Technology Record - Issue 30: Autumn 2023

56 VIEWPOINT Five ways to create a human experience with AI HANS KRAMER: ANYWHERE365 It pays to think HUMAN when deploying artificial intelligence technology to deliver engaging and personalised customer experiences Businesses are frequently told that artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that will empower, rather than eliminate, human connections. Many have lauded AI’s ability to analyse vast volumes of data from multiple sources to help organisations personalise customer interactions and experiences. However, research shows that many customers believe AI-powered experiences are robotic and impersonal – just 13 per cent consider these experiences highly personalised, only 14 per cent think brands can accurately anticipate why they are getting in touch, and merely 16 per cent feel interactions are sufficiently conversational. Modern AI solutions have the capabilities to empower brands to proactively deliver efficient, relevant, personalised and engaging experiences for customers, but only if they are implemented correctly. To do this, businesses must focus on delivering customer experiences that are HUMAN: heartfelt, unified, measurable, actionable, and natural. Heartfelt: Empathy is the cornerstone of a customer-centric experience. If a brand cannot understand the reasons behind customers’ enquiries and the sentiments they express, it will be unable to deliver the desired resolution or a heartfelt, engaging experience. Agents should focus on what matters to the customer and let the contextual information – not a generic script – set the tone for each interaction. Often, customers want a fast answer to a simple question and in these cases, the empathetic option is to respect their time by providing an effortless pathway to a resolution. However, customers dealing with complex matters may require deeper support, so it is imperative that brands empower employees to ‘ditch the script’ and engage in an honest and meaningful conversation in these instances. Unified: Human customer experiences are not disparate sets of individual transactions and moments; they are unified journeys consisting of cohesive dialogue. Successful human-centric brands ensure data moves with customers as they switch seamlessly between channels, enabling them to consistently recognise the customer – and where they are in the journey – at each touch point. This allows customers to instantly resume a specific conversation without having to repeat themselves or answer generic qualification questions. Measurable: Human experiences may be individualised and emotional, but they are also highly measurable. To ensure experiences are sufficiently quantifiable, businesses must identify the most contextually important outcome of each interaction. For a customer complaining about a poor experience, the optimal outcome may be to defuse the anger and prevent churn, but if a consumer asks a pre-purchase question, the aim will be to secure the sale. Photo: Istock/Andrii Zastrozhnov