Balancing technology & talent to propel customer experience

Business woman pressing smiley face emoticons to represent customer experience


Delve into the evolving landscape of customer experience (CX) and the crucial balance between technology and talent. With AI reshaping CX strategies, organizations are implementing generative AI to enhance operations. However, despite automation advancements, human interactions remain vital. Savita Jones, Senior Vice President of North American operations at HGS, provides insights on navigating this balance and enhancing CX.

Savita Jones is Senior Vice President of North American Operations at HGS, a $700M+ global company that executes digital-led customer experience (CX) for hundreds of world-class brands.


With more than 20k employees across 34 delivery centers in eight countries, HGS helps companies create actionable insights on the right tools, people, and processes to drive successful digital transformation journeys. 

In her position, Savita provides support to clients and verticals across both Canada and the U.S. with a noteworthy track record of supporting HGS Canada’s growth and expansion. She helps companies employ the perfect mix of advanced technology and human-led services to create world-class CX for leading brands.

The customer experience (CX) industry, like many others, is rapidly evolving to keep up with the latest technological advancements and innovations.

Organisations, in turn, are preparing their internal assets to find the most prominent balance of technology and human talent, to navigate this ocean of opportunity.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the constant pursuit for improving CX is essentialto competitiveness. However, if all competitive companies have this in common, what aspects separates them?

The power of AI

CX has emerged at the forefront of the agenda for many organisations. According to recent survey findings from HGS, a majority of CX decision-makers (54 percent) agree that CX is a high priority, while 46 percent indicated that their CX initiatives need improvement.

Nevertheless, it’s not just about companies making CX a top priority – they must also focus on delivering outstanding experiences by investing in emerging technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence (AI). Without such tools, it would become substantially difficult to keep up with the ever-changing demands and tastes of customers.

With the generative AI market predicted to grow to $86.4 billion by 2030, CX decision-makers are investing heavily into its implementation. According to the report, 46 percent of organisations have implemented generative AI/speech-to-text-real-time agent assist tools, with a further 39 percent having implemented robotic process automation.

Generative AI has transformed the complexion of a plethora of industries, changing how businesses operate and interact with their customers. Notably, the technology has enhanced the performance of human contact agents in customer service, providing agents with immediate access to intelligent information, significantly reducing consumer hold times.

What’s more, generative AI can be used in collaboration with other tools, providing enriched insights that couldn’t be made before. For example, when combined with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and predictive analytics, organisations can identify and prepare for upcoming needs and requirements.

However, generative AI isn’t the only weapon in the CX arsenal. Chatbots are becoming a business essential, reducing customer hold times and streamlining customer’s experience by transferring them to the right agents. Whilst improving the efficiency of the CX operation, chatbots also enhance the efficiency of the agent; they have a reduced workload and are only in contact with people they can directly help. Indeed, AI is the future of arguably all business and its benefits are unbound. However, the role that human interaction plays in CX cannot be understated. Contact agents act like ambassadors for the company’s brand, representing their values and image.

AI undeniably provides an enriched service, but it cannot mimic or project the tone that the company portrays or go the extra mile when customer issues reside in a grey-area where the problem cannot be easily resolved with a black or white answer.


The interdependence of customer and employee experiences

The capabilities that emerging technology, like generative AI, can provide for enhancing the CX has unsurprisingly led to substantial investment. However, there’s a significant disparity in the value of investment organisations have put towards employee morale and skills development in comparison. In fact, according to the report, only 18 percent of decision-makers identified talent as a top CX priority.

CX and employee experience (EX) are deeply intwined and, therefore, for customer satisfaction to be holistically improved, organisations should also look to enhance their EX. Dissatisfied employees can directly lead to dissatisfied customers, as unmotivated employees may provide an inferior CX. Contrastingly, motivated employees are more likely to produce a well-rounded and effective CX; they are more equipped to deal with situations and feel empowered to go the extra mile.

Although generative AI and chatbots help reduce the quantity of simple calls received, it means a higher proportion of the remaining calls are complex. These difficult calls require well-trained employees who understand the context surrounding the challenge, as well as the issue itself.

What’s more, they must also be motivated enough to tackle each issue with the correct levels of empathy and sympathy to keep the customer satisfied. Therefore, without the proper investment, the EX will be significantly damaged, as employees will be ill-equipped and unable to provide the most successful CX.

What’s next for CX?

As the complexion of the industry continues to evolve, we will discover new ways for organisations to improve their overall experience. The more CX is prioritised, the more integral a role the deeply intertwined relationship of CX and EX plays for business success. Organisations must listen to their customers, finding out if their demands are aligning with the image and messages of the brand, whilst also finding out any areas that are not fulfilling their needs. Consequently, organisations can continue to evolve in line with what their customer needs, staying up to date with and capitalising on any emerging trends.

Overall, for CX to be sustainably and substantially improved inline with industry trends and demands, a balance must be found between new technology and human talent. Like CX and EX, technology and talent are deeply intwined, as they enhance each other’s performance. Without employees, CX is left incomplete, especially in terms of emotion and outside-the-box thinking.

Whereas, without emerging technology, companies fall behind on productivity and efficiency, leaving customers frustrated due to a poorer and slower CX service. Combining the two will work as an invaluable map for organisations attempting to coordinate through the rapidly evolving business landscape.




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