The more data you use, the better the decisions tend to be. However, more data also means more processing of data, which, in turn, takes more time. When it comes to customer engagement and determining what the next-best-action is, this is definitely true, especially given the scattered nature of the ways in which you engage with your customers. As such, you need tools for customer engagement, but also solutions that automate certain flows. In other words, customer engagement and your back-end processes should be linked in order for you to achieve the best results.
One of the key characteristics of Pega Infinity is that it has a unified architecture across all the products in this portfolio. This gives it a standardized user experience, makes it possible for Pega to integrate the two separate parts of the portfolio more deeply, and allows Pega to do CI/CD (Continuous Integration, Continous Deployment) and deploy across the board as quickly as possible.
In general, Infinity is divided into two areas. The first one comprises the customer engagement tools that determine what the next-best-actions should be, so that you can present those to your customers. The second part consists of the digital process automation tools. These are necessary to deliver the data for the insights to feed into the customer engagement tools as quickly as possible.
Automation and AI
One of the essential points Pega wants to make when it comes to Infinity, is that customer engagement tools only get you so far in achieving the best results in this area. In order to improve on them even more, you need to combine it with Digital Process Automation (DPA).
With DPA linked to customer engagement, you can “spend more time on the customer, not on the keystrokes,” as Kerim Akgonul, SVP Products at Pega puts it. He quotes a staggering figure when it comes to how much time agents at companies spend on these keystrokes. On average, employees switch apps 1100 times a day. That’s hardly a streamlined process, and it means there’s a lot of time to be gained that can be spent on the customer’s wishes.
In order to achieve a more streamlined approach, Pega incorporates automation and AI in Infinity. That reduces the number of times agents have to switch apps dramatically, because most of the information the agent needs is automatically gathered and presented in his or her dashboard. Some of the communication with the customer is done by a bot, overseen by an agent.
Obviously, changing apps 1100 times per day doesn’t only have to do with finding the data you need to serve the customer in the best way possible. The channel customers use is also very much to blame for this. Some call, others e-mail, text or use social media. Perhaps a little counter-intuitively, calling isn’t the best way for customers to ask for support, according to Akgonul. That is, if agents have a properly thought-out dashboard in front of them, it’s much easier for an agent to automatically load a text-based request into his environment and carry out various automated, AI-driven processes on that request, than having to work with speech. Akgonul’s pithy advice: “Don’t call. Text!”
However, using text can be done in various ways, that is to say via various channels. An omnichannel approach to customer engagement (and as a result DPA) is therefore key, according to Akgonul. He demonstrates this by showing a bot that understands intent, sentiment and content and which can handle multiple different channels at the same time. The augmented agent does most of the work, and everybody can replay at their leisure via their channel of choice. The result: “no more alt-tab lifestyle.”
Platform that gets even better over time
Given the fact that Infinity is a platform, you can expect new features with every update. The goal for Pega is to make Infinity ever easier to use, according to Akgonul. That’s why the company recently acquired InTheChat, a leading digital messaging platform provider that allows you to present and manage all the messaging tools in a single environment. Not all channels are supported yet, but they can be added once they are. WhatsApp is one notable exception, not only for Pega but also for other platforms, and high on the list of channels to be added.
Other updates may not be as fundamental as adding new channels, but still make the user experience of the platform markedly better. For example, a smarter way to refresh the server means a refresh takes less time now than it used to take. At the end of the day, the speed with which everything works is crucial, something Pega understands very well. Having lots of features will not convince customers if everything happens at glacial speeds. So you get things like suggestions to add people as contacts inside Infinity, which will increase the probability of a win.
All in all, it’s fair to say that Pega Infinity gives you ‘superpowers’ to engage customers as much as possible, at the correct time and with the correct offers. The Infinity platform is the missing link between your front-end and back-office processes, allowing you to present the correct next-best-actions to your customers.