As customers interact through multiple channels, such as web and voice, the need for real-time data is increasingly important. For brands, the availability of that data can make a crucial difference in whether customers perceive their interactions as satisfactory. As the Internet of Things becomes widespread, real-time data becomes an integral part of providing a high level of responsiveness to customers.

Customer Experience and Real-Time Data

To create great customer experiences, some of the data needs to be real-time. There’s a lot of data that does not need to be real-time. Obviously, you have the customer’s demographics and transactions -- those kinds of things, obviously, will keep for a while. Somebody’s age is not going to change in the minute or seconds you talk to them.

But there’s also data, the contextual data that is very, very real time. And that is the stuff that is happening right now or may happen in a different channel just a minute ago, or it’s maybe happening on a different device all at the same time. That real time data is very important for a meaningful conversation. Just think about two humans talking, right. They’re listening to answers; they’re thinking on the fly, and then replying in a very specific way.

You cannot really script a conversation like that. You cannot say "Well, I already calculated the answer to this two days ago." That’s not how it works. So there’s a lot of real-time, and the real-time aspects of the customer experience have changed over time, right. This is not like sending someone a mail or an email. This is about a chat. This is about a very dynamic website. All of these experiences are very real-time, and that’s what you need to take into account.

And then there is the Internet of Things, because things are customers too and they are a very real-time species. At some point, you’ll be talking to someone’s avatar or the customer is not maybe the human, but actually the refrigerator. And those responses, those kinds of experiences if you can call them that, all require very, very real-time information to make them great and relevant.

Bear in mind that there are a lot of things that you cannot anticipate, like triggers that you want to respond to in real time. So for instance, in the Internet of Things, there may be an engine failure and the car actually talks to the manufacturer and to find the nearest garage. You need to respond to that in real time, but the same would be for a transaction, or it would be someone who’s struggling with a web form and you want to offer a live chat with an agent.

And those kinds of triggers, you have to respond to in real time. You can’t really prepare for it, and that’s where real-time becomes a very important part of a great customer experience.