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Customer Experience

Key Takeaways from Medallia Experience 2024: How AI is Transforming Customer and Employee Experience

Medallia CEO Joe Tyrell stands on stage with a big screen behind him that says "Welcome to Experience '24". AI and Human Collaboration was a key theme of the event.

Medallia CEO Joe Tyrell kicks off the Medallia Experience 2024 event with a keynote presentation.

The Medallia Experience 2024 conference in Las Vegas brought together thought leaders and innovators from various industries to discuss the future of customer and employee experience.

This year’s conference emphasized the pivotal role of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), in enhancing interactions between businesses and their clients.

With a rich agenda that spanned from insightful keynotes to deep-dives into specific case studies, attendees left with actionable strategies to elevate their customer and employee engagement strategies.

Related: Customer Loyalty With Artificial Intelligence: 4 Ways to Revitalize

Embracing AI and Human Synergy

Medallia Experience 2024 underscored the need for integration of AI with human creativity and empathy. Simonetta Turek, Chief Product Officer of Medallia, captured this sentiment perfectly when she said, “Working alongside AI, humans can do what they do best: connect.”

This theme resonated across various talks, highlighting the importance of leveraging AI not as a replacement for human interaction but as a tool to enhance it. This approach ensures businesses can provide personalized, seamless customer experiences while also empowering employees to focus on tasks that require a human touch.

Tracey Brown, Chief Customer Officer of Walgreens, provided insight into that company’s approach: “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.”

This sentiment was echoed by Ginny Couvillon, Head of Client Services for US Wealth Management at UBS, who warned against changing just for the sake of change and stressed that “culture doesn’t move as fast as change.”

Walgreens’ Brown said the healthcare company is “people-led, tech enabled.”

Likewise, Brandi West, VP of Consumer Innovation at Advent Health, advised: “You have to deputize the entire organization around patient experience.”

“A lot of people have a platform first, people enabled strategy,” Couvillon added. “We have the opposite.” As a result, UBS’s monthly attrition in the contact center is less than 1% after changing how and who they hire.

Video Short: Dan Gingiss at Medallia Experience 2024

Prioritizing Personalized Experiences

A significant takeaway from Medallia Experience 2024 was the need for businesses to create personalized, 1-to-1 interactions with their customers.

This was vividly illustrated by the innovative products discussed by Mesut Oecalan, Global D2C Strategies Expert of BSH Home Appliances Group. Examples included a washing machine that keeps inventory of your wardrobe and a refrigerator that automatically adds missing items to a shopping list.

These advancements underscore the potential of AI to anticipate and meet customer needs in ways previously unimaginable.

Actress Kristen Bell added a unique perspective to the discussion on personalization based on her own entrepreneurial endeavors. She shared her decision-making process when launching products: “Do I like it, does somebody need or want it, and is it doing something new?”

This emphasizes the importance of not just innovation for its own sake but innovation that is meaningful and customer-centric.

Of course, when it’s time for customer service, a personalized experience is just as important.

While Couvillon noted that “the best interaction with the contact center is no interaction at all,” she also readily admitted that no company has yet achieved that level of success.

Chris Brainard, AVP of Patient Experience at UAB Heath System, noted that his organization’s “why” is that they “connect hearts and minds to humanize the healthcare experience.”

How do they do it? “Start with empathy, solve the right problem, collaborate boldly, drive towards action, learn and adapt,” he said.

Ginny Couvillon speaks at Medallia Experience 2024 Walgreens Chief Customer Officer Tracey Brown speaks at Medallia Experience 2024 Actress Kristen Bell speaks at Medallia Experience 2024

Ginny Couvillon of UBS, Tracey Brown of Walgreens, and actress/entrepreneur Kristen Bell.

The Importance of Listening and Feedback

Customer feedback emerged as a critical component of the customer experience strategy at Medallia Experience 2024.

Joe Tyrell, CEO of Medallia, highlighted a surprising gap in customer awareness and stressed, “If you can string together a series of good experiences for your customers then you will create a set of expectations that working with you actually produces good things.”

This underscores the importance of continuous engagement and dialogue with customers to understand their needs and expectations better.

Bell further emphasized this point, noting, “It’s mandatory to be listening at all times. And not just listening but asking for feedback. You have to know who you’re making something for.”

Leveraging Data for Customer Insights

The power of data analytics in crafting compelling customer experiences was another focal point at Medallia Experience 2024.

Kristen Fitzpatrick, Director of Data & Analytics for Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins at Inspire Brands, aptly noted, “If you look at one data point, it’s a picture. If you put lots of data points together, it’s a film.”

This analogy illustrates how businesses can use data to gain a dynamic understanding of their customers, enabling them to deliver more personalized and engaging experiences.

The key, says Couvillon of UBS, is to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

“How do we learn the lessons from the past?,” she asked, noting that “under-think and overspend” were two of them. “How do we start with the end in mind?”

Related: How Companies Are Using ChatGPT For Customer Service Success

Chris Brainard of UAB Health System speaks at Medallia Experience 2024 Brandi West of Advent Health speaks at Medallia Experience 2024

Chris Brainard of UAB Health System and Brandi West of Advent Health.

Conclusions From Medallia Experience 2024

The Medallia Experience 2024 conference offered a wealth of insights into the evolving landscape of customer and employee experience. The key themes of AI and human synergy, personalized experiences, the critical role of listening and feedback, and leveraging data for deeper insights provided a roadmap for businesses looking to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

These strategies underscore the necessity of integrating technology with a deep understanding of human needs and behaviors to create experiences that are not only seamless and efficient but also genuinely engaging and meaningful.

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