Four ways AI will supercharge customer experience
A panel of industry experts weigh in on the rise of AI and its impact on CX
The AI revolution has arrived. Amidst a whirlwind of technological advancements, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming how organisations do business and interact with their customers. As more organisations seek to reap the benefits of AI technology, we approached three experts for their experiences and insights on the rise of AI and its impact on customer experience (CX). Here are our most significant insights.
AI in customer experience will enable faster, more seamless interactions
AI has prominent customer benefits through automation and personalisation, enabling frictionless interactions at moments that matter, which can increase customer satisfaction and advocacy. For example, copy evaluation is a critical step in the conveyancing process when people buy, sell or refinance homes. It can sometimes take weeks; however, PEXA leverages AI and data sources from all around Australia to do this accurately and within seconds, providing a much faster and more satisfying customer experience.
Of course, some critical customer interactions must remain human. Macquarie Technology Group uses AI to automate several processes. Still, it takes a primarily human, individual approach to fixing customers’ problems when things go wrong. As CEO David Tudehope noted, “We have to be strongly focused on the quality of interaction in that moment of crisis. Research has shown that people want to hear from you in those moments.”
Key Takeaway: Keep customers at the centre of your AI initiatives. When leveraging AI for customer and organisational benefit, maintain sight of critical moments that matter and recognise when a human touch is necessary.
AI will redefine your employee experience
Alongside rapid technological advancements, AI is quickly reshaping traditional jobs by reducing the need for humans to perform manual, repetitive and error-prone tasks. Contrary to popular belief, this presents an exciting opportunity for employees to shift from risky or repetitive operational tasks to more strategic, value-adding work.
Back to the example of PEXA’s AI-enhanced conveyancing, traditional copy evaluation involves a human reviewer manually examining and verifying several legal documents, which can take weeks to do thoroughly. AI-enhanced conveyancing does this instantly, reduces the risk of errors and frees up reviewers’ time to focus on tasks requiring higher-order skills.
PEXA’s CEO Glenn King also shared that, at a recent company hackathon, 5 out of 15 new initiatives proposed by employees would use AI to reduce their workload.
A similar shift has happened at Macquarie Technology Group, where software performs most day-to-day cybersecurity monitoring tasks. Despite the extent of automation, human analysts are crucial in providing a deeper understanding and contextual analysis that software alone cannot do. In other words, while AI performs more of the dull, repetitive tasks, human roles have shifted towards more strategic and value-added activities.
Key Takeaway: AI and automation will reduce friction for workers and the need for humans to do many dull or dangerous tasks. Organisations can keep ahead of the curve by redefining their employees’ roles to be more strategic and focused on unlocking further value for their customers and organisations.
AI supports innovation and robust decision-making
AI isn’t just good at creating efficiencies; it can also prompt greater customer-centricity.
Max Kaye, Head of Data, Analytics & AI at Google Australia, says AI “allows enterprises to actually listen to everything all their customers have to say, all the time.” Thanks to generative AI, it is possible to quickly synthesise large volumes of data into actionable insights about the key journeys and moments that matter to your customers. With this level of insight readily available, there are fewer barriers to listening to your customers than ever.
Looking forward, PEXA uses AI-enhanced scenario-based modelling to explore how different factors, including climate change, could impact customers. CEO Glenn King says this has enabled them to unlock hidden value for broader stakeholders. They are “now working out how we can use some of our new services to provide better outcomes for more scenarios [and] how they can contribute to government policy-making on things such as housing and mental health.”
Key takeaway: Use AI to maximise insight from your CX data, identify new or unexpected patterns, and prompt creative problem-solving.
Ethics and trust will remain paramount
In addition to supercharging customer experience, AI is also transforming how businesses operate. As governments and regulators grapple with the social implications of AI on trust, organisations leading the pack are prioritising ethics as a critical factor in decision-making.
PEXA, for example, has established an external ethics advisory committee to maintain sight of the ethical implications of its business decisions in AI. While the organisation already considers legal, business and other risks, the ethics committee plays a crucial role in explicitly calling out the broader ethical concerns of potential business decisions. As CEO Glenn King put it, “You want to be able to go to sleep at night.”
Then there is the question of shifting cultures: how do you build AI trust within your organisation and ecosystem? Max Kaye thinks organisations can benefit from involving their stakeholders in developing an ethical framework by “using them to understand, and driving that understanding and change back through their side of the organisation [which] is where you’ll start to see buy-in.”
From a change management perspective, Macquarie Technology Group has demonstrated value far and wide by turning each idea for an AI initiative into a smaller proof of concept and showcasing the value created by these small initiatives to key “change agents.” CEO David Tudehope says the approach has enabled the organisation to demonstrate how powerful and effective AI can be.
Key takeaway: Show, don’t tell, to build and maintain trust. Involve your stakeholders in shaping your ethical decision-making framework, and demonstrate the value of AI initiatives broadly and loudly.
Where to from here?
You might be two podcasts away from becoming an expert on AI, or you might find this all very overwhelming. Either way, the AI revolution shows no signs of slowing down, so how can you keep ahead of the curve?
Glenn King suggests making AI part of your corporate strategy:
“It’s not separate parts on the side. It’s building on: how can we deliver better services to our customers, how can we be more efficient and effective, how can we ensure we deliver on risk, and numerous other dimensions?”
– Glenn King, CEO, PEXA
Max Kaye and David Tudehope emphasise the importance of experimentation – test, learn and improve.
“My simple advice as a practitioner in this space is to prepare for four or five years of rapid change. There won’t be one model; there won’t be any one approach.”
– Max Kaye, Head of Data, Analytics & AI, Google Australia
Max suggests collating as much CX data as possible from as many sources as possible and experimenting with large language models. Embrace anomalies because “in the anomalies, you will find incredible insights about kinks in your customer journey, assumptions you have made, or regulatory issues that have evolved since you designed your customer journey. Being able to find and react to those is powerful.”
David says to start small and demonstrate value fast through experiments; once you can, showcase that value far and wide to get buy-in.
“We are all in that AI is going to transform our business. We want lots of flowers blooming. Our [goal] is to demonstrate to everyone how powerful AI is.”
– David Tudehope, CEO, Macquarie Technology Group
Want to harness AI in customer experience?
At CEC, we believe AI will radically evolve how organisations and governments engage with and service their customers. We can help you leverage AI to design, build and deliver great customer and employee experiences. If you’d like advice or to learn more, get in touch below.