Businesses all over the world are clamoring to get a competitive edge in the dawning era of AI. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the development and explosive popularity of countless AI applications, including generative AI, which have the potential to improve practically every area of business development – including customer service and customer experience.
But it’s important to exercise caution when considering AI solutions; while there are many attractive advantages of using AI to improve customer experience, there are also some problems you’ll need to keep in mind.
The best ways to leverage AI for customer experience are to take advantage of the strengths, while mitigating the problems. So, let’s take a closer look and identify the best possible use cases.
The Problems With Using AI
Even though AI has the potential to simulate human speech, it can’t replicate or match the experience of talking with a human – and customers are all too aware of it. In fact, about 12.5 percent of people actively hate chatbots.
These are just a few of the reasons why:
- Lack of personality. AI doesn’t have a discernible personality. It can produce text in a style or tone that you choose, but most people can immediately tell when they’re talking to a robot.
- Unhelpful answers. People who come to you for support want genuine help, but AI bots aren’t always equipped to provide reasonable answers. This sometimes leads to a frustrating loop in which customers grow impatient, or even resentful.
- Feelings of deception or dismissal. Some customers also feel deceived when companies pretend that their AI bots are human, or on par with humans. They may also feel dismissed, as if they aren’t worth the time or effort to serve.
Additionally, AI has no potential to feel or express empathy. And it tends to occasionally experience accuracy issues, as it doesn’t have a reliable way to fact check itself.
What AI Is Good At
Of course, AI is incredibly good at certain things.
- Fast research. AI is incredibly fast at researching. It can process text and information millions of times faster than the average human, saving hours of time in the process.
- Comprehensible prose generation. Thanks to the development of large language models (LLMs), generative AI platforms have gotten exceedingly good at generating comprehensible prose. The content is clearly written, free of errors, and modeled according to a user prompt.
- Stylistic and tonal control. Advanced AI platforms can also give you control over style and tone, allowing you to shape your content according to your vision.
- Reducing complexity. AI is also good at reducing complexity in some cases. For example, it can take technical tasks and provide step by step instructions for how to execute them or take complex concepts and put them in simple terms.
So how can we utilize AI to play into these advantages without being susceptible to the downsides and limitations?
3 Ways AI Can Be Leveraged to Improve the Customer’s Experience
These are just a few ways the AI can be leveraged to improve the customer’s experience:
- Technical support content. AI platforms like ChatGPT can help you develop technical support content, including how-to guides and tutorials. Just keep in mind that it’s important to have your human technical experts review this content before finalizing it; even if you’re only using AI for the first round of drafting, it’s going to save you tons of time. Also, you can make this content easily searchable and available to your support staff, enabling them to serve your customers much faster and more easily.
- Creating first draft content for certain applications. You can also use platforms like ChatGPT or Bard to create first draft content for certain applications. As an example, consider creating content for a travel website; you may need to write pages of content for each of hundreds, or even thousands of locations, detailing things to do, hotels to stay at, and more. This is tedious and time intensive work that can be dramatically reduced with the help of AI, as long as you’re willing to give it a final human polish. "You still want that real expert reviewing the content, and adding their own opinions and expertise." says SEO consultant Michael Cottam. "But with one of the travel websites I work with, we were able to cut the cost of creating destination guides by 60-70% by leveraging ChatGPT to do the core research and create the initial draft for each section of our guides."
- Producing visuals to enrich blog posts. AI platforms like Midjourney specialize in developing custom visuals, which you can use to enrich your blog posts. Search engines like Google prioritize content that includes rich imagery, but not all topics lend themselves well to visual generation. The previous solution for this was to use stock imagery, but there are a few problems with using stock imagery in your onsite content. Most notably, Google and human beings can easily detect stock images, weakening their value in the process.
Even though we already have an impressive range of AI tools available to us, this is just the beginning. In the coming years, we’re going to see an explosive surge in AI development, giving us access to platforms we can currently only imagine. As long as you’re willing to thoughtfully strategize your use of these applications, you can take advantage of their strengths, without falling victim to their weaknesses.