Ensuring Ethical and Emotive Interactions in AI-driven Customer Experience
- Rapid growth. ChatGPT reaches 100 million users in record time, highlighting the acceleration of AI in consumer applications.
- Human element. While tech advancements are exciting, businesses must not forget the emotional and ethical dimensions of AI in customer experience.
- Strategic approach. Successful AI implementation in customer experience requires balance, transparency, and a strong focus on human interaction.
The future is now. Never has that seemed truer than what we’ve witnessed with artificial intelligence in the last year. Let’s take a look at AI in customer experience.
ChatGPT Shatters Growth Records, Hits 100M Users Fast
Consider that it took previous computing revolutions — PCs, the internet, mobile and cloud computing being the most recent — several years of gestation before they could be considered mainstream technologies used by most people.
But all of the above look like snails compared to the ChatGPT phenomenon. The chatbot from OpenAI that uses natural language processing to create human-like text was released to the public less than a year ago and soared to 100 million active users within two months, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.
Related Article: AI in Customer Experience: 5 Companies’ Tangible Results
ChatGPT: More Than a Viral Sensation
ChatGPT went viral after users started discovering all the crazy stuff they could do with it. But, of course, the true impact of ChatGPT and other generative AI programs is so much bigger than that.
These advances are poised to spawn new business models and transform a wide range of industries and business processes — including customer experience. And judging by the accelerating pace of new technology adoption, it won’t take long for AI in customer experience to have a major impact either.
Related Article: AI Customer Experience Ushers in a New Era of Engagement
AI in Customer Experience Is Reshaping Businesses
Businesses are experimenting with AI in customer in a number of ways. They include using chatbots and virtual assistants to provide instant customer support and information, analyzing data to design hyper-personalized experiences, generating more engaging marketing content and incorporating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for immersive experiences, such as the ability to virtually try on clothing.
AI is empowering organizations to better understand their customers, anticipate as well as address their needs and build deeper relationships in a world where brand loyalty has become increasingly ephemeral.
Related Article: 3 Crucial Tips for AI in Customer Experience
AI’s Rising Role in CX Transformation
As AI continues to evolve, its impact on CX will become even more pronounced. According to an IBM study, “executives report an enormous appetite for AI-enhanced CX,” with three out of four predicting AI will play an essential role in the future of their organizations and two-thirds saying it will be a disruptive force in their industry within two years.
But while organizations understandably are eager to leverage AI, they must remember to put themselves in customers’ shoes — as the IBM report put it, “how these new innovations make people feel, not just skim over that and focus on what it can help them do.”
Balancing AI and Human Element in CX
Companies that will find the most success in the post-AI world are those that take a step back and validate their approach with customers before fully leaning in. Simply tacking AI onto existing processes, without rhyme or reason and user buy-in, is misguided and threatens to sour customers on the brand.
Put another way, as businesses increasingly turn to machines to help better serve customers and create new efficiencies, they can’t forget the human element. What do people think about, say, a company’s spiffy new customer service chatbot and how well do they interact with it? Do they find it helpful and effective? What might be frustrating them? Are they scared by the perhaps unfamiliar technology?
AI in CX: Balancing Innovation, Trust
These are the kinds of questions companies have pondered (or at least should have) during all the previous computing revolutions, and AI can be no different. Organizations need to think of their AI applications as part of the core customer experience and deeply explore the emotions these new approaches may stir up in customers.
And they need to remember that AI brings special concerns that previous advances didn’t. Take data security and privacy, for example. Some customers may be worried that AI’s use to analyze personal data and make predictions could infringe on their privacy rights.
By talking and listening to customers, companies may learn just how important transparency about data use is in their minds and make sure to develop responsible AI practices that put them at ease.
AI and CX: Human Touch Matters
In many ways, AI merely represents a new version of a reality that organizations already have faced in recent years — the need to forge authentically human relationships with customers in a digital world. Research repeatedly has shown how vital that is.
“Creativity relies on marketers and CX professionals enriching customer data points with human truth, insight and empathy. Doing so requires customer insights, time and dedicated creative focus,” said the Adobe Digital Trends 2023 report.
“Leading brands in 2023 will stay in perfect step with their customers’ ever-changing needs, emotions and contexts and respond with warmth, empathy and understanding,” the report added. “To bring this to bear, improve real-time, individual-level data access and enrich data points with customer insight.”
Businesses should take that message to heart as AI increasingly inserts itself into the CX conversation — a trend that has only accelerated in the nearly one year since ChatGPT’s debut.
As they develop AI in customer experience and quite possibly put them on the fast track, smart organizations will grasp that they must understand the real feelings that AI-based applications may arouse in their customers and build strategies and plans to guide customers on this journey and incorporate their feedback.
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