Tips for leveraging AI to enhance the customer experience
AI-powered chatbots can revolutionize the customer journey, argues communications expert Matt Swain, but only if brands approach the technology strategically.
Some brands have integrated their products or services with ChatGPT in an effort to boost CX. / Adobe Stock
Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are currently being leveraged by companies – such as Duolingo and Expedia – at a rapidly increasing clip.
By now, chatbots have become commonplace within company websites, call centers and mobile apps. What makes this next crop of AI-powered chatbots different is their ability to communicate via natural language. It marks the beginning of the modern chatbot era: AI now has a broader, public-facing role to play as a tool for business users.
These latest AI-powered chatbots – such as ChatGPT and Google's Bard - are designed to cull through huge amounts of data in order to determine the best response to a particular prompt. This matters, because consumers today expect personalization when engaging with brands. Broadridge’s 2023 CX and Communications Consumer Insights report, for example, found that 54% of surveyed consumers have cut ties with companies that don’t provide a satisfyingly personalized experience.
Tips for companies considering using AI in their CX
AI has gone from working behind the scenes to taking center stage. It’s still early days for this technology, and it’s been known to behave in unpredictable ways, which means it’s important for brands to develop strategies before they integrate AI into their business models.
Here are six tips to help get you started:
Test and learn: Consider working with a small subset of your population to first test and learn how the use of AI affects CX.
Look at the big picture: Consider the most common types of requests, and make sure that you're not going to break the customer journey by implementing AI. New technology can add value, but you need to ensure that it doesn't make things worse than they were before.
Do your security research: Make sure you understand the risks of handing over customer data to AI — and prepare accordingly.
Focus on transparency: Make sure your customers know if they’re interacting with AI or with a human.
Find the right tone: AI that comes across as being too human has the potential to backfire, as most consumers prefer a chatbot experience to be emotionless. Recent research suggests an overly cheery chatbot could result in a worse experience for a customer, which can lead to lost revenue. If you're going to use a customer-facing AI-powered chatbot, make sure it's communicating in an appropriate tone.
Don’t use AI when a human is needed: An overreliance on AI tools can cause frustration in those instances when human intervention is necessary, which can produce disastrous results; 68% of consumers have lost trust in a company after a poor experience or communication, according to Broadridge’s report.
While AI is rapidly becoming more sophisticated, it remains important for humans to understand how to use the technology effectively and responsibly. Brands that are interested in adopting AI to boost CX should focus, first and foremost, not on trying to “wow” their customers with the technology, but rather integrating it in a manner that will authentically enhance the customer experience. Be practical, be responsible and be open to learning as much as you can along the way.
Matt Swain is Head of Communications Insights and Experiences at Broadridge. For more on the latest happening in AI, web3 and other cutting-edge technologies, sign up for The Emerging Tech Briefing newsletter here.