It Takes Two to Tango – Human Connection and AI in Customer Experience (CX)
I was talking to a friend who runs a boutique services company. There are only a few organizations that offer similar services worldwide.
They were the upstarts and have become a darling of their customer segments.
I was curious, so I asked him how they had become the darling of their customers in a short time.
He said that their customers loved their responsiveness – they were accessible to customers as individuals and were very agile in providing resolutions to their challenges.
At the same time, he was also worried that they were losing this competitive advantage by putting in processes to handle their support. Often, these processes become a bottleneck, and they start to resemble their competition through the support they provide.
Every organization goes through this cycle. To begin with, they are incredibly agile and put customer experience ahead of everything. Over time, they tend to move towards implementing processes and making them complex for their customers.
The underlying principle should be:
Anything you do regarding process change should ultimately lead to better customer experiences. Else, don’t do it.
With this contextual example, let us look at the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on customer experience and how it has to be approached.
The most important question is – does AI help in enhancing customer experience?
The Impact of AI in CX
How often have we felt cheated when a performer lip-synced on the stage instead of performing live?
The moment you found that out, would you still be interested in attending live events?
Assume that you use AI, and it even manages to have a dialogue with you conversationally. It still is automation, isn’t it?
You wouldn’t feel comfortable interacting with such intelligence for your complex needs.
While AI can be generally good at baseline tasks, it is not good at mastering someone’s job.
You would obviously need to provide the human touch to enhance the customer experience you offer.
However, AI can help you enhance the customer experience positively.
How Do You Go About Using AI to Enhance the Customer Experience?
The first step for you will be to understand the mundane and repetitive tasks that do not require an agent to address.
Some tasks that you can look at include:
- Checking account balance in your bank account, credit card, and Fastag account
- Asking for a statement of the last five transactions
- Scheduling, rescheduling, or canceling appointments
- Tracking shipment status or booking status
- Password resets
There are numerous mundane tasks that AI can easily handle without human intervention. That is more than 50% of the customer requests in most cases.
There are other areas where AI can help human agents. A few things that AI can do include:
- AI can help guide agents to an effective resolution by offering the next-best actions
- Alerts can be triggered on positive as well as adverse reactions
- Figure if the customer is a candidate for upsell or cross-sell based on his previous interactions and the current conversation. Help the agents offer the best deal for the customer.
- AI can ensure that agents don’t identify customers with their IDs and order numbers but by their first names instead.
- AI can make every conversation personalized by storing customer history, allowing agents to address issues faster and make quality recommendations.
Here is the statistic that talks about personalized interactions.
Studies show that 47% of agents ranked engaging and conversing with customers as a top motivator.
This means that customer support teams want to have personalized interactions with customers.
AI can help accelerate these personalized conversations.
AI cannot offer end-to-end creative solutions. The true power lies in the coming together of human thoughts and actions powered by AI.
Let us be honest – there’s power in human connection, and human conversations will be the most powerful tool to reach your customer base.
However, AI can bolster those conversations with real-time insights by accessing humungous amounts of data and removing the bottleneck of handling mundane and repetitive requests.
AI and human connections will have to tango for better customer experiences. You can safely assume that AI is here to stay and will help agents become more productive than ever and will improve the customer experience.
AI will also act as a catalyst to train and coach the agents, as well as reward those who are doing well.
AI can be intimidating to begin with. However, organizations will have to empower their people to use AI effectively, which would be a competitive advantage for both the agents and the businesses. It can lead to increased job satisfaction and experience.
It definitely takes two to tango.