Talkdesk’s Experience Clouds Broaden Its Vertical Industry Focus

This syndicated post originally appeared at No Jitter.

There are advantages to tailoring each cloud to industry-specific requirements, Talkdesk says.

Digital Cloud Earlier this month, Talkdesk launched a new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer service platform, the Retail Experience Cloud. As the name implies, the platform is designed specifically for retailers and provides agents with a unified view of all customer interactions across different communication channels.

Retail Experience Cloud is the fourth solution in Talkdesk’s series of Experience Clouds, which kicked off with the release of the Financial Services Experience Cloud for Banking and the Healthcare Experience Cloud for Providers in June 2021, followed by the Financial Services Experience Cloud for Insurance in April 2022.

“All four solutions are tailored to the needs of specific industries like banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and now, retailers,” said Andy Flynn, SVP Industry Strategy at Talkdesk, during a webinar focused on the vendor’s Experience Clouds. Flynn emphasized that Talkdesk knew it wanted to launch industry-specific products “because we believe really strongly in their unique advantages.”

When developing each solution, Talkdesk conducted research to understand where certain industries are lacking in customer experience (CX). According to one Talkdesk study, “Powering Retail Growth: The Next Generation of Contact Centers,” retailers that have seen a significant increase in their customer satisfaction over the past two years are more likely to have also experienced a significant increase in revenue during the same time period. This is the main reason why 90% of the retail CX professionals surveyed in the report say that executing well on CX strategy is integral to their company’s success, and over half of them cite improving customer loyalty as their top business goal. This data point might seem a bit self-serving for a CX pro, but it’s important to understand CX strategy extends to all physical and digital touch points, not just the in-store experience.

The report also found that the majority of CX professionals believe their contact center is what drives customer loyalty, which is necessary to transform a contact center into a profit center. Talkdesk’s goal with Retail Experience Cloud is to help companies drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. The platform does this by providing an integrated view of customer transactions; and interactions taking place via social media, chat, voice, email, and other channels. Agents are equipped with pre-configured retail workflows and scripts within their workspace to add value to conversations and ensure brand consistency.

Additionally, Retail Experience Cloud offers a self-service option in the form of intelligent bots; Companies can utilize their customer service agents more efficiently by automating common retail inquiries like order status, returns/exchanges, and order changes—all the tasks that don’t require agent support. The platform is pre-integrated with Shopify, as well as other line-of-business (LOB) systems including Salesforce, Microsoft, Zendesk, and more. In future, these bots will be enhanced with bespoke AI models that solve specific issues within the retail industry.

“Insurance is another industry that has very specific business needs,” said Ilya Filipov, head of insurance industry strategy at Talkdesk.

“[Compared to the banking industry,] insurance is a very technically different discipline with its own jargon. On average, insurance agents work with over 20 screens to complete simple transactions. The last thing that an agent wants to do is have to navigate many screens to service a customer who has had a catastrophic loss. They’re very stressed out. It’s a tense situation and the reason why insurance agent turnover is 80 percent,” said Filipov. Two months ago, Talkdesk expanded its financial services offering with the launch of Financial Services Experience Cloud for Insurance to address those needs, which include increasing efficiency in contact centers, boosting customer satisfaction, and improving data security and regulatory compliance. The platform supports policy servicing, customer claims, new business, compliance/security, and insurance systems integrations.

Financial Services Experience Cloud takes data from various systems agents need to service customers—such as content management systems (CMS) and policy administration and servicing (PAS) systems—and displays it on a single screen. Agents have a dedicated workspace where they can easily view information about the insured customer, such as their history. Like the other Experience Clouds, the platform has built-in AI capabilities, including virtual agent, agent assistance, and trainer tools. This allows insurers to provide their customers with more self-service options while also using AI to understand intent and empathy for a more personalized CX.

According to another Talkdesk study, 77% of CX professionals consider the contact center a strategic asset to their business. However, more than half of the financial services institutions surveyed in the study said they have siloed engagement channels. The research shows growing demand for a connected CX, in addition to better integration of data and systems. Talkdesk said it aims to “break down the walls” that exist in financial services, as well as retail and healthcare, with the Experience Clouds.

“There are a few key takeaways that companies considering the Experience Clouds should know,” said Flynn. “First, these are purpose-built industry solutions with pre-configured workflows, pre-built integrations with core industry systems, and pre-trained AI. Second, the Experience Clouds drive customer loyalty. Third, agents get everything they need to help customers in one place.

“Customers don’t want to build it themselves when they see the value of the vertical-specific workflows that they get with the Experience Clouds. They can reduce risk and complexity with an out-of-the-box product that integrates with core industry systems and begin to take advantage of it from day one,” Flynn concluded.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.