The secret to winning customers' hearts with artificial intelligence

Add human intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is giving customer experience a shot in the arm. Organizations are increasingly adopting conversational chatbots for providing customer service. Airports around the world are investing in mobile androids that help travelers with directions. Hotels are experimenting with voice-assisted in-room controls. A Microsoft social chatbot in China, “Xaiolce,” already has over 200 million users, with 600,000 calls made in the first ten months since its launch.

How consumers engage with businesses is evolving dramatically. As we saw in our earlier research into AI use cases, organizations are using this technology to achieve a range of business goals, such as: influencing sales, boosting operations, driving customer engagement, and generating insights. To understand AI’s impact on customer experience in particular, we have conducted this worldwide, cross-sector research:

  • The aim: to explore how consumers perceive AI and which interactions they believe could be better delivered by humans, which by AI, and which by a mix of humans and AI.
  • The approach: consumers may be unaware of how their data is used for AI or even when they are liaising with a chatbot instead of a human. To ensure, therefore, that we received informed responses from the 10,000 consumers were surveyed, we made sure that our de nitions were very clear, and consumers understood the di erent situations where AI is being used as an intervention, or as a means of augmenting. We also surveyed over 500 executives from leading organizations, in addition to conducting focus group discussions with consumers, and interviews with industry experts and academics. The research methodology at the end of this report provides further details.

We found that consumers are increasingly more aware of when AI is being used by organizations; consumers like it, and they are becoming more prescriptive of when and how it is used alongside humans. In this report, we:

  • Explore how consumers think about AI and their expectations from organizations while interacting via AI
  • Assess how organizations use AI for customer experience and where they are missing the mark in terms of what consumers want and expect
  • Recommend strategies for augmenting the customer experience in an AI world.
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