“In” for 2024: Putting AI to Work

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We’re at the summit of the AI hype cycle, but that’s not a bad thing. Once the market is inundated with AI-branded products, solutions and gear, consumer excitement will tip over to realism. To set themselves up for long-term success, organizations must transition from a frantic pace of implementation to a more studious and careful phase of adoption that clearly demonstrates a value-add.

Instead of slapping the GenAI label on every product for the “cool” factor, brands should approach adoption in a way that best serves and prioritizes their customer base. If the goal is to ultimately provide customers with the best experience possible, organizations should scrutinize how exactly GenAI will help them do so. Rather than reinventing the wheel, successful organizations will use GenAI to make their existing wheels turn more effectively.

With that in mind, let’s look at what’s “in” for organizations moving forward—and what’s “out.”

Prepare for 100% Adoption, Starting with the Mundane

Gartner predicted last year that 80% of organizations will use GenAI by 2026, but that estimate is too low. The number of organizations that will adopt GenAI to enhance daily internal operations will be closer to 100%. Before the end of 2024, we can expect to see most, if not all, organizations use GenAI in some capacity.

That is not to say that every company will look like the Jetsons this year. The adoption of GenAI might not be flashy or ground-breaking and may only be used internally, but for clear, measurable use cases. For example, an HR department may use GenAI to draft job descriptions for the perfect customer representative, and when that employee is hired, AI tools can then impact employee experience, including training and onboarding, as well as overall productivity. By optimizing routine, menial tasks, GenAI enables more efficient workflows and internal processes – which in turn allow organizations to provide better overall customer experiences. It’s a simple truth: happier employees, empowered with the right tools for productivity, lead to happier customers.

However, it’s important to remember that while GenAI is a gamechanger, it will only propel your organization forward when it’s used intentionally and impactfully.

Out: AI as a Silver Bullet

Consumers will find themselves with “AI fatigue” if they’re inundated with a world of AI-powered everything that doesn’t tangibly improve their experience. That makes it especially important for organizations to prove the value and usefulness of their solutions. Organizations must take stock of what they already have in their tech stacks—and what isn’t efficient—before they add a tool that is purpose-built and thoughtfully integrated.

Using GenAI to mine data is a great place to start, because it performs best when given specific directions to simplify a menial task or improve the productivity of existing products or services. Case in point, AI has already proven to be transformative for data analytics in service of the contact center.

In contact centers, GenAI is tapped as a “first responder” so customer service representatives can serve more customers more quickly and with greater personalization than ever before. GenAI-powered tools can sift through and analyze customer data exponentially faster and report real-time insights. With a clearer view of a customer’s past actions and real-time knowledge of a customer’s needs, brands can predict what the customer will do next and orchestrate experiences accordingly.

Take, for example, the billing experience. 60%-70% of traffic at call centers is around billing and account-related information. If GenAI can take some of that weight off the CX “first responders” by preemptively helping customers with their bill confusion, it’ll make a huge impact. And that’s just one use case. Once these initial use cases come out and organizations start to get value around them, there’s immense potential that’s going to come with GenAI tools that we haven’t even seen yet.

GenAI can also help brands meet customers where they are. Some customers want a more empathetic human experience, and some want the directness and speed of automation. It is up to organizations to offer both and marry the two. For example, take a customer who is hesitant to leave behind the gentle and thorough explanations that come with the aid of a human representative, but still wants the convenience and speed of a digital interaction. With the right blend of GenAI and empathy, you can mix accordingly to serve each unique customer.

In: Pragmatic AI

In 2024, GenAI will move from hype to concrete. As we press forward, organizations must pay attention to what’s happening in their own house instead of what everyone else is doing. Organizations rarely become the best of the best by following the crowd, and no one understands a customer better than the organization dedicated to serving them.

Adopt GenAI and charge forward into this new era of digital customer experiences, but do it in a way that makes sense for your organization. By looking inward, organizations can better understand the details of what GenAI can do for their specific customers and develop an organizational strategy for what’s to come. That’s what’s “in” for 2024— be customer-obsessed and use GenAI to do it better than ever before.

Eric Carrasquilla
Eric Carrasquilla is the President of Customer Experience Solutions at CSG, where he oversees product, sales and services for the business. Carrasquilla has over 20 years of experience building, launching and monetizing enterprise-grade solutions that deliver extraordinary customer experiences.

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