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Forrester’s customer experience event, CXNYC 2017, kicks off today. It will showcase research and strategies that will help CX professionals plan, implement and master how customers interact with their business. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll present a CX Futurology session, entitled, “Drive Better CX With AI to Give Your Customers What They Want.” During the session, we’ll explore key drivers for a positive customer experience and ways technology aids and optimizes outcomes. We’ll also share a glimpse into Amelia’s cognitive capabilities, as one of the most advanced digital employees ever created to improve CX for business.

The session will build upon one of the most important takeaways from IPsoft’s recent Digital Workforce Summit – that customer experience is transformed when AI enables companies to create greater intimacy in customer interactions. With platforms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix dominating consumers’ time and attention, people have become accustomed to highly personalized, cross-channel experiences. Frontrunners for delivering these continuously engaging customer journeys know that every touchpoint is an opportunity to deepen the relationship and build greater brand affinity. The idea of enabling greater intimacy, on a one-to-one level at scale through the use of digital employees, will transform the customer experience as we know it. From our vantage point working with enterprise customers across a variety of sectors including banking and retail, we know that optimizing seamless cross-channel experiences continues to be an area of focus.

At the Digital Workforce Summit, executives from Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne, Genworth Financial and Guardian Life spoke on this topic. Hundreds of attendees were also eager to engage in the discussion further demonstrating that the customer and user experience are critical priorities for leading global enterprises. These speakers commented on how Amelia has changed the nature of the customer experience, extending to high-quality, personalized service. In addition, results have demonstrated how AI is also raising expectations for customer engagement. To-date, Amelia has created significant business benefits. She has experience in more than 50 client situations. Amelia has proven that she can cover over 60% of client requests with more than 90% accuracy and customer satisfaction ratings ranging from 60% to 88%. More importantly, she learns more every day, and she’s continually improving upon these figures.

Digital employees — with their ability to express empathy, understand context in combination with limitless data sources and the ability to learn in real-time — are the underpinnings for transformation in customer experience. Providing seamless omnichannel support, digital employees are available to communicate by voice, through apps and chat so that they can engage conversations wherever customers are. This is one of Amelia’s key strengths – the ability to continue conversations across different platforms. According to Forrester’s “Digital Customer Experience Trends, 2017” experiences will evolve for customers as, “conversational interfaces blend with existing user interfaces instead of just replacing them.”

AI and cognitive computing take customer service to a whole new level, leaving the limitations of solutions such as chatbots behind. Compared to solutions that engage users through a web-based user interface, chatbots take more time to accomplish the same tasks. Chatbots don’t allow a human user to have a natural conversation, nor do they learn from previous conversations to fine-tune future interactions. In addition, chatbots can’t express empathy and they can’t make decisions or understand context when interacting with users. All of these limitations leave the customer experience lacking and cause companies to re-evaluate strategies to ensure an optimal customer experience.

As AI continues to transform customer experience across industries and geographies, McKinsey & Company estimates that cognitive and AI systems will be the catalyst for $5-7 trillion potential economic impact by 2025. I’m looking forward to continuing conversations on AI’s ability to drive better CX this week as the potential for transformed customer service continues to be top of mind for leading enterprises around the world.