While customer-facing companies have been implementing AI-driven self-service for years to save money and offload customer queries from human agents, there has been scant evidence for what customers make of the technology. A new study has uncovered that customers are generally positive about the technology IF it is implemented well.
A study commissioned by customer experience company Redpoint Global found that the majority of consumers (73 percent) believe there is potential for impact on customer experience (CX), particularly in digital settings. Nearly half (48 percent) of all consumers say they would interact with AI more frequently if it would make their customer experience with a brand more seamless, consistent and convenient.
“As AI technology evolves and moves into more aspects of the customer experience, brands have to focus even more on delivering a frictionless consumer experience,” said John Nash, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer for Redpoint Global. “Positive CX outcomes depend on access to relevant customer information in real-time as consumers navigate between channels, AI and human interaction. Consumers are quick to pick up on inconsistencies as evidence that brands simply do not understand them and will move their business elsewhere. The fragmentation may be driven by different decision criteria, or different data being accessible at different points in a journey, but for consumers, it is one and the same – a negative experience.”
There is something of a generational divide in the responses. Gen Z and Millennials feel more confident in how brands use AI than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. All generations agree they’d be willing to engage with AI more frequently if it would solve problems faster than waiting for a human representative to solve the problem, but Gen Z is the most comfortable having active interactions with chatbots/AI before humans (42 percent). In addition, 57 percent of all consumers think the pandemic has greatly increased acceptance of AI across many industries.
All customers do, however, still want an element of a human touch when they need it. The survey found 77 percent of consumers believe positive customer experiences still need an element of human touch, and 58 percent of consumers say they want companies to be clear about when AI is being used.
Edited by Greg Tavarez