Laura Bassett at NICE explains how generative AI is a dominant midyear trend of 2023, and outlines the top four ways to apply it in customer service.
It’s time to dig into emerging midyear trends—or make that “trend.” There’s one innovative trend on every customer experience expert’s radar—as 2023 will forever be known as the Year of Generative AI.
In fact, this year is shaping up to be one of the most transformative years in customer service innovation, with generative AI upending the script, reinventing artificial intelligence’s role and potential in making the lives of customers easier.
Text-generating chatbots such as ChatGPT, Bing AI or Google Bard are earning all the media attention. But it’s important to note that generative AI goes beyond the chatbot, enabling capabilities across a broad range of content.
Also, technology can perform several functions in organizations, including editing, summarizing, answering questions, and generating new content to change how work is completed across business functions and workflow.
AI adoption is proceeding fast as it keeps pace with technological advances with more brands categorizing artificial intelligence as a must-have.
By 2025, 70% of digital workplace service transactions (service request fulfillment and incident resolution) will be supported or completed by automation, up from less than 30% today.
Generative AI as a Customer Service Gamechanger
Many brands may have questions about how generative AI can help improve the customer experience, such as whether it’s a passing trend, how it can be incorporated—or even just basic questions about what it is.
Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence models that can generate data, such as text, images, music and code, based on patterns and characteristics learned from a training dataset.
Of course, that’s the textbook definition. The real question is what that means for end-to-end exceptional customer experience interactions.
The capability to bring together data from disparate sources to paint a fuller picture of a customer need event is what empowers generative AI to become a game changer to optimize every customer touchpoint across all channels.
“AI is a true game changer for the customer service space. It actually tackles three very long-standing challenges that enterprises are facing when it comes to customer service: the lack of skilled labor, the ability to take decisions at a very high pace and velocity and, of course, mass personalization at scale—something that we as consumers all want when it comes to getting service from our providers,” NICE CEO Barak Eilam explained in a Sky News interview.
NICE CX Division President Barry Cooper recently wrote in Forbes that generative AI is fast becoming intertwined in every industry and organization’s growth trajectory to change how people will interact with technology for the foreseeable future.
“The era of generative AI isn’t the future—it’s the present and the path forward. Businesses that can realize the power of generative AI and technology like ChatGPT and act on its capabilities to build a solution fit for their customer experience have a chance to use this innovation for their company’s success,” Cooper said.
It’s time to get smart about the latest in artificial intelligence as it continues to evolve at a record pace. Here are the top four ways AI can be harnessed for improved customer experience interactions (CXi).
1. Treat AI Like Your New Employee
One of the most valuable ways to think of AI is like it’s your new talent. Most companies invest time and resources into onboarding new customer service employees to set the stage for a successful and productive tenure. The same should be thought of for artificial intelligence.
NICE CEO Barak Eilam recently said during an appearance on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Technology” that it’s important to treat artificial intelligence as you would any new employee.
“You want the AI to serve your brand, your reputation and meet your business goals so it needs to be trained with a lot of information of tens of billions of past interactions with customers,” Eilam said.
“It’s proprietary information that you don’t want to provide to generative AI and that’s why they come to us to our platform. We have that data that is extremely important, almost impossible to replicate given our history and the breadth of our offering. It’s also about having it in a very secured environment.”
The best way to “onboard” artificial intelligence so it works collaboratively as a key contributor to your team is to partner with a trusted expert in artificial intelligence.
The new technology should be viewed as strengthening the workforce, not as a replacement. An estimated 60% of respondents say they’re more likely to use AI to assist rather than replace workers.
In many ways, as NICE CX Division President Barry Cooper wrote in CMSWire, AI fills the need for more skilled labor to help reduce more repetitive, mundane tasks for human agents.
“Brands can harness AI to act as a powerful support tool for agents, helping guide interactions, driving more personalized coaching, and leading to better outcomes for both agents and customers,” he wrote.
2. Connect With a Trusted Partner Seasoned in Artificial Intelligence
In a competitive business environment, starting from zero with a novice in artificial intelligence will unnecessarily set you back.
Navigating the intricacies of the new technology of generative AI requires a partner with a sophisticated artificial intelligence framework. Linking with an experienced firm that has a proven track record of working with artificial intelligence gives your brand a head start on the competition.
“You need to take the technology, infuse it with a lot of historical data that is domain specific from different tens of billions of past interactions with consumers in order to make it work in this environment,” Eilam told Sky News.
Partnering with a knowledgeable technology provider with time-tested security guardrails to protect consumer information offers peace of mind in an era where cybercriminals have become savvier.
With the vast amounts of data collected by contact centres that provide insights into what customers want or need, it’s important to treat this treasured tool for enhanced personalization with the utmost sensitivity and security.
According to McKinsey’s 2022 Global AI Survey, most organizations don’t mitigate most of the risks associated with traditional AI, even though more than half of organizations have already adopted the technology.
Now is the time for companies to make sure they look to an AI guide with the necessary technical expertise, technology and data architecture, operating model, and risk management processes so they can quickly leverage generative AI.
“You need to have it highly specialized for the customer service space in order for consumers to enjoy it in the right way and for brands to actually trust the technology and make sure it works as one of their ‘employees’ and not just as someone that is not familiar with the brand or with the different business goals that they have,” Eilam said on Sky News.
3. Empower Personalization With AI
Consumers demand digital-first personalization and artificial intelligence delivers an elevated level of coordination and sophistication to better meet their needs.
According to Deloitte, 87% of companies say customers expect omnichannel personalization but 39% struggle to aggregate siloed data and content from multiple systems.
Generative AI offers the breakthrough technology that brands need to better harness customer data to deliver customized recommendations and solutions for a heightened individualized consumer journey.
For instance, generative AI adeptly suggests complementary products of potential interest based on a customer’s past purchases.
Through powerful translation capabilities provided by generative AI, businesses can better engage with a global customer base to dismantle barriers for unparalleled service to delight customers.
Generative AI can provide tailored recommendations and solutions after analyzing customer data to improve personalization.
For example, generative AI can review a customer’s purchase history to recommend other products that they might be interested in purchasing. AI algorithms can learn from past interactions and adapt to individual preferences, ensuring that customers receive relevant and timely information.
AI can also guide agents in real time during customer interactions to coach them on what to say to drive more personalized and seamless interactions.
“Consumers are already craving smart, intuitive customer service and are likely to show their loyalty to brands that deliver,” Cooper said in Forbes.
4. Let AI Help Maximize ROI
Chatbots can communicate with customers in real time to answer questions and provide around-the-clock support. By adding an extra layer of the ability to converse, businesses can save money on customer service costs and further elevate the customer experience by providing more immediate assistance.
Generative AI can be a pivotal asset for businesses seeking to enhance operational efficiency. By seamlessly blending brand-specific expertise, predefined parameters, and an AI system trained on archived customer interactions, generative AI can identify personalized actions and develop strategic next steps, ultimately optimizing business processes.
The potential of generative AI models is vast, empowering businesses to furnish flawlessly tailored, expertly trained, and infinitely scalable customer service when implemented judiciously.
Customers will no longer see their customer journey derailed through obsolete search engine results and can avoid spending extra time deciphering which help centre article is the best fit.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NICE – View the Original Article
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