Assaf Tarnopolsky, Genesys, CIOSEA News, ETCIO SEA

Assaf Tarnopolsky is senior vice president and general manager of APAC for Genesys. Based in Singapore, Assaf leads the APAC region to drive the cloud business momentum that has seen strong growth in fiscal 2021 and 2022. He brings more than 25 years of leadership experience to the role, including serving as Director marketing solutions – Southeast Asia. , North Asia, Japan on LinkedIn. During his career in media and technology, he has also served as CEO of information technology start-up, vice president of Sony Pictures and director of international business development at mobile media pioneer, MobiTV. .

In an exclusive interaction with us, Assaf sheds light on some of the prevailing trends when it comes to leveraging automation for customer experience in APAC and the automation pitfalls to avoid for a customer journey. seamless digital transformation.

What do you see as the dominant trends in using automation to improve customer experience in APAC organizations?

Well, to start, I would take a step back before talking about automation trends, to share the big global trends of digital transformation. Some of the customers and categories we serve are very traditional, such as financial services, insurance, manufacturing and retail. These have traditionally not spearheaded categories when it comes to new technology adoption and digital transformation. So I would say that a general trend in many of these industries is the recognition that digital transformation is a business imperative and the need to steer their business towards overall digital adoption and meeting consumers where they need to be.

Speaking of automation in particular, we’ve seen a lot of trends towards efficiency and effectiveness, haven’t we. And so automation and AI and RPA, those kinds of things have helped increase efficiency and speed. And what we’re seeing now is not just efficiency and speed, but the use of those same technologies for a more efficient, more humane, more personalized, and more holistic type of consumer engagement. So it’s kind of a move from disposition, I would say, for example, to driving cost reduction, to customer value, and to engaging with consumers where they want to be met.

So we talk a lot about journey orchestration in our business and how you manage the various consumer touchpoints to deliver magical experiences. And you can break it down in terms of tactics, resolutions, resolution speed, and how well you handle those things. But again, as a non-technologist, I like to think we deliver? Do we allow our customers to offer magic to their customers?

What are some of the customer experience challenges that automation can help overcome and ensure the experience is seamless?

The world has changed. So when you think about some of the trends that were going on due to technological innovation, that’s one direction. But then you think about what’s happened in the last three years with the pandemic; footfall is down, digital engagement acceleration is up., good footfall is down. However, budgets have not increased in proportion to the surge in digital engagement. And so some of the challenges have to do with how effectively companies have been able to pivot and adapt, embrace and adapt technology to this new reality. If they were used to hundreds of thousands of people visiting their stores or going to a counter; now everything is digital. So, their website is effectively set up for the kinds of self-service opportunities that customers are looking for, because customers are very happy to serve themselves.

And so I think some of the challenges have to do with moving from more traditional in-person work to more voice and digital. Organizations must therefore adapt their process flow to meet consumers in this new need.

I talked earlier about orchestrating the customer experience – companies need to listen, understand and predict customers, then act in a way that empowers them. And then learn continuously so that next time they are better able to learn about customer demands. Because customers want to be heard, they want to be listened to and they want to feel known.

So I think some of the challenges businesses are facing today are not just in the overall digital transformation, but in this very rapid change in how consumers interact with them, and making sure that all of their points digital touchpoints and the growing touchpoints that customers have and expect are in place. For example, in the US customers prefer SMS, in APAC it’s largely WhatsApp or WeChat or KakaoTalk or Line or wherever you are in the region.

It is therefore an effective technology and a relevant technology. So, in a multilingual country like India, having the right plugin for speech recognition, or language processing technologies or such technologies is essential to ensure that you can effectively reach your customers where they need to be met.

Many companies are using automation in their digital transformation journeys; What are some of the automation pitfalls to avoid for a smooth digital transformation journey?

I think one of the pitfalls is expecting technology to be a silver bullet or a backup. If you’re expecting to unlock magic just by buying a platform or buying an ability, I think you’re missing the strategic imperative.

Maybe in some of the more traditional industries that have lagged in digital adoption, they might think I’m going to throw a few bucks at the problem and be fine. Rather than embracing the journey of continuous innovation, which is really the business imperative, and finding ways to build empathy at scale for their consumers, which builds trust and builds long-term relationships and results in consumers telling their friends about their national experiences with that company, rather than a competitor. So yes, I think there is a risk of expecting too much without recognizing that the investments we have made must be managed, that they must be cultivated. It doesn’t stop with acquiring the technology.

The kind of mindset you put technology in, and that was pretty good for a while, that’s not how today’s businesses are going to grow and scale and maintain their customer base and maintaining, developing and sustaining leadership positions.

If I had to ask you one major way automation technology will change the overall customer experience in the future, what would it be?

I think one of the main ways automation will change the overall customer experience in the future is that the relationships between individuals and customers will become closer and more intimate. I think technology will enable greater speed, greater efficiency, greater intimacy, in the sense that businesses will know their customers better and be better placed to anticipate and deliver what they need. This is what will make the customer feel super valued, super heard, and super known.

So that’s the kind of trend that we’ll see – better prediction and anticipation of customer needs and the empathy that comes with that, we’ll see a lot of acceleration of those kinds of engagements.

Your one piece of advice for CIOs when it comes to leveraging automation for digitization?

I would say automation is not magic – it requires investment, recognizing that there are humans you need to run your systems and agents who will need to engage with your customers, and that they can be a million times better for your end users, by being enabled with technology. It is therefore important to have a vision of where you want to end up, to marry technology with people and to empower people and to train people by giving them the best tools for action to be effective in their work. So it’s like the marriage of CX and EX.

If you make an agent the best they can be by equipping them with amazing technology and then make it easy for consumers to reach you with that amazing technology, you have that magic wheel. So I would say leveraging automation for digitization isn’t magic, but it’s moving in a really exciting direction: delivering empathy at scale, managing customer journey orchestration, and meeting customers where they want to be in their ever-changing journey.