As digital-first businesses scale, the stakes quickly get higher, especially when it comes to maintaining solid customer experience (CX). 

Most scaling companies come against the same roadblock: How do we provide consistent CX without spreading resources too thin, sacrificing quality, or widening the customer journey execution gap (CJEG)? 

Generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) can be a powerful ally in this process, with the potential to transform, enhance, and significantly improve customer journeys.

Imagine a chatbot with complete, in-depth knowledge of all your products or services, able to resolve intricate queries without human intervention. Perhaps a digital assistant that can adapt to a customer’s individual preferences and take them on a personalized journey through your storefront. Or, consider an FAQ section that evolves in real-time, learning from customer interactions to provide more precise and helpful answers. 

Gen AI can make these types of experiences part of your CX toolkit, allowing you to focus on growth without worrying about leaving your customers behind. 

Let’s look beyond hyped-up tools like Bard and Chat GPT to find out how Gen AI can help you sharpen your competitive CX edge, then explore what it takes for successful implementation.  

Potential (and current) use cases for Gen AI in CX 

An impactful use case of Gen AI is intelligent chatbots. Unlike their limited, rule-based, “choose an option to continue” counterparts, AI-driven chatbots understand context and sentiment and can generate human-sounding responses, functioning as an advanced first-line of support. Training AI models on your brand tone and voice is also possible, aligning your chatbots with customer expectations. 

Similarly, AI-based digital assistants can offer hyper-personalized CX by recognizing and adapting to individual customer preferences and behaviors, enabling them to make real-time recommendations that surprise and engage. 

Scaling companies can also use Gen AI to vastly improve website FAQ sections. Instead of going through the long task of manually updating your knowledge base, you can apply Gen AI to learn from customer interactions and continually update FAQs to answer pressing questions with the most accurate, up-to-date, and relevant information. 

When breaking into new markets, digital natives also have to break down language and cultural barriers. Luckily, Gen AI can empower your customer service agents to communicate with anyone, anywhere. Some machine translation tools—like Concentrix + Webhelp’s Polyglot and Lingualabs solutions—utilize Gen AI to enable seamless, real-time, culturally sensitive dialogue with customers in any language.

Moreover, Gen AI is a game-changing tool for the CX front lines, providing support advisors with instant access to crucial information during customer interactions. For instance, it can suggest products or services that might interest the customer based on the current conversation or previous interactions—think of it as intelligent up-selling that increases revenue and enhances CX simultaneously. 

Then there’s the benefit of quality assurance and employee training. With Gen AI, every customer interaction can be assessed in real-time for quality control, allowing you to review any that fall below a certain threshold. On the training front, AI can create highly targeted learning modules for customer service reps, moving away from generic, one-size-fits-all training to something far more effective and personalized. 

These are just a few examples of how Generative AI can optimize CX. To be completely honest, the capabilities of this technology are so vast that nobody knows the actual limits of its potential. But we do know that it will become an even more integral part of modern CX strategies as it continues to evolve. 

So, here are a few tips on building a scalable CX model on a solid foundation of Gen AI.  

Tip 1 – Strategize and identify your needs 

Before diving headfirst into Gen AI, you must figure out exactly why your organization needs it. Start with a comprehensive analysis of your current CX operations to identify gaps or inefficiencies. Are your customer service agents overwhelmed with queries? Are you struggling with high cart abandonment rates? Once you pinpoint challenges like these, sketch out a strategic plan that outlines your objectives, establishes KPIs, and sets a timeline for integration.

Consult with stakeholders from various departments—customer service, IT, compliance—to ensure the plan is comprehensive and achievable. And crucially, by identifying your precise needs upfront, you can better communicate the value proposition when negotiating with vendors or potential partners, ensuring that they can tailor a solution to your specific challenges and goals. 

Tip 2 – Integrate with your current tech and processes

Integrating Gen AI is not as simple as a plug-and-play software update; you’re looking at architectural adjustments, modifications to your data pipelines, and even potential redesigns of your UX/UI. 

For a smooth transition, opt for API-based solutions that integrate seamlessly with your current systems. These allow you to leverage Gen AI’s capabilities without causing disruptions. To further mitigate risks, running a series of beta tests can help iron out any glitches or bottlenecks before full-scale deployment. 

As you handle sensitive customer data, implementing rigorous data encryption and anonymization techniques is non-negotiable. Thoroughly vet your AI vendors to ensure they comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, etc. This process keeps you compliant, and fosters trust with your customer base.

Tip 3 – Don’t neglect human + AI collaboration

The ultimate goal is not to replace your human customer service advisors but to augment their capabilities. However, for this to happen, you must establish the proper workflows and communication channels that allow your CX advisors and AI systems to collaborate seamlessly.

For instance, when AI detects a sentiment change in customer interactions or a complex issue arises that it can’t resolve, it should instantly alert human advisors, who can then effortlessly take over the conversation to offer more nuanced support.

AI’s potential for real-time analytics and reporting is massive, enabling your teams to monitor customer interactions and extract insights for immediate problem-solving and future strategies. However, training programs are necessary for your customer service team to get comfortable with these capabilities and extract the most value from these insights. 

Above all, remember that the most impactful customer service is delivered when AI and human advisors work together in harmony. It’s not an ‘either-or’ scenario but a strategic integration that augments the capabilities of each to create optimal, scalable customer experiences.

Tip 4 – Find partners to control costs and limit time-to-market

Partnering with a CX partner can be particularly beneficial when introducing Gen AI to your CX strategy. Most notably, a partner can provide the tools and talent you need without the upfront costs of sourcing AI-trained CX advisors and setting up new technologies. They also have deep compliance and data security expertise, allowing you to navigate complex regulations easily. 

But it’s not just about saving money and sidestepping operational challenges; partnering with a CX partner can dramatically shorten your time-to-market, allowing you to scale your AI-driven CX initiatives much faster. 

Also, look for partnerships that offer more than just transactional benefits. A good partner will work closely with your teams to understand your brand ethos and customer expectations, ensuring any new AI tools align with your company’s unique CX objectives.

Tip 5 – Never stop learning and adapting 

Once you’ve successfully implemented Gen AI into your CX strategy, a continuous cycle of learning, refining, and adapting begins.

Start by regularly reviewing the performance metrics tied to your initial objectives. How effectively has AI reduced call volumes or increased customer satisfaction scores? Also, collect qualitative feedback from customers and employees to gain insights into the nuanced impacts of AI on customer relationships and team morale.

The more information your AI models have, the better they perform, so it’s important to consistently update the model with data on customer interactions, seasonal trends, and market shifts. And be sure to keep an eye on industry trends and emerging technologies. Since AI is rapidly evolving, what we consider cutting-edge today may become the industry standard tomorrow. 

However it improves in the next few years, Gen AI presents a huge opportunity to narrow—and even prevent—the customer journey execution gap, addressing your customers’ immediate needs and demands while providing the satisfying experiences they have come to expect. 

Combined with a reliable strategic partnership and your company’s solid foundation of innovation, agility, and adaptability, Gen AI could be the catalyst you need to deliver superior CX wherever you expand globally. All that’s left is to get started.

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