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One of the questions customers often ask me about artificial intelligence (AI) is how other companies are using it—where they’re finding the most opportunity and how they go about realizing value right now. This is true even though most of those I interact with are highly skilled. Here’s why.
Think of rehabbing an old house. You might have good carpentry skills and a garage full of tools, or a good eye for design. But before beginning anything, it helps to visualize it. That’s why American TV programs like This Old House and the DIY Network are so popular. Learning best practices can save you serious missteps and countless hours, while building your confidence in managing your own projects.
It’s the same idea with AI: Learn how to use it effectively and it can do way more than simply answer questions.
Take the Lead From Those Who Have Won at AI
Genesys recently commissioned an MIT Technology Review Insights report to better understand how and why businesses use AI around the world.
Based on a global survey of nearly 600 executives from 18 countries, MIT found that nine out of 10 firms have deployed AI throughout some aspect of the customer journey. Most begin by focusing on improving efficiency. It’s understandable because they’re trying to manage massive growth in the number of interactions, as well as customers who demand always-on channels. Yet, many companies report an increasing focus on using machine learning tools to build more meaningful connections with customers, also known as customer intimacy.
While nearly all the companies surveyed are using AI, the results highlight regional differences:
These investments lead to better decision-making and the delivery of highly individualized experiences—a key driver of revenue growth.
How Agents React to Their Changing Roles With AI
Many front-line agents are concerned that the rollout of AI will impact their jobs in a negative way. Agents at Telus Communications in Canada voiced this initial concern, but over time, Telus data told a different story. Within six months, internal surveys revealed that agents loved the experience as well as the increased work challenges that AI-enabled task shifting created.
Overall, AI opens up more interesting and complex tasks for agents. For example, 74% of those surveyed by MIT say that AI enables agents to spend more quality time with customers. Tasks such as rapid search become as beneficial to agents as they are to customers. In fact, 65% of companies achieved a noticeable improvement in agent satisfaction with AI.
Start With a Straightforward Use Case
As companies become more focused on optimizing the entire customer journey, the right use cases can improve both efficiency and customer engagement. Consider using chatbots to front-end conversations with visitors to your website. They let you engage with customers quickly and avoid staffing up with human agents just to meet fluctuating demands.
For example, based on business outcomes like driving new customer account registrations for support, you can identify when a customer exhibits behavior that signals they need help. Chatbots can start the engagement process and can “triage the conversation.” The bot determines the best way to engage, on which channels and even how long the customer is willing to wait for an agent. When a tough question comes up that the bot can’t answer, or the customer requests human assistance, the bot directs those requests to the right agent with the complete context of the conversation.
Because the bot continues to learn about the customer, it passes this information to an agent. Predictive routing uses this content to determine which agent to choose based on their proficiency, knowledge, the number of interactions already in their queue and even the right sentiment.
This seamless customer experience uses AI for predictive routing and forecasting, taking customers to the right agent at the right time. And it all begins with a chatbot that monitors your website.
Deepening the Customer Experience
AI is enabling the shift from simply providing customers with information to deepening customer experiences. The possible applications of AI technology are nearly limitless, but “limitless” can feel overwhelming. Start with use cases that deliver value fast and build on what you already know. You’ll learn from the process and make smarter—and more effective—investments going forward.
Watch the on-demand webinar, “Humans and bots: How to blend human skills and AI to build customer intimacy and drive growth,” featuring Claire Beatty from MIT Technology Review Insights.
Attendees may also download the full MIT Technology Review Insights Report, including insights by region.
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