Artificial Intelligence: using automation to build customer intimacy

It is no wonder that the companies dominating the markets today, such as Amazon, Google and Apple, all have one thing in common: They are all customer-centric.

Thanks to the increase in consumer power and competition traditional product and service advantages have been eroded, firms have been forced to seek new, more durable forms of competitive advantage. Many business and IT leaders see the customer experience as a sustainable source of competitive differentiation.

It appears the ambition to become more customer-centric is pushing organisations to look at cutting-edge technology to keep ahead. Today, AI is serving on the frontlines of customer service, handling the repetitive tasks that previously took up the majority of an agent’s time – freeing them up to focus their time and energy on more complex and high-value engagements.

According to a new study from Genesys, the customer experience firm, 48% of companies say improving customer intimacy is the main reason for artificial intelligence (AI) adoption. Additionally, large companies with at least 30,000 employees are over 50% more likely to have made major investments in AI for front-line customer interactions and analytics.

Every single UK firm polled is already utilising cutting-edge tools such as chatbots and sentiment analysis, with more than a quarter (26%) using AI in customer engagement for over two years.

Across Europe, 90% of respondents said they use AI solutions to improve the customer journey. More than 90% of European respondents said their companies are investing in AI tools to automate processes and enhance customer channels.

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Is it working?

According to the report, 92% of European respondents noted measurable improvements in areas like complaint resolution and 82% said they have enhanced call volume processing through AI. Furthermore, the average respondent indicated that between 25% to 50% of all enquiries are now completely resolved through automated channels, this frees up time for employees to handle more complex tasks.

Merijn te Booij, chief marketing officer for Genesys, said: “Businesses win big when they deploy AI to handle simple, repetitive tasks, saving human resources for more complicated or emotional customer needs.

“Pairing automation and machine learning with live agents leads to happier customers, more satisfied employees – and not to mention— financial rewards.”

The survey found that  70% of respondents across the world improved their revenue and 42% of UK-based executives said revenue had grown by 10% or more, which is the strongest performance in Europe.

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Deepening Customer Relationships

Interestingly, 67% of customer experience leaders embrace AI not just as a tool to make the customer experience more efficient but to create more meaningful relationships with consumers. More than 57% of respondents in Europe see the need to increase customer intimacy as the primary driver for AI, rather than cost-cutting.

Furthermore, 74% of those polled globally said that AI enables employees to spend more quality time with customers. And, more than two-thirds of respondents say they’ve employed automated self-service channels, instant messaging chatbots, and sentiment analysis to deliver highly personalised experiences and strengthen ties with customers.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future