Paying our experience forward.

AI and the Customer Experience: Past, Present and Future

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has reshaped how consumers are interacting with companies and brands. It has become evident that the advantages of this technology will be influential, if not vital, in helping businesses build Customer Experience models that will boost productivity, mitigate customer friction and reduce customer effort. As organizations strategize on their digital and AI customer engagement journey design, they will need to consider what matters most to customers when they are engaging with a company. AI is the future of Customer Experience and instituting the right tools now will be critical for future success.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Navigating amongst the myths and assumptions surrounding AI can be unwieldy so let’s address these upfront. AI is not a rogue army of robots attempting to overthrow the human race nor is it technology built to replace the human workforce. AI is limited and defined by the algorithms that dictate its behavior and is complementary to human interactions – not replacing human interactions altogether.

The term Artificial Intelligence came about in 1956, but its recent emergence as a customer support solution has revolutionized both the Customer Experience and Agent Experience. In broad terms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows computers to simulate human behavior and decision-making. Combining this capability
with the massive volume of information captured by Big Data allows the context of a customer’s request and needs to be better analyzed and acted upon. The complex algorithms utilized by AI are continually learning in real-time.1 The more information the system is able to process and “learn,” the more accurate the predictive analysis will become over time. Through self-service options like SMS, Chat, and Social Media, AI has been the catalyst in advancing the ever-evolving Digital Customer Experience (DCX) landscape and revolutionizing those support channels.

Interactions powered by AI are quickly becoming the norm. The ability to talk to devices in your home or order goods and services using only your voice are moving from the realm of science fiction to reality in our daily lives. As AI-powered tools become a more prevalent means of interacting with brands and products, organizations must begin planning to implement this increasingly critical functionality to help maintain their competitive advantage.

The Current and Future State of AI and CX

Many organizations today are leveraging AI to seamlessly give customers the right information they need at the right time by offering self-service options which eliminate the need for a call to the contact center. AI also has the
potential to give agents more information to help them handle complex issues that self-service cannot resolve.

In the past, delivering good experiences through contact centers meant hiring, training and retaining the right agents with the right tools. Today, while all of that remains true as it relates to the contact center workforce, experiences are also measured based on the customer’s digital journey. Customer Experience leaders recognize that the future of their CX infrastructure will need to consist of a combination of human interaction and digital engagement.

It is predicted that in 2018, half a billion users will save two hours a day as a result of AI-powered tools.2 With wider use of home products like Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) and Google Home along with AI-driven applications like Netflix (yes, Netflix uses AI to provide recommendations based on historical viewing), more customers are at ease with the concept of engaging with companies that use AI to assist with less complex inquiries. As AI matures, customers are only going to demand more personalized and instantaneous experiences with minimized effort.

According to Chatbots Magazine, businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% through the implementation of conversational solutions like virtual agents and chatbots.5 As brands integrate AI technology within their service model, they are looking to solutions that will help them realize these savings without negatively impacting the customer engagement journey. Integrating the right AI framework early on will be vital to meet the needs of their customers not only today but also in the future as engagement preferences evolve. A combination of machine learning and conversational AI will continuously improve self-service options and help companies realize higher cost savings over time.

The AI of yesterday is not nearly as intelligent as the AI of today and will continue to improve with time exponentially. This phenomenon is opening the door to new possibilities and methods to service customers that were unfathomable just a decade ago. If they are not doing so already, business leaders should begin to treat Artificial Intelligence as a fundamental element of their Customer Experience strategy. Falling behind will only result in degradation of Customer Experience quality, increased customer churn and missed revenue. The future is now!

Contact PPT Solutions today to learn more about how we can help you design and implement the right strategic options for leveraging AI.

  6. AI Integration Outcomes:

Recognized by as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies and a certified Great Place to Work®, PPT Solutions empowers clients with business solutions that deliver exceptional performance, outstanding customer experiences and measurable results.

Recent Articles

November 5, 2018

The Aging Premises-Based Contact Center and The Cloud

As legacy contact centers age, many believe the premises-based contact center may soon become extinct. The large clunky equipment of a premises-based infrastructure has typically been in place for many years requiring constant maintenance and upgrades. At a time when multi-location contact centers are more common than single-site operations, managing technology for each physical location…

read more >
April 25, 2018

Bridging the Generational Gap: Millennial vs. Gen Z CX Expectations

As the first generation born in the digital age, major corporations and analysts have spent years decoding the mysterious Millennial consumer. More recently, the Millennial’s younger counterparts known as Generation Z is the newest group of mass-market consumers reshaping how companies approach customer experience design. While both generations share some of the same behaviors and…

read more >
January 22, 2018

The Hidden Truth: The Importance of Customer Journey Mapping

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know – this is why a Customer Journey Map (CJM) is an essential tool for every business. A CJM illustrates the journey that your customers go through while interacting with your company – whether it be buying a product, employing your services or engaging in online experiences. You…

read more >
November 9, 2017

What We Can Learn About Customer Experience: Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

The three letters “TSA” typically evoke a strong emotion. If you’re like most travelers, the reference likely conjures negative feelings and recollections of missed flights and long wait times. This is quite a different tale. Normally when you think about great customer experiences, your mind conjures up images of Nordstrom, Four Seasons, American Express, Southwest,…

read more >
September 27, 2017

Five Omni-Channel Customer Experience Best Practices That Can’t Be Ignored

Omni-Channel Customer Experience, put simply, is the ability of a customer to access your products, services, and departments throughout ANY (“omni” meaning “of all things”) channel they may come across – with a seamless transition from channel to channel. It’s an overwhelming concept at first. How are we going to respond quick enough and manage…

read more >
April 25, 2017

Four Ways to Optimize Your Omnichannel Customer Experience Using Technology Solutions

Customer Experience (CX) is the new competitive battleground for business. Whenever and wherever your customers interact with your brand, they have lofty expectations of a seamless experience across all channels. Whether speaking to an agent on the phone, making an online purchase or using a mobile application, they expect great service and a consistent brand…

read more >