Davies Hickman first spoke to UK business executives about Artificial Intelligence (AI) two years ago when they told us they were experimenting with this emerging technology. Nearly 4 in 5 organisations were trialling AI, but at that time it was difficult to find examples of AI driving transformational success. However, it drove us to adopt AI to help analyse free text, for fieldwork quality control and to support management in our customer experience work.
Working with Odigo, we’ve just completed a major new research study concerning the AI applications UK business executives use to improve customer experience (CX). Whilst interest in AI enabled chatbots is high, with 74% saying they are a priority for the future, we set out to show that the use of AI in CX is about much more than an automated chatbot. According to the 200+ UK business executives we interviewed, the perception of AI improving CX is changing fast.
14 ways AI is building CX performance The research for Odigo (research report here) shows there are already 14 different applications of AI based technology which improve customer experience in UK organisations. Whether it’s data analysis, supporting colleagues, helping customers, or the monitoring of quality, the multi-faceted potential for AI is significant.
4 in 5 say lack of AI knowledge is a barrier to change The major barrier in 2020 seems to be a lack of skill. As with all technology, what seems ‘automated’ or ‘off the shelf’ often best delivers the promised benefits when combined with some specialist knowledge and old-fashioned brain power.
9 in 10 business executives want to invest in AI in the next 2 years 34% say AI is business critical and an additional 53% say AI is important and will be a factor in their success. AI for CX is highly valued by organisations with executives ready to invest in it in the next 2 years to improve customer interaction and experience. The report highlights the significant differences between executives’ responses in alternative sectors (report here).
Contact centre specifically set to benefit Contact centres have always been more data savvy than many other parts of large organisations. Measurement of inputs, outputs and performance is second nature to those tasked with planning, operations scheduling and leadership. Contact centres are where AI has great potential to add to the analysis already undertaken.
Will the improvement in CX promised by AI turn out to be hype? It is unlikely. Douglas Hofstadter expresses the AI effect concisely by quoting Larry Tesler's Theorem, "AI is whatever hasn't been done yet". AI is already here and proven, being used in Siri, Google Search, pilots for autonomous cars, robotic operations and more. To read about the potential for AI to improve CX, download the report.
Customer research, data analysis and business decisions consultant working in B2C CX and B2B marketing. Set up Davies Hickman Partners in 2007. Was MD of The Henley Centre (now Kantar Futures), part of WPP. BEc, MBA, CIM, MMRS (...