Digital Transformation Artificial Intelligence Brand Strategy

In 2024, customer and employee experience should be at the heart of your AI strategy

By Ron Shamah, Chief Executive Officer



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March 11, 2024 | 5 min read

The arrival of AI has been met with fear and optimism in equal measure, says Ron Shamah, chief executive of Rightpoint. But how can you use it, right now, to optimize customer and employee relations?

A white neon sign of hands holding against a concrete wall

Technology can help make great employee experiences, which in turn make great customer experiences. / Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

2024 will be the year generative AI (genAI) – from chatbots to personalized campaigns – starts to appear in the everyday experiences of both customers and employees. One recent survey found that 73% of consumers believe AI will positively impact customer experience. Yet, customers and employees are still wary about knowing whether they’re communicating with a human or a machine.

People crave human connection, but they also appreciate the convenience and consistency of AI. Improving customer and employee experience in the year ahead is key to incorporating this new technology into a successful business strategy.

Making customers central to business strategy

What does it look like to make customer experience central to your 2024 business strategy? It means prioritizing relationships, putting people first, and making strategic decisions to serve customers better. GenAI is one of the greatest tools around for delivering these experiences, with 48% of consumers saying they would interact with AI more frequently if it made their brand experiences more convenient and seamless.

There is always, of course, a risk when incorporating AI. Delivery service DPD learned this firsthand when it had to disable AI on its chatbot after the bot wrote a customer a poem about bad service. The poem quickly went viral, and included lines like: “There was once a chatbot named DPD, Who was useless at providing help”. While AI has incredible power, it still requires human oversight.

That doesn’t mean companies should shy away from genAI: Gartner predicts that chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for a quarter of businesses by 2027.

Customer-facing AI programs have already delivered incredible results to brands across industries. Bank of America’s Erica chatbot can help customers to check balances, access information, and complete transactions. It’s led to a 15% boost in digital customer satisfaction since launch. Thanks to recent upgrades to Erica, customers can switch to a human agent without missing a beat, offering seamless human and gen AI service.

Investing in customer experience requires buy-in from executives and leaders – and a strong, company-wide commitment to serving customers. Leaning into the combined power of genAI and human agents is the best way to provide a positive experience for both customers and employees.

Empowering employees through a cohesive experience

A great customer experience starts with a strong employee experience – you can’t have one without the other. When employees are supported and empowered with the tools and processes they need to do their jobs well, they naturally want to serve customers better and offer top-tier customer service.

But when employees are bogged down with red tape, cumbersome processes, and outdated systems, it becomes nearly impossible to provide a great experience.

Gen AI has incredible potential in employee experience too. AI isn’t an all-or-nothing game. Rather than fully replacing humans, it can automate mundane and repetitive tasks and give employees more time for creative and strategic work. Tools like Microsoft Copilot or Knowledge AI and Search can support and empower employees with AI tools while not completely taking over their jobs. Some early adopters have reported challenges of content overload for employees, and employees relying on Copilot to cover meetings instead of attending themselves. However, these issues are anomalies that will likely decrease as the technology improves.

Properly leveraging AI can help you create personalized experiences for each employee, and so boost productivity. Walmart's AI-powered ‘My Assistant’ tool helps corporate employees complete repetitive tasks and generate creative ideas. The company plans to expand its use, including with new employee orientation. McKinsey uses a gen AI system named ‘Lilli’ to allow employees to ask questions; the AI then scans the firm's data and knowledge banks to quickly provide relevant answers and resources.

There are clearly great gains to be made in 2024 and to best seize on these opportunities companies should rethink the relationship between technology, genAI, and users so that customers, employees, and stakeholders can have consistently high-quality experiences. This is the year that AI will put companies' approaches to their customer and employee experience in the spotlight, so be sure you’re on top of your strategy.

Digital Transformation Artificial Intelligence Brand Strategy

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We drive growth by delivering experiences that transform how people, technology and businesses interact. We call this Total Experience.

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