Artificial intelligence (AI) is radically changing the CX landscape, creating new opportunities for customers to engage with brands, where they want to interact—and for whatever reason—from tech support and customer service, to buying something. However, the use of AI doesn’t come without risk, namely its potential to alienate customers by deflecting them from human contact. To create standout experiences, AI must be combined with a key factor: empathy. Following are some key points to consider when evaluating your use of AI.
Decide where you need empathy
When it comes to deflecting calls away from human agents most organizations have deployed a one-size-fits-all approach to AI. A better approach is to identify the specific circumstances tied to emotion, which when handled by a human agent have the potential to create a long-lasting positive impact. And then build your AI strategy to fit. Some examples where the human touch may be more impactful include welcoming new customers making contact for the first time, proactively resolving ongoing customer issues or interactions most likely to result in a sale.
Identify areas of artificial frustration
Are there points in your customer journeys that cause artificial frustration? Probably. Apply text and speech analytics to assess customer sentiment and use this to pinpoint where and when you are falling short of expectations. Then put actions in place to compensate, which may include tweaking processes, dataflows, and AI-powered touchpoints, as well as your human agent operations.
Consider interactions in four phases
There is a pattern to the way people engage with a brand, regardless of channel. When evaluating the use of AI, consider the actions across the four phases of a customer interaction. Increasing use of digital channels is creating new ways to turn prior interactions and journey data into meaningful insights to orchestrate current and future customer experiences.
- Pre-interaction: handle interactions or route to a human agent when empathy needed
- During the interaction: assist agents in real time to enhance conversations and empathy
- Post interaction: automate data capture after the interaction
- After the event: generate insights to make the next interaction better
Where to start
Where could AI be most effective for your CX operations? Start at the front-end and look at what you can do to aid customer interactions to determine whether a customer can be easily satisfied through deflection or if the situation requires empathy and should be routed to an agent. Agent assist offers the potential to really take conversations and empathy to another level. Take AI for what it is, be realistic about its use, and don’t put it in areas that demand a human touch—experiment with a percentage of interactions first, then test, measure and refine.
Find out more in our featured on-demand webinar Empathy and Artificial Frustration – The Path to Exceptional CX.