How 5G will deliver the customer experience of tomorrow

Published: Mar 6, 2019
Author: Jeffrey Granvold

As the world looks forward to 5G becoming an everyday reality, now is the time for your enterprise to think about how 5G will impact your customer experience (CX) strategy. Whether you have a mature CX strategy or are just beginning to build and execute on your CX vision, you need to start thinking about how 5G has the potential to revolutionize the way your company and your customers interact. 

In fact, you can anticipate that your “5G CX strategy” will become your CX strategy; the idea of powering CX without taking advantage of all the technologies 5G enables will in the future seem as quaint as a CX strategy that doesn’t address once-innovative but now commonplace solutions as a website, social channels, or call centers. 

It’s important to understand that 5G is all about being able to deliver significantly high speeds and ultra-low latency. By thinking about 5G in that context and considering the types of speed, latency, performance and capability upgrades that 5G can deliver, CX leaders can begin to think about the type of revolutionary experience they want to provide customers in the future.

But what does all this really mean for the enterprise?

Enter 5G Network Slicing.  The demand from customers for more self-service capabilities, as well as the anytime access to more data, will not slow down. And it will continue to increase exponentially, meaning the enterprise must not just meet but exceed the demand placed upon it. One strategy to improve the enterprise’s network function and capability will be found in 5G’s ability to create Network Slicing. 

Network Slicing will allow for multiple virtual networks to be created on top of a shared physical infrastructure, along with the ability to span across multiple parts of a network (core network, transport layer, or access network). Each network slice will create an end to end virtual network with both compute and storage functionality. 

Where the power of this technology takes center stage is in the contact center. Each new added feature to a contact center, such as recording and transcription services that feed analytics, increases the demand for bandwidth that is equal to the original call. For example, voice analytics require uncompressed audio, which also means the recording and voice path need to remain uncompressed. 

The advantage that 5G and Network Slicing will bring is not just the ability to add new capabilities without having to reroute your network, but also the function for different layer security zones, where the containers for voice recording and transcription services have different security profiles and compliance requirements. 

Unleash Big Data Analytics. Every year, the use of analytics in the enterprise grows in both purpose and function. However, with 5G-supported technologies like AI generating exponentially greater amounts of data, Big Data analytics will be necessary to harness all that new data to improve the customer experience. 

For example, call centers are already incorporating AI to help identify customer patterns. By using 5G to further process customer support trends, AI will be able to better prepare call center agents to serve customers while powering chatbots to assist customers directly. 

5G-powered analytics will also be necessary to power a new generation of immersive experiences across the CX spectrum. VR and AR will be used by customers to interact with chatbots and human agents alike for everything from shopping to technical support. 

5G and analytics will be crucial for providing the performance and intelligence needed for these technologies to work anytime. 

Get Closer With Mobile Edge Computing. The impetus of 5G is the need to connect billions of IoT devices ranging from autonomous vehicle sensors to smart appliances to voice assistants. Customers will expect real-time, context-based content from IoT devices. Mobile edge computing will be used more and more to process data closer to the source instead of in the cloud, enabling data to be analyzed and acted on within the device itself.

Whether it’s catching up with your favorite TV show on the subway or a having your self-driving car adjust its route automatically based on traffic, mobile edge computing depends on the reliable performance of the network to provide fast, reliable connectivity as needed. With 5G speeds predicted to be much faster than what’s currently possible with 4G, 5G will help these devices instantly communicate back and forth between your enterprise and your customer to deliver content, process decisions, and identify and solve issues quickly and efficiently, possibly without the customer even realizing the device is actively communicating. 

While it’s useful to look at 5G from a CX perspective, the benefits of 5G will obviously extend far beyond your customer’s experience. With each trend above, we see a transition from the network as being an infrastructure through which data flows to the network becoming a facilitator for insight and proactive service. By using 5G to revolutionize the way you approach CX, you’ll also revolutionize the way you approach your entire business in the process. 

Learn more about our Customer Experiences Services to discover the critical trends, technological innovations, and best practices that are driving customer experience today. If you are attending Enterprise Connect 2019, be sure to visit us in booth 1219.

Jeffrey Granvold is Senior Manager, Customer Experience Design and Business Innovation for Verizon.

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