Over the past year and a half, consumers have moved nearly every aspect of their lives to digital channels.
Expectations for an exceptional customer experience remain sky-high, and enterprises must re-evaluate the end-to-end journey when a consumer either desires or is forced into an in-person or non-digital interaction.
The stakes are high, and enterprises are already under pressure. And now generative artificial intelligence (ChatGPT) has entered the already-complex conversation, disrupting nearly every industry and further complicating the customer experience journey.
Glance CEO Tom Martin and SVP of Product & Strategy David Butler shared their thoughts and insights on the potential of AI in customer experience, the practical aspects of AI implementation, and ethical considerations. Here’s a recap of that informative conversation.
When consumers move to digital channels, they’ve likely already made a decision to purchase. The question is, “Who will I purchase from?” The answer: the organization that makes it easiest. As Tom pointed out, “The word ‘frictionless’ is the common denominator across everything we’re seeing.”
Consumers (and employees) want consistency and ease. Siloed user experience approaches based on traditional channel mentality are preventing organizations from delivering that seamless digital customer experience to internal and external audiences.
Your organization isn’t seen as several teams. Consumers see it as one cohesive brand and want one cohesive brand experience. Multiple silos hinder the continuous and fluid CX, while monolithic technologies undermine the consistency of experience.
Generative AI adds another layer, but when it comes to delivering a superior customer experience, it’s still about “reaching in” the customer’s journey at the right moment of need.
When we think about this orchestration of the experience, brands can pull relevant information from different systems to carry context that can be integrated across all customer interactions to make it relevant, personal, and even proactive.
It’s more than an AI-powered chatbot that automatically asks site visitors if they need help when they haven’t moved their cursor in 3 seconds. It’s about delivering human-guided assistance that reduces or eliminates friction with little effort from the consumer.
From a consumer standpoint, powerful orchestration brings connected, seamless experiences by layering the right data and knowledge on top of every interaction.
With the right integrations, orchestration can be proactive and respond to changes in the customer or company data — think orders, a change in inventory, availability of specific services, cancellations, and social media “likes,” to name a few.
In CX, AI has been seen as a way to initially engage customers to make the agent more effective in their interaction. It’s an engineered experience. But as it’s used at scale, enterprises can harness that data to make it a more proactive and tailored experience, picking up on cues that the customer needs human-guided support.
Chatbots can be helpful, but they can also create unnecessary friction if the consumer doesn’t quickly get the resolution they’re seeking. Enterprises should be thinking instead about how AI can be used to speed things up and reduce friction, both internally and externally, to create efficiencies and boost customer satisfaction.
“When you break it way down to the basic simple things, it’s just three things,” David said. “Let’s start the clock the minute the customer arrives in three dimensions: Time, effort, and outcome. And we build it up from there.”
Generative AI is a game changer because of its two core functions: understanding a request and acting on it. It can fundamentally change the game for enterprises by:
- Providing the ability to be more accurate and complete, solving a problem end to end without human involvement.
- With analytics baked in, enabling teams to adjust conversations according to real-time qualitative and quantitative customer feedback.
- Identifying when the human element needs to be delivered to a customer early in their digital/self-service journey, irrespective of the channel they’re on to deliver better mutual outcomes.
When used strategically, generative AI can empower humans to handle the critical and complex needs of customers that require intelligence, empathy, and situational context.
A risk to be aware of is that generative AI could easily become more clutter for agents to deal with. As CX leaders move forward in their adoption of generative AI, they should keep the agent experience in mind — how can generative AI be used to optimize the agent experience? As an example, generative AI could be used to create a post-conversation wrap-up to take that task off the hands of the specialist while also creating powerful data to use moving forward. Explore more about the potential and risks of AI in customer experience. Watch the BrightTalk Summit to hear Tom and David share insights, tips, and considerations as you embrace AI in CX.