Digital Strategy: How to Prepare for Voice Recognition

At CxO Sydney, the panel ‘Great Digital Expectations: The Next Phase of Engagement' revealed what it takes to create a successful digital strategy.


A digital strategy is more than having a flashy website with no visitors or an application that has a convoluted interface, it’s about ensuring that all interactions with the user are customer-centric, whether they are online or in a physical reality.

Panellists Adam Riley, Regional Director of Akamai Technologies, Alistair Venn, Managing Director at Menulog, Jo Kelly, CMO for UBank and Crystal Hanna, Acting Head of Insurance at ING Direct shared their insights on how to produce a seamless digital experience in the modern era at CxO Disrupt Sydney in August.

The panel ‘Great Digital Expectations: The Next Phase of Engagement’ provided great insights into what a digital strategy for a modern organisation should look like.

Going Deluxe with UX

When a customer goes online to purchase a product, sometimes the product, no matter how exciting it is, isn’t worth the hassle of a slow website or a website that you can’t easily navigate around. Engaging customers with a strong User Experience (UX) is a simple solution to a hard problem. 

Adam Riley summarised it well when he presented his perspective about how applications and products should be launched by organisations.

“It should to be what the customer wants and what the customer needs. It has to be good from a user experience perspective.”

Adam speaks from great experience of what online presences work and what doesn’t as Akamai Technologies backend over 33% of the world wide web by optimising the speed of some of the world’s most visited websites and creating a seamless digital platform.

Jo Kelly echoed these thoughts and even went further saying that a digital has to replicate the brand you are trying to put out.

“Digital is at the heart of everything we do. It’s important to tell a congruent story of your brand,” she explained to 200 of Sydney’s leading IT and digital executives.

Omnichannel Presence: Mixing Digital and Physical

However, sometimes customers want the safety and assuredness that they can only find by interacting with a real person.

It’s important in these moments, that C-Suite executives don’t dismiss these people for not going through one of the preferred channels, but rather encouraging them to help produce a new method of interaction.

As talk of voice technology through AI and machine learning heats, Adam stressed that there is more to customer engagement than talking to them.

“Yes, voice is going to be one channel, but there has to be many other channels for customers.”

Crystal Hanna discussed how it’s important not to assume what the customer want, but actually confirm it by gauging their opinion.

“We have to make sure we are interacting with the right platform at the right time because customers want to be engaged the way they want to be engaged,” she said.

In the moment of truth, customers want to have a physical presence, but that doesn’t mean that digital can’t help improve that real connection. Rather than thinking about one or the other, it’s about mixing physical and digital to create a phygital connection.

Security is the First Step in the Right Direction

We live in a time where customer satisfaction for Australia’s biggest banks are at an all-time high, but concurrently, trust for these companies is at an all-time low.

With this in mind, Adam recommends that rather than businesses reactively responding to the latest security breach, they should analyse the potential weaknesses for customer data and work to cover that area before releasing the product.

“If you are launching something into the market, the first step is to make sure all the customer data is secure,” he said.

Customers will look for alternative options if they are always seeing news that their information is being shared with a 3rd party, or if there’s been another scandal when it comes to their data.

The most important thing then, is to guarantee that the customer’s information is safe and will only operate within the context of helping their experience.