The challenge with the customer experience is that it is ever-evolving, and all too often we are seeing the seemingly infinite demands of the customers met with the finite limitations of people. So how can brands meet these demands? When you take into account Gartner’s statement that “By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human,” the answer becomes simple - technology. And there are none that exist that are so perfectly poised to improve nearly every facet of the customer experience like artificial intelligence.
In the relatively short time that human beings have been on this planet, we have seen a lot of things fall to the wayward and into extinction. In some cases, it was animals like the Dodo bird, the Caspian tiger, or the Baiji dolphin; in others, it was our creations that became outdated like dial-up internet, 8-track cassettes, or what’s even more relevant today, the Single-Channel experience.
Most people are familiar with the term hybrid; although it is usually in relation to cars. Fortunately for the sake of my point, it will do just fine. Now, by definition, a hybrid is the result of something new being made by combining two different elements, and in the case of hybrid cars, it is an electric and gasoline-powered engine. This provides the user with the fuel efficiency of an electric motor with the power and convenience of a gasoline one. However, it isn’t only cars that are enjoying the benefits of combining two different elements to create something new and better, for the world of IT has constantly been melding together concepts, principles, and methodologies in order to have the best of both worlds. Today, we are going to dive into one of those combinations known aptly as the Hybrid Cloud.
Have you ever had one of those unforgettable travel experiences that you just couldn’t help but talk about upon your return? Glad I’m not the only one; however, today I would like to share a particular experience with you, one that may not be what you’d expect. I say that because my excitement wasn’t caused by the country we travelled to, the city we explored, or the attractions we visited. Rather, it was the hotel my family and I stayed at that left such a lasting impression and quickly became an attraction in and of itself. Perhaps I should explain.
Let’s play a game. How many brands do you think I experience in a typical day? Shall we find out?
It’s 6:55 AM and I’m awoken by the sounds of Lovely Day, by Bill Withers. A smile inevitably crosses my face as the tempo rises, that is, until I hear my girlfriend yell, “OK Google, STOP!” She obviously is not a morning person. Still half asleep, I wander into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee and pour myself a bowl of cereal. As the aroma of the coffee diffuses throughout the house, it peaks the interest of my other half, who joins me for a cup. She mentions that the hardware store is having a sale on the bathroom tiles we liked and maybe “we” should pick some up after work. I tell her I’d be happy to as long as she promises to be ready by 7 PM for the show tonight. She agrees; I'm skeptical.
Brandy, a Generation-Z consumer, comes across an Instagram “like” by her friend for a featured dress. She likes the garment and is interested in purchasing it in a different colour. She decides to go online and compare prices, and while browsing, she is prompted to download the retailers’ app, which would result in a 10% discount off her first purchase. However, after comparing prices, downloading the app, and moving the dress into her “shopping cart,” she abandons her purchase thinking the dress isn’t the one for her.
Its 1975, a customer walks into a Nordstrom store in Anchorage, Alaska to return a set of tires. The clerk, saw the price on the side of the tires, reached into the cash register, and handed the man $145.