Is CX ready for AI?

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For years, customer service teams have had support from virtual chatbots to answer queries and filter out any questions that do not require a human response. AI is also used to collect customer data and analyse trend patterns, informing teams on what customers purchase, when they’re interested in certain items and how they like to spend their money. Another of many other common uses lies in security, where AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of transactional and behavioural data to detect anomalies, identify potential fraud patterns, and mitigate risks in real-time.

So, what’s different now? AI might have been around for some time, but the truth is, many businesses are yet to truly grasp the value and potential AI can bring. Given the deep learning breakthrough, natural language processing advancements and launch of conversational AI tools such as ChatGPT, it’s time to assess how businesses can truly extract value from AI.

Stepping up CX

Despite more than 80 per cent of business leaders indicating that improving customer experience is a high priority, just six per cent of brands saw a significant increase in their 2023 rankings of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index Report, compared to ten per cent the year prior. Chatbots have been widely accepted, but it can be cumbersome and frustrating to extract the right information from them. Advancements in AI could take some of that CX pain away.

According to Zendesk, 90 per cent of customers feel that the companies they buy from could do a better job at the onboarding process. When a customer is new to a business, they’re bound to have questions before they commit — particularly if they’re making a significant investment. Chatbots are an effective way of working through those frequently asked queries quickly and can help to personalise the onboarding experience.

For example, machine learning can help identify the most asked questions and help anticipate the information a customer wants to know. This experience can be personalised to a specific query based on the customer’s behaviour, demographic and personal preferences. All this information can be collected during interactions with human CX agents, stored and used to answer further queries at a later date, allowing for faster and more streamlined responses.

Make or break

There are further ways AI can help revolutionise CX while simultaneously improving the experience for customer service operators. One of the most effective ways to improve CX is to understand which talking points lead to the desired outcome — what makes a sale, what converts a prospect and what results in a happy customer. A good or bad conversation can make or break a customer interaction, so it is vital agents are telling customers what they want to hear.

Call tracking can provide customer-centric data that can help agents better align with their customers’ needs and make sure they’re offering customers the information they want. Nobody wants to go in circles reciting the same information to several people as they’re passed from department to department, or if they’re calling several times in a given period, so enhancing call tracking with AI can help give agents the talking points they need to know in a way that’s personalised to each ongoing interaction.

It’s a win-win. For customers, they feel confident the agents they’re speaking to know how to resolve their problem and are invested in their needs. CX also benefits, as getting the right information to the customer is far less laborious and less time is spent hunting down the facts.

While AI is developing in ways many of us cannot comprehend, it’s also advancing in a way that can help many businesses — and their staff — better support their customers. From streamlining onboarding to getting customers exactly what they need, AI can enable a streamlined, smarter approach to CX.