Customer Experience AI: Creating A Balance

6 minute read, posted on 01/15/2022, by VXI Marketing

Photo of a woman holding a tablet and interacting with a digitally displayed futuristic world map in front of her.

Customer Experience AI in business process outsourcing services has evolved in leaps and bound ever since its conception. With the help of computer technology today, AI has become an integral part of human society from simple codes in kids’ games to complex data computations used in national defense. At the center of it is the customer experience technology that makes our lives easier as far as product consumerism is concerned. Taking AI out of the human equation may mean rolling back human evolution by decades.

A Brief History of Customer Experience AI

The idea of breathing intelligent life out of non-living things is as old as time itself. From biblical legends of Adam and Eve to Greek and Egyptian automaton engineering, the human pursuit of creating life has been deep-rooted in our history. Alan Turing built the first ‘automatic machine’ that decrypted enemy secrets in World War II, but the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ of AI has only been coined in 1956 when the field of AI has been formally established at a conference in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

AI has been used in customer support and call center services as early as the 1980s, when automated phone systems, known as “automated attendants,” were created to route customers to the proper department using a simple menu system (press “1” for the menu, press “0” for the operator, and so on). While these systems were effective during their time, it was still far from being the intelligent answering system that is being used today.

As live chats helped expand the ability of customer service to reach consumers through the internet, the need for chat support has increased—but the need to hire employees to catch up to the demand has not always been met. Thus the need for automatic answering systems emerges. Early chatbots that appeared during the late 90s and early 2000s were created with sincerity but were mostly utilized for laughs because of their unsophistication. Within the next decade, newer, more complex chatbots were programmed to think and respond as any human would, and would go on to learn and answer back in any customer experience situation as efficiently as any human would.

Finding the right balance between humans and AI is the key to harnessing the power of automation for your customer experience team. Here are 7 sure-fire tips on how to do just that.

Keep humans at the helm

Keep a person behind the development of your chatbot system. As newer and newer problems arise, have someone record the solution into your system so that it can respond appropriately the next time it encounters that same issue. Do not rely on AI to respond to complex issues that need a human touch. Your automated system should complement your human customer experience, not replace it fully. It is essential to note that AI does not have all the answers to customer questions. That being said…

Adopt an AI-human fusion system

 Customer experience AI is your customer service representatives tool, not the other way around. Develop an AI tool that answers common questions as well as filters calls to the appropriate department. Internally, enable your AI to make smart suggestions based on recorded conversations. Allow it to help you develop an agenda for your next meeting, but remember that the humans who use the tool are still eventually responsible for whatever happens in the meeting. AI must not become a replacement for human responsibilities.

Personalize your chatbot

Remember that human civilization has come a long way—so let that evolution be reflected onto your chatbot. At the very least, allow your chatbots to feel human to your customers. Your chatbots should feel natural and look very much at home with your brand by matching its logo and avatar, and personality with your company’s brand. A good example is Amazon’s Alexa: she can respond appropriately to any user question (so far), is quite honest if she cannot, and can tell jokes too. According to Forbes, 69% of consumers use a chatbot to get an instant answer, while only 15% use it for fun. Information and issue resolution must be your topmost priority.

Automate simple Q&As

Most customer service outsourcing calls that come into your call centers can be reduced by identifying simple Q&A calls and utilizing your AI to answer them. Better yet, spruce up your online FAQ page to ensure that callers will be able to get their answers there instead of going through your usual CX channels. Don’t misunderstand: we are not trying to avoid these potential customers. We are simply trying to get to the customer conversations that need your help the most. Allow AI to help you with that.

Automate follow-ups

Customer follow-ups are crucial. We all know that it takes more than one conversation to transform a paying customer from a potential one. Unfortunately, you can ask your customer service representatives and some might say that customer follow-ups are tedious and not exactly their cup of tea. Let AI take care of that for you by making it do automated follow-ups with potential paying customers. Use AI to collect information by sending customers a follow-up survey so that you may know what your consumers’ feelings are, and building a consumer interaction profile database that can be very beneficial for your company.

Open all frequencies

Do not rely on a single channel. Omnichannel support refers to your company’s ability to provide customer service through different means AND be able to centralize your customer service capabilities—may it be through phone, text, live chat, email, or whatnot—a customer will be able to continue a conversation or transaction without having to start from square one.  As much as possible, make your AI available in all of your channels. This way, you are giving your customers a choice on how they can connect with you which is very favorable especially in difficult situations.

Keep evolving

As we have mentioned Heraclitus numerous times: The only thing constant is change. Customers’ feelings change, their needs change, economies change, and crises happen. Look no further: COVID-19 is something that nobody expected. If your company was caught with its pants down, chances are, your team is packing it up already and calling it a day. Always be prepared, and always prepare your AI for change. Utilize the data you have been gathering and use the information to make your automated systems better. As long as you keep your company one step ahead of the world, you can rest assured that you will be helping your customers, your employees, your family, and your community for a long time to come.

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