AI will impact Customer Experience (CX) in 2024 in at least three different ways. First, the call center will be transformed as AI plays a larger role in solving customer demands. Second, product development will be transformed by hyper personalization. And third, “citizen developers” in CX and elsewhere will transform their work with automation. AI will impact all of these trends in the coming year.
Prediction 1: AI Improves the Call Center Experience for Customers
AI is being deployed to improve the experience of the agent and the customer in order to direct the right experience at the right time. It is taking the guesswork out of customer engagement. Companies are using AI in the call center to expand the options of their workers and more quickly assist customers:
AT&T has integrated AI into its customer service work, including routing customers to agents, offering suggestions for technical solutions during customer calls, and producing transcripts.
Humana is using Watson (IBM’s enterprise AI) to answer more customer questions and route fewer, more complex calls to human agents.
Air Canada uses AI to solve simple problems like using a voice assistant to issue a new boarding pass or confirm a seat on a particular flight.
All of these companies are leveraging AI to facilitate better human experiences. For Humana’s customers, that experience might be an AI-assisted answer. But that experience could also be faster routing to a human agent for complex queries. In both scenarios, the customer gets their answer quicker and more effectively.
Just look at where AI is playing a role in the call center: Virtual assistants, chatbots, request routing, sentiment analysis, agent analytics, transcription and customer journey orchestration. In almost every case, AI is clearing the path for the human interaction.
In the year to come, expect to see companies having more options in terms of how to engage with customers in the contact center thanks to AI. AI is making it easier for customers to route to the right channel to get their questions answered, freeing up contact center agents from mundane tasks and surfacing pertinent information at the relevant time.
Prediction 2: Hyper Personalization Becomes the Norm
Customers are demanding that you meet them where they are and companies are listening. A one-size-fits-all mentality will not work in 2024. Many businesses are wisely leaning into personalization options for their products or even just in their marketing.
Nike By You enables consumers to customize shoes to an amazing degree, with thousands of combinations of colors and design elements. L’Oreal recently released an app to deliver “personalized, on-the-spot skincare and cosmetic formulas.” These companies and more are leaning into hyper personalization to sell products and differentiate their brand.
How do you deliver this type of personalization? Consultants McCoy suggests that companies use advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to first gather and analyze your customer data. With that data, you can then deliver personalized experiences at scale.
Even if your product or service doesn’t lend itself to personalization, companies will still want to consider hyper personalization when it comes to their product recommendations and even marketing campaigns. Meet customers where they are and they will thank you with a larger share of wallet.
Prediction 3: Data Democratization Platforms Empower CX to Create Automations
Data democratization empowers CX to create their own automations. People who own the customer experiences are also going to own how they engage with those customers. They will seek out platforms that democratize the ability to engage those customers.
No-code and low-code platforms will enable CX teams to create their own automations, following up with additional surveys or other customer communication at key times in the user journey.
This move toward “citizen developers” empowers the teams that own customer or employee experience to access and use data for informed decision-making without requiring technical expertise or IT intervention.
We’re seeing this trend evolve in real time. No-code and low-code solutions are beginning to appear in environments like the Microsoft ecosystem where users can create automated workflows directly within Microsoft Teams.
Alchemer Workflow (my company) is another example of data democratization in action. Alchemer Workflow empowers CX and marketing teams to build workflows and automations to close the feedback loop with customers and employees.
AI and ML will only speed up the advancement of these types of automations. Next year, expect to see data democratization in action as teams build and launch their own automations.
Five years ago, it was not possible for people who owned departmental engagements to do what they can do today in regards to automation. These platforms give power to the people who own these experiences and have the context to go do something about it.
AI will enhance many aspects of CX, from the call center, to your products, to the way you send and receive customer feedback. 2024 will be the year of AI for CX professionals, so get ready.