Facial Recognition for CX – Are we there yet?

One of the great things about working in CX is the insanely fast changing world of technology and its potential to improve our lives as customers. It can also lead of course, to the phenomenon of “a solution looking for a problem” (that bright new shiny technology).

Facial recognition, facial analytics (& the broader Cognitive Sciences) are a good case in point. Except that I think we are getting ever closer to some real problems or use cases worth solving as the technology improves.

Facial recognition is already being trialled at Australian Airports, the Chinese Government is famously using facial recognition for citizen surveillance, and you can have your favourite burger ordered in California using facial recognition.

For the CX world, facial recognition offers a number of possibilities – the most obvious being Opt-In Track-ability.

Opt-In Track-ability

Our ability to track & take feedback from people at critical moments of their customer journey is generally restricted (in the B2C world) to customers who have elected to join a loyalty program (providing contact details) and the presentation of that loyalty card when transacting. Many valuable customers do not join loyalty programs. Loyalty program customers do not always use their cards. And a loyalty program won’t tell you whether someone is currently in store.

The big opportunity here is with a new source of opt-in track-ability. I do not say “opt-in” lightly as we know large portions of the population are not ready for this – yet. But there will always be early adopters and it only needs some creativity and compelling value to make a start.

“We noticed that your favourite item was not in store the last time you visited and that you may need some expert advice. Opt-in for use of your Facebook photo here, and we will know when you are in store next – and get an advisor to you as quickly as possible.”

Too creepy? Perhaps not for some. Perhaps a simple incentive might be enough for some to opt-in.

And if handled well and you solve the customers problem, perhaps word-of-mouth will kick in.

The point is that it is a “test & learn” challenge and the first retailers to “crack the code” stand to benefit significantly.

The benefit of a cohort of opt-in customers with facial recognition does not just expand the ability of your CX feedback – it enables real-time action.

And this is just facial recognition. We have not talked about the emotion & sentiment analytics that the same technology promises.

More of that in a later post.