A little skepticism is actually healthy. We have to believe in and trust something new before we allow it to become part of our lives, right? When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) and the role of the customer, the jury is still most definitely out.
Back to the Future
The Washington Post recently asked in an article the question of why we are so afraid of AI? Turns out, according to a Monmouth University poll, only 9% of Americans believe that computers with AI installed would do more good than harm to society. The funny side of that poll is that when the same question was polled back in 1987, many more were in favor; in fact, one in five.
It appears we are more likely to trust and believe in something that is far away in the future. When it’s actually here and in our lives, we trust it less. Marty McFly might have something to say about that.
Customer Trust and Competitive Business Advantage
But what about business and embracing AI? Winning new customers and customer retention is all about trust. A massive 80% of customers consider trust to be an essential part of their buying journey. The overall brand trust bar is set higher than ever.
“Brands that take proactive steps to address customer concerns demonstrate customer centricity, which earns customer trust and builds relationships.” according to Gartner.
And customer concerns are about AI adoption and how it’s used. Die-hard skeptics consider AI to be cold, unhuman and even unethical. High-profile cyberattacks and global fraud have only served to cement those feelings. But the competitive edge depends on digital transformation, and embracing AI is entirely necessary.
The recent pandemic saw digital transformation accelerate at a rate we never imagined. AI is a vital part of securing this new world. The landscape has changed irrevocably.
It’s true to say AI is here to stay, and it will continue to improve business for owners and customers alike. So how can we convince AI skeptic customers of the same?
Improving Customer Experience with AI
Here are just a few ways that AI can improve the customer experience (CX) and turn some of those die-hard skeptics into loyal, returning customers:
- Improving Know Your Customer (KYC): AI can analyze user behavior right at the marketing stage. Visitors to a website or landing page will leave information to help you, as a business, determine customers’ needs, and offer them exactly what they want. They will trust you to serve them better, and for the business that means a sharp increase in ROI.
- 24/7 Customer Support: Conversational AI offers 24-hour helplines with intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) in the local language, with answers on tap.
- Machine learning (ML) helps to understand customers and correctly interpret intent. No more calling between certain hours and left on hold with irritating music and in a slowly-moving line or the glitchy chatbots we are used to.
- Speaking to the Right Person: AI intelligently routes calls that require human assistance to the right person to speak to, the first time, whatever the circumstances of the call.
- Data Sharing: Customers create a lot of data. Allowing the secure sharing of customer data across the organization between customer service and all departments allows for a resounding customer experience.
- Streamline Processes: With AI, the whole buying process can be tailored and streamlined, saving everyone time and money.
But first, businesses must clearly understand their customers’ needs. “It’s essential for businesses to clearly understand their customers’ needs. “Discover areas where AI can make the most significant impact,” said Rebecca Jones, general manager of Mosaicx. “Achieving that understanding may mean conducting research to understand where customers are struggling or encountering pain points along their journey. Then decision makers can gauge where there are opportunities to improve the overall customer experience. Discovering pain points in the customer journey and utilizing customer-facing, AI-powered tools to address those needs helps build trust and long-lasting customer relationships.”
If You Build It…
Then yes…they will come. “Companies can also build trust amongst their customer base by practicing transparency around their AI use and how it benefits the end user,” said Rebecca, “For skeptical customers, knowing how AI is used can alleviate concerns about the technology. Customers are typically more eager to do business with brands they trust since they know their needs will be met, their data will be protected, and their overall experience will be positive.”
Businesses and their brands can successfully use conversational AI to build that all-important trust and loyalty and turn even the die-hard skeptics around. Building customer trust is a key differentiator unlocking AI’s true potential, as long as it’s used ethically and transparently.