The AI-enhanced customer experience

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is unleashing a new approach for customer experience (CX) strategy, design and development. We haven’t seen change on this scale since the internet transformed print professionals into digital pioneers. But the timeline for evolution is far shorter than it was twenty years ago. Fifty percent of companies surveyed are already taking action to deploy AI, using it to quickly access insights and automate campaigns and processes. They can also embed it directly into new customer touchpoints. However, many companies have important capability gaps, and lack the strategy and skills needed to meet their AI aspirations. As a result, executives may be overestimating the ability of their organizations to make the shift

Drivers and benefits: Why executives are so enthusiastic

It’s no wonder surveyed executives are eager to adopt AI/CX. Two-thirds report AI will be a disruptive force in their industry within just two years. Only a tiny fraction – 4 percent – plan to use AI so they can be the disruptors themselves. The majority (57 percent) say responding to customer demands for more personalized experiences is their number-one reason for adopting AI. The need to maintain their customer-centric brand reputations comes in second at 51 percent. For most companies, adopting AI/CX is a defensive move – more about not being left behind than leading the way. 

However, executives are not swallowing a bitter pill. Far from it. Executives cite numerous benefits they think AI will deliver, with most saying growth and operational benefits are equally important (see Figure 1). Furthermore, 68 percent claim confidence in their knowledge of how AI can drive the CX goals of their organizations. 

“By implementing AI, we will predict what customers want before they even know they need it.”  Chief Marketing Officer, Retail, US

Benefits companies would like to realize by embedding AI into their CX

Top 5 growth benefits

  1. Improved depth of customer engagement
  2. Improved customer satisfaction
  3. Increased revenue growth
  4. Improved brand loyalty
  5. Opportunity to create new business models/ products/services

Top 5 operational benefits

  1. Improved customer insights
  2. Improved efficiencies
  3. Improved decision-making
  4. Improved cost savings
  5. Improved employee satisfaction

The AI journey: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

Companies are moving fast to adopt AI/CX (see Figure 2). Of those organizations surveyed, 50 percent are past the evaluation stage and taking action. Only 13 percent report not considering AI at this time.  

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