Back in 2017 when we served on the AI Advisory Committee for Execs In the Know, we wrote an article about the role of artificial intelligence in the future of business. Our article called out, rather presciently, the need for governance, standards, and the human touch in the scope of AI for customer experience and other business imperatives.
Just as presciently, it identified how and why AI will be baked into the future of business. Nearly five years ago, in the earliest stages of our customer experience consulting firm, we ended that article with a quote from Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew Mcafee, the authors of The Business of Artificial Intelligence. They said, “[o]ver the next decade, AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t.”
So, here we are, half-a-decade later. This is your reminder. Find a way to include AI in your customer experience. But, as with all technology tools (and make no mistake, AI is exactly that, a technology tool), do not add AI to your stack just to add it. Fold tools like OpenAI into your customer experience strategy in a way that reaffirms your commitment to customer centricity. Leverage AI intentionally to add value internally to employees, business processes and budgets; and externally, to your customers.
To help you do this, we are outlining five simple ways to leverage OpenAI for customer experience. Starting now. Each of these examples (and there are many more!) demonstrates how to use artificial intelligence tools to deliver value to your customers, your employees, and your brand.
What about the Moratorium?
Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and other leaders in the AI space recently issued a letter calling for a pause to AI platform development. This responds to what many are terming the “AI arms race.” Their perspective, which we share, states that “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity.”
Ultimately, that means governance and standards for the technology must evolve in line with its development and implementation. The goal is for this pause to help do that. From our customer experience perspective, governance and standards must, first and foremost preserve the human experience, and the connections that drive it. To that end, we need to look at how we can use artificial intelligence to help deliver customer-centric experiences. And we do this with the understanding that CX implementation of AI tools must align with the standards we set as an industry. And the customer experience and communications strategies and standards we set independently as brands.
So, as we lead the way in determining how to design and deploy AI in future experiences, let’s capture opportunities we have now to save time and money. And to improve customer experiences for organizations of all sizes.
Improve Communication Frequency to Customers
Before we jump into this tip, let’s look at a few caveats. First, AI is a tool. It is not an end-product. As a tool, you can leverage in the design and delivery of seamless, consistent customer experience across the customer journey. Tools like OpenAI can support customer-centric communications initiatives.
Leveraging OpenAI this way appeals to organizations with limited CX budgets. We see this frequently. Due to size, growth stage, or other factors, businesses do not have the infrastructure to support robust CX communication. But they know communication is key to seamless experiences and the customer trust that drives engagement and loyalty. With tools like OpenAI, they can implement customer communication more consistently and effectively.
In some cases, a little help from artificial intelligence means the difference between silence and a customer touch. We worked with one small business in the professional services sector that was simply not communicating with customers. Communication was non-existent. Leveraging AI to create simple outreach enabled them to connect with customers in a way they could otherwise could not.
This works for ultra-low budget communication: when some communication is better than no communication at all. And when the needs of your business do not fit the scope of full-scale communications strategies. If you are an accountant, or a retailer, you can leverage OpenAI to generate customer-facing correspondence and other simple communications products. Think of scheduling appointments or sending document requirements information during tax season. Or announcing sales and loyalty program features during end-of-year holidays. Consider how to leverage this in healthcare environments for scheduling, updating, and quick Call to Action check-ins.
Gaps in communication weaken the connection between your brand and the customer. But sometimes it is hard to avoid those gaps. Artificial intelligence tools make it easier to reach your customer quickly and to maintain the frequency that customer loyalty demands. Generate first-drafts of actionable emails. Then personalize them to align with your brand experience, and push them out to your customers.
Customize Internal CX Communication Quickly
For organizations operating at a larger scale, AI tools can help bring value to employees. Think about how important internal communication is to introducing and operationalizing Customer Experience Programs. The ability to reiterate communications across internal departments brings value to employees. It also improves adoption rates and accelerates the quality of participation in customer experience initiatives.
Here is a scenario we see often. Organizations who have attempted to implement CX initiatives complain their employees, from the front-line to support staff and directors, do not understand how these initiatives affect them and what role they play in bringing the initiatives to life among each other and for their customers. Why? Because, too often, CX Program announcements are only made at the highest level. These announcements speak to the stakeholders who fund the programs, not the many layers of the organization that implement the program. Those who are responsible for creating real value out of the program.
In this scenario, the communications do not factor in that a frontline employee is not aware of what the customer experience strategy is. Let alone, how that connects to what that employee needs to do on a daily basis (or why).
So, if you need to announce a CX Program, you must send a note to your VPs, Directors, Managers, and Frontline. If you want real value from those team members, customize those notes to those individual audiences. AI can help you break the information into something relevant and actionable. It helps you set the altitude of your internal communications campaign, and customize it for individual levels within your organization.
Respond to User Reviews Before You Lose Customers
Even well-designed CX Programs break. Every organization, no matter the size or scope, faces unhappy customers. Responding to those unhappy customers is an important opportunity for your brand. But all too often, businesses skip this step.
Let’s take this user review of a local restaurant on Yelp as an example.
To minimize the impact of this one-star review, calibrate a response via OpenAI. But feed the tool with the right prompts. Be sure the output adheres to your brand voice and reinforces your commitment to customer experience.
Keep in mind, the purpose of responding to a review like this is not necessarily to recapture this customer. Rather, it is to communicate your customer experience on a public platform.
OpenAI enables you to respond quickly and effectively to protect your brand. Without a tool that enables you to generate efficient, customized responses, this is the kind of low hanging fruit CX opportunity that companies miss.
Simplify Ticket Information On-the-Go
Have you ever considered how complicated travel confirmation and ticket information emails are for a traveler on the go? In the travel industry, we take for granted that these emails go out. They provide travelers with the information they require. And then we consider that loop closed.
But think about how many words are in that email. And how difficult it can be to find the information you need when you need it, all while looking at a small screen and navigating a busy transportation hub. Now, of course, we have apps, we have signage, we have wayfinding. We have a whole suite of solutions to help guide travelers along the journey.
However, many individuals still rely on that email to understand where they need to be, what they need to do, and what to expect along their journey. Think about how helpful it would be for a customer if you leveraged an AI solution to synthesize those long emails into simple, easy-to-read, actionable nuggets of information. It would improve their travel experience. And it would lighten the load on frontline employees, freeing them to answer more complicate questions and resolve bigger issues faster.
Speaking of creating ease along the journey, use AI as a tool to improve accessibility. Too often, accessible design along the customer journey is written off as too complex or costly. But think about how you can leverage artificial intelligence tools to deliver more accessible, individuated journeys for your customers. With minimal lift for your organization.
Let’s look at one simple example. For customers who are blind, or for customers who have neurodivergence like dyslexia that impact reading and writing, you can implement AI tools to deliver auditory messages. Remember, AI is not only about finding ways to churn out the written word faster. For real impact on all customers across their journeys, use it to improve information accessibility.
The Whisper AI model recognizes speech with greater accuracy than Google Translate. This enables you to build in a low-cost solution to your communications infrastructure in airports and other travel hubs to accommodate travelers who speak other languages.
But Whisper is not limited to an on-the-go translation service. And this technology is useful well beyond the travel space. Think about voice recognition in personal banking customer experiences. Voice recognition improves accessibility for a variety of customers. To communicate seamlessly and quickly with users who are unable to use physical touch tools in phone scenarios, connect voice recognition to Customer 360 or similar products to pull relevant customer information immediately, and get to connecting with and solving problems for your customers faster.
We talked about Voice Profiling in an AI article published back in 2018. It warrants another look. Voice profiling builds on the idea that “[y]our voice is like your DNA or your fingerprint,” as Rita Singh puts it. Back in the day, we pointed to the dangers of advanced algorithms having that DNA in the digital space, ready to be profiled. And those dangers are still there.
But so is the reality that it is a tool for engaging with customers. So, as with all AI solutions, let’s build up governance and standards to protect customers, brands, and intellectual property. But, let’s also tap into it as a tool to make customer experiences more accessible, more seamless, and more personalized.
AI for Customer Experience: What Happens Next?
This is one of many AI articles to come. And these examples only scratch the surface of how your organization can change its thinking about AI and expand the horizon of what you can offer customers, and how you can demonstrate value and authentic human connection.
If you are like us, you have been asking a lot of questions, and doing a lot of research about this. You may not be sure how to fit this in to your customer experience strategy, and how to align this technology with your brand promises.
Schedule a time to chat. We are here to help you navigate the next steps on what is proving to be an exciting journey!