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AI With Heart: Pega Launches First Customer Empathy Controls for Business

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Pegasystems Inc. at PegaWorld introduced Customer Empathy Advisor – a new capability of Pega® Customer Decision Hub that helps companies use AI to build more sustainable customer relationships. The feature allows organizations to increase the level of empathy in AI-assisted conversations so they can build more trust, loyalty, and value with each customer.

AI works quietly behind the scenes in all types of customer interactions – from marketing to sales to service. Yet despite businesses’ best intentions to use AI to make customers happier, most AI just adds more spam to people’s lives, sacrificing long-term loyalty for a few short-term sales. Now as AI becomes easier to deploy, the debate on the ethics behind it has only intensified. For example, just because AI could likely sell a high-interest loan to a low-income family doesn’t mean it should. How can companies use AI to balance the best interests of both the company and the customer?

For the first time, organizations can now operationalize empathy at scale for the mutual benefit of all involved. Customer Empathy Advisor provides businesses with an ethical framework to instill empathy in all customer engagements and measure the effect. At its core, the AI-powered Pega Customer Decision Hub analyzes customer data to guide customer-facing agents and virtual assistants to take the next best action with each customer. Its Customer Empathy Advisor feature takes this analysis one step deeper by examining how empathic these recommendations are and offers a more compassionate approach – which, contrary to popular belief, is often the most profitable strategy as well.

Pega Customer Empathy Advisor takes a three-step approach to integrating empathy into enterprise decision-making:

  1. Analyzing empathy in any engagement

First, Pega’s machine learning capabilities analyze the organization’s marketing, sales, and service strategies to assess the current level of empathy. The Customer Empathy Advisor dashboard breaks down the different elements of empathy applied within each strategy, including:

  • Relevance: Is the action, offer, or suggestion of interest to the customer?
  • Suitability: Will it likely cause harm to the customer?
  • Value: Will the customer likely benefit from it?
  • Context: Is it consistent with the customer’s recent activity?
  • Intent: Does it take into account the customer’s likely goals?
  • Mood: Does it align with the customer’s current frame of mind?

From there, engagement analysts can pinpoint which actions engender the most trust from customers and which repel them father away from the brand. Using a simple intuitive slider, stakeholders can easily adjust empathy levels and see the impact the change has on relevant KPIs.

  1. Predicting the Return on Empathy (ROE)

Of course, no business can survive without turning a profit. Before putting empathy into action, Pega can predict the effect more empathetic strategies will have on their bottom line in real currency terms. Businesses can then simulate scenarios at different empathy levels to see how that number changes. From a profitability perspective, the system analyzes factors such as:

  • Value to company: Is the action, offer, or suggestion likely to increase the customer’s lifetime value?
  • Risk to company: Will it likely cause customer churn or increase exposure to risk?
  • Compliance: Is it deliberately misselling a product or unable to explain it?
  1. Putting empathy to work

With the right balance of empathy in place, businesses can automatically deploy these strategies through Pega Infinity™ and its suite of customer engagement software – all powered by the same centralized AI from Pega Customer Decision Hub. This means empathy can be applied in all marketing, sales, and customer service interactions, both online and off. Instead of force feeding a particular strategy to a segmented audience, companies can optimize the empathy levels in the strategy best suited to the needs of each customer – which in some case may mean taking no action at all.

The Customer Empathy Advisor will be available for all Pega Customer Decision Hub clients near the end of 2019. It will also be demoed and on display this week at PegaWorld, Pega’s annual customer conference now being held for more than 5,000 digital transformation professionals at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pega Customer Decision Hub enables organizations to surface unique insights and recommend the next best action in real time on every step of the customer journey. It provides the centralized AI power across the unified Pega Infinity™ digital transformation software suite, which optimizes customer engagement and operational efficiency from end to end on a global scale.

Quotes & Commentary

“Most businesses are conditioned to try and squeeze every last drop of profit from each customer. But this predatory mentality distorts the fact that practicing a little empathy is not only good for the customer, it’s good for business,” said Dr. Rob Walker, vice president, decisioning and analytics, Pegasystems. “We’ve always believed that the only way to win a customer’s heart is to first walk a mile in their shoes. Today we’re taking a step closer in this pursuit by instilling empathy in customer interactions – which is ultimately the right way to do business for everyone.”

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Enterprise News

Tata Tele business service hosts a Successful discussion with CXOs for resilience & business growth in Post COVID world

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Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS), hosted CXO Round Table Discussion with industry leaders on building a new mindset for business resilience and growth. The discussion centered around Respond, Reboot and Reinvent as key imperatives; with large Enterprises reinventing their business models as they continue to respond effectively to the aftershocks of the crisis.

 While the potential requirement for many organizations is to build digital competency, the larger goal is to be data-driven and leveraging the cloud capabilities. Moreover, witnessing variable cost structures, agile operations, and automation which could create stronger capabilities with digital presence and security.

According to an IDC report, ‘By 2022, 70% of all organizations will have accelerated use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.’

Industry representatives such asUpkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd., Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan, Yogesh Kothari – Sr. Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions shared their expertise upon business agility, examples from their professional career and how they are successfully driving the digital transformation journey for their organization.

Addressing the session, Mr. Shibhu Davies, Sales Head – North and East, Tata Communications Ltd. said, “There is a plethora of technology available in the market, understanding the most suitable one for a particular business is the key factor. To thrive in the next normal, companies must be data driven to make critical and timely decisions. While there is an uptick in the businesses investing in data and nimble technologies like cloud and AI, many are still struggling to maintain momentum. Businesses need to get out of cultural obstacles, address data privacy and governance challenges to enhance their degree of business transformation.” 

Elaborating further on increasing adoption of Cloud communication, Mr. Shibhu Davies explained, “Cloud Communication suite like Smartflo being offered by Tata Teleservices are inherently designed for a digital or hybrid environment and is well-equipped to deal with the growing overlap between digital technology and enterprise operations. Besides enhanced efficiency and operational flexibility, it offers more robust security to your business with a pre-configured unified threat management system.”

Mr. Upkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd said “Covid has created an unprecedented impact across all regions – organizations that are flexible both from technology and operational perspective have been able to RESPOND in time, REBOOT their functions and are now REINVENTING result oriented approach”

Mr. Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan said, “During times of catastrophes, leadership plays a very important role in adoption to change. Composure, calmness, honoring and supporting every internal and external stakeholder through thick and thin helps revive business and defines leadership by example.” 

Mr. Yogesh Kothari – Sr Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions said, “Challenges that enterprises are facing in the current times is resistance to change. There is a lack of vision for creating a digital journey for the customer and technology know how for their business” 

Highlights of discussion: 

Challenges in Technology Adoption 

The key challenges faced by enterprises for adopting new technologies extend both towards the changing customer experience along with employee pushback. Merely purchasing and implementing a solution in response to a localized issue does not equate to technology adoption and agility. Organizations are considering two key points, recognizing and responding to the shifting trends in consumer behavior and avoiding the initiatives that target specific issues.

The post-covid world has led to unexpectedly increased customer readiness towards trying new channels for interacting with businesses. 

Organizations adopting to technology, lead to driving changes strategically through an ongoing process where being receptive to changing consumer trends helps in the formulation of effective roadmaps. These roadmaps can then be used to build better value propositions by leveraging the right technological advancements, leading to business growth and benefits.

Role of Leadership In Bringing Organizational Change

Leadership plays a very critical role while dealing with catastrophes. From healthcare solutions to virtual classrooms, from facilitating remote work and learning, from re-imagining online business models and digital revenue lines, to stepping up the cyber security, organizations are working on new challenges.

The pandemic has accelerated transformation multifariously for businesses in India. Organizations are re-imagining their business models, relooking at talent management strategies, and fast-tracking digitalization efforts to be more resilient to disruption. 

Organizations are simplifying and enhancing their IT landscape, architecting systems for integration, balancing operational and capital expenses using the cloud. Investments are being made towards intelligent systems that provide incremental learning abilities. 

Technology Investments for a Digital Future

Over the last couple of months, it has become increasingly evident that digital adoption is not negotiable. Having the right technology to power up digital strategies is fundamental in today’s business world. It is a business requirement without which organizations are not able to grow in a rapidly evolving market landscape.

A good business continuity solution that delivers digital workspaces to access critical applications, have accelerated the performance of organizational applications on remote connections. With right platform and solutions clubbed with excessive trainings, organizations have managed to continue with their operations without major loss in productivity or efficiency.

Digital technologies have caused a shift in customer expectations, resulting in a new kind of modern buyer. Today’s consumers are constantly connected and aware of what they can do with technology. Bringing the employees up to speed to cater to the new age customers has been one of the key form of investments for various organizations. 

Respond, Reboot and Reinvent – The New Mindset for Growth

Organizations have taken immediate actions focused on keeping people safe and essential business functions operating. This has been relatively marked with high effort and possibly chaotic activity.

Organizations are adopting to the wholistic approach, recognizing evolving customer demand, channels of information consumption, building continued incremental intelligence including technology that provides agility. Agile decision making and strategy setting by enterprises have outsized performance and established a lead over the competition that sustains long after the initial disruption. By reinventing themselves, organizations have learnt to conduct operational processes and workflows in new, repeatable, and scalable ways.

Key Takeaways

  • Gaining New perspectives, relooking at business models and embracing new models of harnessing technology have become business priorities.  
  • Reinvent on an ongoing basis to build an agile, adaptive & resilient enterprise for a sustainable future. 
  • Uninterrupted connectivity between all stakeholders, internally within employees and externally with customers and vendors across platforms and touch points is of critical importance.

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Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network

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In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport. 

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.” 

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                  

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Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience. 

Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.  

The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.      

Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”        

Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.

Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities. 

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