The Best AI Solution For CX Always Keeps Humans In The Loop

The Best AI Solution For CX Always Keeps Humans In The Loop

Written by: Fergal O’Donnell, Vice President of Technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for a very long time. Most of the recent attention on AI has been since the release of ChatGPT at the end of 2022. So, it has been about a year of intense activity, but this research goes back decades. In fact, one of the most famous papers on AI, describing how a machine can pretend to be human, goes back to Alan Turing in 1950.

However, recent developments have focused on Generative AI (Gen AI). This is the ability of the AI to learn from a body of knowledge, like a library of documents. Following, the ability to compose answers to questions in real-time – to have an informed conversation. It feels like a new development, like a disruptor that will affect many different industries.

I have been talking about how AI can be used for applied business solutions for many years. Specifically, how Gen AI can be used in the customer experience (CX) environment for just over a year now. Some media commentators have called it a threat, but I see this more as an opportunity.

AI is a tool we can use to augment what we are already doing.

Embracing Technology

My approach is to embrace this new technology. What can it help us to achieve? If we design a modern CX environment that keeps humans in the loop but augments them with this technology, then how much more can we achieve?

The important point to stress is that the legacy experience we have of designing a fantastic customer experience is not dead or irrelevant. Customer interactions are not about to be entirely replaced by technology either. This is not an “either/or” situation where the old or new has to win. The real gains are from the integration of this new technology with existing customer experience processes that work well, creating an enhanced overall experience.

Using AI to Enhance the Customer Experience

This is not just a theoretical argument either. At DATAMARK, we have already worked with many clients to use AI to augment and improve their existing customer experience processes. This is real, and it is possible to create a situation where you get the best out of both worlds.

A great example is a 311 non-emergency service client of ours. Local citizens use this service to call with important but non-urgent questions, like ‘What do I do if a fox died in my yard last night?’ Our DataSpark AI system has been trained on all the existing solutions in the knowledge base and can immediately help the agent with the solution or with a pointer to a document with advice.

The agent doesn’t need any additional training. They don’t need to use a new system or interface. The AI suggestions just overlay what they are already using and operate as prompts. The human agent can take the advice or ignore it if they have a better idea or experience of the specific situation.

This type of addition to an existing CX process has a number of important benefits. The agents feel more supported. They have immediate access to everything in the knowledge base, and the AI will do all the background searching in real-time. The agent feels that the tech has their back. It makes life easier. They are no longer putting a caller on hold and searching an internal database for a document they remember they last saw a couple of years ago.

The customer or citizen also feels more supported. They get faster and more accurate advice and fewer interactions where the agent is unsure of an answer and needs to search the database or talk to a supervisor. This integration is already elevating both the customer and employee experience. The AI helps the agent to perform their job more effectively, and the customer still feels supported by a knowledgeable person.

Some AI solutions are versatile, offering benefits across various clients’ systems as general solutions. Meanwhile, other AI solutions are tailored specifically to individual clients, addressing their unique needs. We are exploring all these various road maps with our own clients, and the situation is constantly evolving. Every time I attend another CX or AI conference, I come back to the office full of ideas for what we might try next – this is an exciting area that is constantly developing.

Bottom Line?

If you want to improve CX, then one of the most immediate and powerful steps to take is to improve the employee experience by supporting the agents with useful tools. AI has the power to give each agent their own personal digital assistant, improving their own experience and CX.

Embrace innovation but keep humans in the loop.

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