AI and CX – not such strange bedfellows

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In the fast-paced digital age, customer experience (CX) stands as a cornerstone of business success. Organizations across industries are continually striving to provide seamless, personalized, and efficient interactions to capture and retain customers. In pursuit of such goals, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into CX strategies is certainly a transformative solution. Far from being at odds, the coming together of AI and CX has the potential to create innovative and tailored experiences for consumers, ushering in a new era of customer engagement.

AI-powered CX

Given the speed of developments in AI, there is immense potential for the technology to help humans reach new levels of efficiency and innovation and in turn, deliver unparalleled CX.

The integration of AI into CX brings forth a myriad of benefits. At its core, AI excels in processing massive volumes of data at unprecedented speeds, enabling businesses to glean insights that were once hidden within the noise. Such a capability enhances customer profiling, empowering companies to tailor their services and products to individual preferences and needs. The result? A more personalized and satisfying customer journey that fosters loyalty and advocacy.

Moreover, AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants have emerged as valuable assets, capable of providing instant support to customers around the clock. These digital entities can address a range of queries, such as straightforward account enquiries, with consistent accuracy. This not only reduces the load on human agents but also ensures customers receive prompt assistance, contributing to enhanced satisfaction levels.

Enhancing the employee experience

Another less talked about benefit of generative AI is in providing better employee experiences and more fulfilling jobs. Specifically in the area of CX support, employees will be able to increase their ability to resolve customer issues quickly, easily, and in a single contact if we equip them with the right AI-powered solutions.

For one of TDCX’s global clients, we leveraged generative AI to improve agent productivity. We proposed, developed, and tested a self-service knowledge portal that uses generative AI to help our agents find answers to customer questions more easily and quickly. Instead of performing a search and poring through various links to information, agents received a direct and almost instant response to their question, cutting down the time taken significantly.

Generative AI can also help in providing tailored, ongoing training for employees. Many companies cite challenges in ensuring that employees are adequately trained, with the lack of time or resources being the key ones. With generative AI, organizations can use it as a personal coach to analyze their employee’s strengths and weaknesses and curate the appropriate training content for them.

Using another CX-related example, a real-time coach could investigate the way agents respond via email or chat — such as how they phrase things or whether technical concepts can be explained more simply — to identify areas where the agent can make improvements. AI can also proactively suggest solutions to agents, thus freeing employees to focus on more rewarding and fulfilling work.

Navigating the Challenges

While the appeal of AI in CX is undeniable, successful integration does not come easy. One of the primary hurdles lies in striking the right balance between automation and the human touch. Customers often seek empathy and understanding, qualities that AI, no matter how advanced, might struggle to replicate convincingly. This dichotomy necessitates the creation of a symbiotic relationship, where AI enhances the capabilities of human agents rather than replacing them outright.

Further, the efficacy of AI in CX relies heavily on data quality. Garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes. AI systems depend on accurate, diverse, and unbiased data to make informed decisions. Any deficiencies or biases in the data can lead to inaccurate predictions and subpar customer experiences. This necessitates rigorous data management and continuous monitoring to ensure AI systems are performing optimally.

The role of CX specialists

Against this backdrop, the role of CX specialists becomes pivotal. These experts possess an in-depth understanding of customer behavior, preferences, and expectations. Collaborating with data scientists and AI engineers, they can help in fine-tuning algorithms, identifying potential biases, and establishing benchmarks for AI performance. Moreover, CX specialists can develop guidelines to ensure that the human touch is preserved in customer interactions, guiding the deployment of AI in a manner that complements rather than overshadows the human connection. This is also something that TDCX has been proactively helping its clients with, most recently through the launch of its artificial intelligence consulting arm, TDCX AI. Through our 50-strong team of specialists, we take a comprehensive approach to helping our clients leverage the power of AI – from ideating, system integration, practical delivery to quality assurance.

AI has been used in many applications to alleviate problems across different industries and help people to perform their job more efficiently. Consumers are already using self-service channels and AI will help to make such touchpoints even better, with customers resolving straightforward queries with greater ease. This also means that human agents are freed to focus on more challenging tasks that require critical thinking and problem-solving.

Businesses that navigate the challenges deftly, with the guidance of CX specialists, stand to reap the rewards of increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. As AI continues to mature and adapt, its collaboration with CX is set to become a mainstay in the realm of business success, proving that these seemingly disparate bedfellows are, in fact, on the path to a fruitful and enduring relationship.

With generative AI, the CX industry is set to digitalize further. With the ability to leverage technology to design better customer experiences and to understand the customer more deeply, CX is on a sure path to be a strategic business differentiator for companies that know how to harness it.

Angie Tay
Angie Tay is the group COO and EVP for Singapore, Thailand, China and Korea of TDCX. With over 20 years of experience in the contact center industries, her expertise spans operational leadership in achieving and exceeding outsourced business process performance metrics, managing clients’ relationships, and bringing the highest values to them. Under Angie’s guidance, TDCX Singapore has received multiple regional and international industry awards since 2005.

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