07 Aug Human and Machine are Best Together: AI enhances CX
In an earlier blog we proposed the differing views on how AI will affect the contact center in the future. There is the doom and gloom approach that AI will take over jobs and dehumanize the experience. Alternatively, when used strategically as a helpful assistant , AI enhances CX.
User Testing’s “The Rise of the Experience Economy: the 2019 CX Industry Report” alleges every aspect of a business totals the CX for the brand. That includes product to accounting. Companies that see the whole picture and embrace the latest technologies that improve CX stay ahead of the curve. That includes embracing AI.
The report also references Forrester’s research showing companies utilizing quality CX exceed their peers in both stock price and ROI.
As Forrester’s recent “Light on the Horizon: The State of Customer Experience Quality” acknowledges, every innovation has a pivot point. They shift from a few early adopters to becoming widespread. It states CX appears to be near this tipping point. A company looking to build their AI strategy has both inward (agent facing AI), and outward (customer facing AI) options.
Agent Facing AI
Chatbots are now a familiar AI tool. However, per Kaye Chapman in Comm100’s “Building Strategy and Confidence in Contact Center AI”, the new opportunity is AI enhancing agent work to improve CX.
The Harvard Business Review conducted research over 1,500 companies, and found the mix of human and machine provide best results. “What comes naturally to people (making a joke, for example) can be tricky for machines, and what’s straightforward for machines (analyzing gigabytes of data) remains virtually impossible for humans. Business requires both kinds of capabilities.”
AI tools that make an employee’s job easier and thereby their ability to serve a customer faster, are a double win. When an AI tool gathers information on options swiftly and delivers them to the agent, that saves both the agent and the customer time. This frees the agent to focus on understanding a customer query in full, and implementing the best of those options.
An AI tool like CSAT.AI assists agents in real-time. It even alerts management when agents are being abusive toward customers and when agents are being abused themselves.
Inward facing AI is a good start to incorporating AI into a business growth plan with more customers served in less time and with greater success.
Customer Facing AI
From Luc Burgelman: “For organizations in customer-facing industries in particular (such as banks, media and retail), AI is an essential technology that needs to be implemented across all customer experience initiatives.”
Some companies and industries, are already engaging customer facing AI. It isn’t just services like banking either. Beauty brand Sephora, named retailer of the year in 2017, uses an AI tool that allows customers to ‘try on’ colors virtually. They also have a tool that scans skin tone to assist the customer with finding matching foundation.
AI allows customers to have self-service when other channels are full. It also has the ability to help companies address client needs even before they arise. Tracking customer preferences over time AI can be used to create personalized experiences at scale and even predict customer behavior.
Companies that are using AI to successfully service their customers directly are paving the way for widespread adoption of AI to improve CX.
Finding an AI Entry Point
Though more businesses are trusting AI to service their customers, some are not ready for client facing AI. For those businesses just looking to get started, a plan of AI adoption is needed.
Per Matthew Jinx, also on Comm100’s webinar, jumping into customer facing AI can be a more risky AI entry. He mentions that the most successful companies they have using AI have started with agent facing AI.
It is clear that AI is growing in capacity and adoption. Per Entrepreneur: “The global AI market was worth $7.35 billion in 2018, where the largest portion of revenue was stirred from enterprise applications. The market is expected to catapult to $89.84 billion by 2025.”
The question is not whether companies will adopt AI to enhance CX, but when and how.