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Interpreting customer emotions through data | Ali Nasim | Engati CX

Jeremy DSouza
min read
Interpreting customer emotions through data | Ali Nasim | Engati CX

M. Ali Nasim, CEO of Ephlux talks joins us on the Engati CX Show to talk about customer emotions and help us interpret them.

M. Ali Nasim

Ali is a connected enterprise and customer experience thought leader with his focus on making it predictive, personalized and proactive.

He advises the CIOs and Chief Experience Officers of leading industrial and healthcare companies in the US on their digital transformation roadmaps.

Ali has around 18 years of experience, spanning areas of strategic technology management, product and business development for the US, UK, Asia Pacific and Middle East regions and works with enterprises including IKEA, Tupperware, PCL Constructors, SNC Lavalin, Teck, and Johnson & Johnson.

Interpreting customer emotions through data — a video with M. Ali Nasim

Ps. If you'd like to multitask while listening to the interview, we have our Spotify podcast embedded below.

Our interview with M. Ali Nasim on interpreting customer emotions

How can brands achieve customer centricity through digital transformation?

It's an interesting question. And before we jump onto that question itself, you know, let's go a little bit back. Not that far, but maybe 5 to 10 years back, you may be used to have this thing called a funnel, right? We all remember that. You have to have marketing at the top, sales and then service. And we're assuming that we can have this sequence and have business processes and SOPs around that sequence and expect the customer to follow in line, right?  

Stand in the queue, fill in the form, wait 24 hours or whatever, that might be right. So, whatever that business process was supposed to manage the standard operating procedures, and the customer hated that.

So, when they had the empowerment, that smartphone social media, they actually, you know, came back with vengeance, right?  

So, you think about the business process and the funnel and all of those things on one end on the other end, there's a customer who has a life, right, whose been roaming around, doing their business, being with their family, so they are going through a journey.

What matters for them is the journey. It doesn't matter what your SOPs are or whether you have a funnel of some sort. That's a big sort of dilemma, right? As a company, as a brand, we used to think about the process.  

The customer has always been thinking about that as a journey. There's a big disconnect.  

So, digital can actually bridge that gap between the customer journey and the business process. That's the best thing that technology can do when it comes to customer experience, in my opinion.  

If you think about that while they are going through their journey, they leave a lot of interesting digital footprints, and you kind of can assess their digital body language based off those footprints.

If your technology can collect all that data and make sense of that data and start predicting two things: the next best action and the next best offer that you can make to engage that customer.

And what’s even more interesting is that customers not willing to wait. You got to do all of that in real-time, right? And it has to be hyper personalized for that as an individual, not as a customer segment, not as some buckets you've created saying that these are the same type of customers. It doesn't work anymore. It’s got to be hyper personalized and in real time.

How can companies automate boring, monotonous tasks to reduce human dependency? Will it create better customer experiences?

This pandemic has made us more human. It’s made us come out of the boundary walls, of a company. So, we're all working from home. We're all empathizing with each other and we all realize that there is no set way of doing things.

That's the driver behind what I like to call a remote customer experience movement. And that really helps because there's no boundaries and you can be very creative in all of that.  

Going back to this question that you just asked about the human dependency. I think that's something you need to think about. What are humans good at versus what are machines good at?

Humans are good at reading emotions. Machines are good at reading data.  

We are emotional beings. We are good at emotional intelligence. Machines are good at artificial intelligence, right? So, if you can connect the two together that's the magic sauce, in my mind.  

So human dependency should be there for that emotional aspect, that EQ part. Robotic Process Automation can automate a lot of stuff, chatbots can automate a lot of stuff, but unless you have emotional beings driving there and ingrained into the whole process, there’s already going to be that disconnect.  

So whether humans are going to get replaced by robots or by AI? They're going to get augmented by it.  

As long as they can understand their strengths, which is emotional intelligence, and use that to drive technology. So that's my take on that.  

The customer has to be at the centre of everything you do and you need to make sure that you combine emotions and technology together.  

We like to call that a ‘CX architecture’. You have a business architecture where you find business processes, you've got your customer journey where customer lives, you've got to have a CX architecture that can combine the two together.

What role will technology play in creating a customer-centric value chain?

We have this framework that we call, ‘Predict, Intervene, Collaborate, and Integrate’. I'll break it up real quick.

What do you mean that predict? Being able to predict in advance what their customer experience going to be. Ia it going to be a score that you calculate, based on a lot of factors.? There’s lot of factors, based on the demographic based on the past transaction history, based on their service, complains that , have come to you or to your competitors.

It doesn't have to be just t something in your CRM, but I complain that they made to your competitors is something  you can think of.  So being able to predict, first of all. People call it lead scoring in a CRM, you could call it a patient experience for if you want to be more ballistic then ,etc. etc.  

First part is a predict part that's then next is the ‘intervene’ part. Remember I said that they want it in real time and they want the next best action, the next best offer?.

So, being able to intervene in the real-time is critical. That's the second part. And that makes you relevant as a brand for this customer in that moment of truth in that zero moment of truth like that that we like to call it.

The third part, like I said, is ‘collaborate’. This where the human part comes in, right?  

So you intervene and then are able to collaborate through a chat bar with your employees, with your subject matter expert that can be tagged into that particular moment of truth. Just imagine how amazing that would be.  

And I had an issue as a customer. It wasn't just standard company reply coming in, which, I very clearly can tell, is just a can email or canned response from a chatbot, nut rather, it becomes contextualized to what I'm reaching out there for and imagine the system being able to tag the right subject matter expertise from within the same chatbot. So that's the collaborate part in bringing the human experience and both from the employee side, and the customer side together in that moment.  

The four part is the ‘integrate’ part. Obviously, you can't leave the business process aside. That's what makes you money. You're got to integrate that flow mix into the core business process.  

Once you do that, the magic happens, so your ERP, the back office, your CRM. So your back office is always going to be a system of record. You have customers that record, as a number, your CRM and your engagement platform, like chatbots, they have a system of intervention and collaboration, and when you combine all that together, you get an amazing value chain that's making your customers happy, excited, big advocates a few at the same time, making you money as they come.

In the fourth Industrial Revolution, how have emerging technologies like something like chatbots and voice activated chatbots enhance customer interactions? Do you see an improvement in quality over time?  

Yeah. So, two things: one job got can either be extremely frustrating or they can be extremely engaging, either of the two. There’s never a middle ground.  

So, there are some that make you want to bang your head with the laptop during the chat session. Or it doesn't feel as if you're not talking to a human. Plus, what the IVR and Chat board can do is bring in a lot of customer insights that a human cannot do.  

A human can be on the call and search for the insights and then recommend the next best offer the next best action. If you can combine the two together, it's getting an amazing experience that you make it.  

Don't make it very robotic, don't make it obvious that you’re using canned responses and maybe just plugging in the name of the person, they can tell. Especially now that everybody's digital. They just interact with all of this, these things me too many times to get fooled.  

You got to be more intelligent with that. And when I say intelligent, I mean both emotionally intelligent as well as artificially intelligent.  

Are there any other thoughts that you’d like to share with our audience today?

I really believe you with this thought, as professionals, while we talk about this customer-centricity and making the customers sit in the centre of this transformation that we're trying to bring about, I think the first thing you need to do is realign ourselves as professionals realign ourselves towards customer as opposed to our profession. Maybe that means if you definition of the job description a little bit for each one of us.  

The other thing I would say is when you've done that, then you augment experiences that you can provide to that customer using technology using chatbots, AI, machine learning, IoT, using all of these digital wonderful things.

And once you've done both of them, you've got to think about this. A table where business process engineer is sitting, a CRM specialist sitting a marketer is sitting, an ERP specialist and an app developer are sitting.

That didn't happen before, right? The business used to define their process, IT used to comply and then the business used to use it. It was very sequential. Now, everybody got to pitch in.  

The customer needs to be right in the centre of it. Everybody's realigned towards that. Everybody is working within their area of expertise. The whole idea of function starts to diminish. So, there will be a common function. Everybody has the same function: to provide awesome customer experience.

They all bring in their separate expertise. The engineer brings one thing. The marketer brings something else, a psychologist or the research specialists being something else. At the same time, the focus should right be there, at the centre of the whole thing, which is the customer.

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Interpreting customer emotions — a Spotify podcast

Engati CX

We hope this helps you interpret your customer emotions better. Engati CX will be back with a new expert in a new episode soon. Stay tuned.

Find Ali Nasim

Ali has some brilliant insights to share with you. Connect with him on LinkedIn and get a conversation started.

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Now that you’ve got some great insights on innovating innovation from Ali Nasim, catch our interview on enhancing CX with edge computing with Robert Linsdell.

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