Giving digital interactions a human face

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If you don’t “do” artificial intelligence (AI), you risk missing out on a valuable business asset. That’s one of the arguments in our new point of view, which explores the impact of AI on customer experience (CX).

It’s a fascinating topic.  AI is increasingly being used to transform – or even reinvent – the way in which enterprises engage with their customers. The point of view AI: re-humanizing digital customer experience quotes digital analyst Brian Solis, saying that AI “represents an opportunity to introduce intelligent, scalable engagement and more personalized experience to help customers accomplish tasks.”

So, what’s driving the upsurge in AI? Our point of view cites several reasons, including the exponential volume of exploitable data, the continuing rise of cloud computing, breakthroughs in processing hardware, and the development of new machine learning/deep learning algorithms. There’s also the fact that AI adoption in CX is propelled by technologies such as robotics, evidence rules-based systems, text/knowledge mining, natural language processing, voice/speech recognition, predictive/prescriptive engines, sentiment/emotion recognition, computer vision and biometrics recognition.

At the same time, the thriving emergence of AI is connected to its applicability to CX – from both consumer and employee perspectives. It allows brands to talk to and listen to consumers on a personal, humanized, one-to-one basis, but at a scale. For employees, it relieves them from repetitive tasks (automation), and feeds them with predictions and recommendations (augmentation) for a better focus on judgement/ decision when engaging and serving customers, at scale.

How brands thrive

Perhaps one reason for this latter acceptance is that AI itself has become smarter, more human-like in its interaction with consumers. This humanization is discussed in the point of view, which states, “…when well employed, AI will allow brands to behave more like people – and brands that behave more like people will be those that thrive.”

Being more human is the result of AI-enabled technologies being more conversational and able to understand a customer’s feelings, to express empathy, apply humor, or/and show understanding and respect – creating personal experiences. This, in turn, has an impact on customer experience and how they feel about the brand with which they’re engaging. This is borne out by findings in a 2017 Capgemini Research Institute survey, which showed 73% of organizations that had implemented AI observed more than a 10 percentage-point gain in terms of enhanced customer satisfaction (increased Net Promoter Score), closely followed by reduced customer complaints (72%), and reduced customer churn (66%).

These numbers reinforce my opening statement and further emphasize the growing significance of AI for customer experience. As the point of view states, “With a clear correlation between a great customer experience and increased customer advocacy, frequency of spending, and the amount spent, it makes good business sense to look at how and where AI can influence benefits for both the customer and the organization.”

Defining your use cases

So, how do you take the next step and unleash the potential of AI to transform the CX of your organization? AI: re-humanizing digital customer experience recommends identifying relevant use cases aligned to your business priorities for CX. These might include delivering a better understanding of your customer for individualized and contextualized propositions or augmenting the work of your employees by applying AI to reduce repetitive tasks, or providing them with insights so that they can focus on their human skills. The task is to find the right use cases as a function of the relationships you have with your customers, as well as the level of augmentation and automation you wish to provide your employees with.

This is just one step on the journey to giving AI a more human face so that it enables you to better understand and engage with your customers. Read the point of view for insight into other crucial steps, including the importance of good quality data, the value of understanding the AI technology that’s available, and why trust is a critical consideration in the battle for consumer loyalty.

Download the point of view AI: re-humanizing digital customer experience.

Author

Stephane Girard, VP, CTO DCX Global Practice

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