and cognitive solutions into customer-facing processes and experiences, not just the back office or embedded product and service. We also see more predictive and intelligent solutions as well as streaming, real-time data, analytics and decision-making.

With the onset of the pandemic and the focus on digital transformation, firms realize that maximizing the customer experience holistically is vital for success or even survival. It is one thing to automate manual and repetitive processes to save money, but it is another to drive a wholly orchestrated and holistic.  As recently noted in my recent, the New Imperative: Incredible Customer Experience – Using Customer xDNA to get there faster, many companies lack the integrated capabilities, data, and insight to deliver on consumer’s changing needs genuinely.

They have not yet mapped out “the jobs the customer wants to be done” and the related jobs the organization must do effectively to produce that winning experience throughout the lifecycle of the customer journey. Many struggle to know what kind of experience their customers are having, let alone proactively design a holistic experience. A critical challenge is to leverage crucial business model components around needs and jobs using customer data and insights to design and deliver real-time actions and intelligent decisions that drive customer acquisition, retention wallet share, retention, loyalty, and every sought advocacy. The good old concept is still valid – it is still the primary job of getting, keeping customers, profitably— but it is just a lot more complicated. The reality in this “minds and machines” intelligent universe, the present-future of Customer Experience, is predictive, real-time, and personalized.

Incredible and Intimate Customer Experience – Customer xDNA

Beyond the traditional notion of “customer experience,” we are moving to experience isn’t enough anymore. The expectation now is to deliver INCREDIBLE and INTIMATE. Experience has become a “whole team game.” Driving to personalization and hyper-personalization and the optimal customer experience requires partnership with customers built on Trust. This includes being transparent and up-front about the use of data and your intentions. Relationships are built on Trust. Customer xDNA engagements with RCG Global Solutions, for example, enables organizations to approach a holistic, customer-focused approach to optimize the customer experience – and jobs to be done by the customer and by the provider firm – across the entire customer lifecycle. Effectively, firms drive innovation, intelligent automation, and cognitive solutions across the journey as the whole, holistically to make a better experience, automation, stop leakage, increase loyalty and offer more service. Ai solutions across that spectrum are essential – from properly segmenting customers to reducing churn, predicting and acting on their needs, increasing service support to removing much friction and frustration from the relationship.

Further, particularly in the consumer space, consumers are doing more themselves, cobbling together their solutions and apps for more self-service. Many players are emerging to help stitch this together for both the consumer and various, particularly legacy providers. A whole range of technologies is emerging to enable intelligent solutions.

In this effort, another fascinating area and trend that we see taking off are the use of voice user interface for engaging apps: Conversational A.I.  Imagine now that “Shopify-enabled” experience can now be done by voice only. After all, voice is our natural language. The advancements in technology here coupled with 5G adoption will unleash a tsunami of new apps that are voice-driven.

Early Outcomes from Customer xDNA

As mentioned, there are countless examples; here are some exciting examples of early ventures that indicate where we are headed, especially in terms of what is possible with Customer xDNA.

HealthTech: CareAngel

An exciting start-up that brings reality to revolutionizing healthcare through A.I. and Voice.

It is an intelligent “virtual nurse assistant” designed to uniquely manage population health engagement at scale, driving better medical outcomes at a lower cost. This start-up is already working with some of the world’s biggest health plans, representing 600,000 members monthly. The platform helps millions of high prices, high-risk patients to receive affordable, quality remote monitoring from home. A.I. + voice-enabled conversations provide patients with personalized health management, monitoring, and tailored care that focuses on longitudinal and interdependent health/wellbeing, as well as mental/behavioral, environmental, social, and holistic health. In May 2020 alone, ANGEL made over 3,980,883 calls to check in on at-risk members related to COVID-19 and hospital discharges.

FinTech: KapitalWise

A FinTech company providing client relationship solutions to financial institutions to increase efficiency and user experience.

The AI-based platform analyzes data from various sources to identify life, financial and credit events to help financial institutions engage with customers when they need the service most. FinTech (already at 127.66B globally, is on track as a significant disruptor for the broader financial market. Significant firms like Bank of America have already turned to innovative start-ups like KapitalWise to help take them into the digital age based on understanding customers first, using data.

Consumer marketplace and Conversational A.I.:

Jetson is an online marketplace that works with voice-activated assistants, such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, to facilitate online shopping and enable brands of all sizes to sell their products and services through conversational interfaces. This supporting technology will drive the explosion in conversational A.I. when it comes to consumer sales.

Artificial Human Vision Technology:

Representing a rapid and exciting development of computer vision at a new level. Through extensive innovation, EpilogAI has developed a human-level A.I. vision system cost-effective for commercial use.  They call this “an IMAX in your pocket,” it has a cost-performance improvement of about 100x over ordinary systems. More than 80% of all human interactions depend on vision, things like driving a car, or watching over any process. Epilog’s breakthrough digital vision technology can competently manage any visual task, allowing people to focus on more important things instead. Epilog’s unique Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) 8K technology. Currently, EpilogAI offers two products in the automotive and transportation sectors planned for production later this year.

AI-based solutions to drive results and reshape business

Further, here are some examples where RCG Global Services has help clients use:

Medical Tech: Patient Care – Customer Engagement

RCG automated the creation of prospective client business cases for specialty pharmacies. Pharmacy data is ingested, analyzed, and presented to the client’s prospective customers in an easy-to-understand, adjustable model demonstrating the business case for partnering with them. RCG has developed a model that utilizes pharmacy information and patient characteristics to predict whether patients would fall into non-adherence to their prescribed medical regimens. Besides, RCG has created frameworks that address a spectrum of at-risk conditions, as measured by patient readmissions, mortality, and other health care quality metrics. The implementation is general enough to account for different outcomes of interest and has variable selection techniques built-in for easy training of compact models.  Since the practice utilizes AutoML, a large amount of human effort is abstracted away.  The solution deploys to scalable, high-performance Web API’s via a version-controlled, Continuous-Integration/Continuous Deployment system.

Retail/Consumer and Hospitality: Supply Chain Optimization

RCG developed an algorithm to optimize consumer products’ inventory management at a significant entertainment/hospitality firm across theme parks, vacation properties, and cruise ships. The proper inventory is at the right location to maximize profit and customer experience.

Operationalizing and Scaling the use of RPA and Intelligent Automation

RCG helped reset the intelligent automation strategy, build a COE and organizational capability, build and execute a pipeline of process automation/bots for the world’s most extensive private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization. The firm develops various standardized tests primarily in the United States for K–12 and higher education and administers international tests for more than 180 countries and at over 9,000 locations worldwide. In total, the client annually administers 20 million exams in the U.S. and 180 other countries. From the creation of an intelligent automation COE to Building a small developer and B.A. team to drive agile development, a new bot pipeline for $500K value using seven bots within three months was prioritized to yield $350K annual benefit generating a net positive RPA program ROI within eight months and a pandemic. The client continues to advance the COE, build automation and meta-bot, and expand across the enterprise at scale and is now actively developing and deploying metabots to help drive scale.

Helping firms reach their customers more efficiently and drive revenue

As pointed out in the KapitalWise venture website, the trend of using no-code, best-in-class A.I., analytics, and templates help firms reach out to customers at the best time with the right message and market-proven customer engagement experience. The bottom line is that A.I., across many modalities, uses cases is Helping firms reach their customers more efficiently and drive revenue. And, they are seeking to do this holistically across the customer lifecycle and journey. A.I. and advanced analytics is being used to engage customers when they need it the most to their jobs done, efficiently, and frictionless. It is also being scaled to predict customers’ needs when an event in their personal or financial life is happening, and engage with them when they need you the most.

About the Author:

Dr. Rob Nelson, Head of Intelligent Innovation and Healthcare Transformation Solutions at RCG Global Services. His industry experience includes healthcare, high-tech, not-for-profit, higher education, manufacturing, some financial services, and a variety of others. Rob has a proven record of establishing and implementing a full spectrum of initiatives that help organizations achieve performance transformation and deliver strategic, operational, and financial results that ensure market leadership. Dr. Nelson is also on the faculty at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Jack Welch Management Institute, where he focuses on marketing, strategy, innovation, technology, and the new economy.

Rob holds a Doctor of Business Administration in Strategic Marketing from Grenoble Ecole de Management with particular expertise on the implementation of market orientation involving the transformation of organizations to deliver higher performance. His MBA in Strategic Marketing is from the Kellogg School of Management, and his BA in Political Science is from the University of Oklahoma. He holds certificates in Global Leadership and Strategy from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and is Pragmatic Marketing certified. He also holds certificates from the Kellogg school of Management in Digital Marketing Strategies: Data, Automation, AI & Analytics and AI: Strategies for Leading Business Transformation.