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3 ways artificial intelligence enhances customer experience

Delphine Bolus
Delphine Bolus Conversational UX Designer

Rewarding customer experience (CX) is much more than a series of brand-customer interactions; it is what customers crave and what successful organisations deliver. In a world of rapidly evolving technology, rising customer expectations and tighter budgets, artificial intelligence (AI) can efficiently enhance CX in cost-effective ways. Read on to learn 3 AI strategies contact centre managers should prioritise as a means of improving CX.

3 ways artificial intelligence enhances customer experience

Odigo invites you to join us at our AI for CX webinar on 14th October at 2 pm (BST) where a panel of experts will discuss the findings from this report. Click here to register!

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key component of the digital transformation of customer experience (CX) that is occurring across all sectors. Though the ever-changing nature of AI development means that its capabilities are continuously improving, the verdict on the most talked-about development is in: 89% of UK businesses are keen to adopt AI solutions to improve their CX, as the latest research by Davies Hickman shows.

The substantial benefits of AI include strengthening sales, boosting operations, engaging customers and generating insights, according to a Capgemini study. That’s why investment in this field is skyrocketing as contact centre directors look to enhance CX through AI that works 24/7.

According to the latest research by IDC, when it comes to the UK, venture capital (VC) investment in AI companies has rocketed to $3.4 billion in 2020, making AI a driving force behind the digital transformation of CX. The dynamic nature of AI and the broad scope of implementation is as exciting as it is daunting.

Here are the top strategies for enhancing CX through AI:

1. Transforming CX into efficient and accessible do-it-yourself (DIY) operations with AI-based self-service

Contact centre managers are all too aware that customer expectations have changed dramatically, with consumers wanting instantaneous answers and responses to queries, complaints and requests. Tolerance for waiting is low and expectations of swift CX processes have never been higher. This is why increasing numbers of customers turn to self-service options, which may require interactions with AI-powered bots.

AI progress, especially in terms of natural language processing (NLP) and ML, means that customers can express themselves naturally (either through voice or text) and AI bots can understand and reply appropriately to them. Additionally, bots can assist human agents in CX by giving them key information. The desires for immediacy, availability and autonomy have accelerated the trend towards self-service. Increasing numbers of British consumers are turning to self-service, particularly for relatively straightforward customer service interactions such as placing orders or getting delivery updates, with delivery queries having jumped six percentage points (from 40% to 46%) between January and June 2021, according to recent CCMA research.

Providing rewarding self-service options is crucial for contact centre managers hoping to enhance CX. A digital transformation of CX is truly underway as self-service meets customers’ needs for timely answers and lightens agents’ workloads, enabling them to focus on high-value requests.

2. Enhancing CX by implementing AI-backed sentiment analysis

Algorithms that identify a customer profile (income, location, new vs. old client, gender, age, interaction history, etc.) have accelerated the digital transformation of CX. However, deploying sentiment analysis can raise CX to a higher level entirely. How? By relying on speech to create an emotional connection with customers.

Sentiment analysis can identify and analyse customer emotions, whether they are expressed over the phone or via chat. Empowered with emotional analysis capabilities, AI-powered tools will offer advice to an agent on how to respond. This support will be invaluable to agents trained to manage a bot’s socio-emotional signals, both in terms of generation and detection. Agents will then enjoy the increased communication skills bots provide that enhance CX.

Despite the digital transformation of CX, agents will always play a vital role in customer service. But now, the combination of the human touch with the precision of AI is ushering in the era of augmented agents, which means empowering them with AI-based tools that raise their performances and increase their capabilities. Interactions turn into conversations and agents become the best possible brand ambassadors, able to provide customer experiences that are efficient, helpful, rewarding and personal.

Contact centre directors understand that enhancing modern CX means tailoring strategies to individual customers’ needs. Indeed, personalisation is the most essential component of any customer journey,andgoes hand-in-hand with driving the customer engagement that leads to rave reviews.  A recent report by the CCMA highlights that 65% of UK consumers cite having told someone about a good experience they have had following an interaction with a contact centre. Similarly, 69% have done the same if the experience was bad.

To summarise: AI-based sentiment analysis leads to greater personalisation, which is a key component of CX since the levels of customer engagement are higher when brands make efforts to personalise relationships with their clients. Contact centre managers who want to enhance CX, therefore must focus on greater personalisation through AI tools.

3. Leveraging AI for unprecedented customer insights that lead to elevated CX

If personalisation is the way to enhance customer experiences, this can only be achieved through leveraging data to maximise insights and present a complete view of a customer. Phone conversations, emails, social messaging and customer history must be factored into any engagement.

This data helps contact centre managers uncover new reasons for interactions that might soon become repetitive. Knowing about these new types of requests ahead of time helps contact centre managers to organise their contact centre workforce and tools accordingly, thus strengthening the overall CX strategy.

Highly proficient CX requires analysing vast amounts of data in minutes which is something AI-based software can do in seconds. All effective contact centre managers know that, for customers who do not want to wait, every second counts. Therefore, the speedier and more accurate an agent’s engagement, the higher the customer satisfaction (CSAT) and the more likely a positive review will be given. Significantly, the Temkin Group points out that 77% of customers are likely to recommend a brand based on a single positive experience.

Modern customers are savvy enough to recognise the brands that make an effort and those that fall short. Tellingly, customers are willing to pay more for better service and enhanced CX, which is confirmed by a Walker study which shows that CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. To meet these expectations, a digital transformation of CX should be every contact centre manager’s goal.

Achieving a digital transformation to enhance CX, through AI

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, research indicates that 44% of UK businesses are investing in a digital transformation strategy. Contact centre managers know that this is the best way to achieve increased operational efficiency, introduce new revenue streams and meet changing customer expectations. Therefore, AI’s role in this digital transformation of CX is significant.

Interested in learning more tips for enhancing your CX through rewarding, frictionless customer journeys? Turn to Odigo, a Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) industry leader in helping organisations improve their CSAT scores and achieve more rewarding CX and memorable customer journeys through smooth, channel-less communication. Click here to get in touch to set up a meeting or organise a demo with our experts.

Did you know that Odigo has been named as a Visionary in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for CCaaS for the second year running? We believe that’s because the company has a strong vision for the development of natural language capabilities and automation as part of its contact centre platform. To learn more exciting insights about the present and future of CX, consult the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for CCaaS report.

1. Gartner and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

2. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

3. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, By Drew Kraus, Pri Rathnayake, Steve Blood, 9 August 2021

Delphine Bolus
Conversational UX Designer

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