Customer and employee experience mistakes to avoid and how AI can help

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Enterprise leaders are constantly evaluating how technology can best serve the needs of their customers and employees.

As AI technology advances, companies are realizing the huge potential to improve customer and employee experiences and positively impact their bottom line. That’s why more than half of leaders are investing accordingly, with plans to increase AI budgets in customer experience by at least 25% next year.

When used in the right places, AI greatly enhances efficiency and satisfaction across businesses. For example, AI can automate many parts of the customer and employee journey, allowing for faster response time without sacrificing personalized, human-centered experiences.

However, it is important for companies to identify exactly where artificial intelligence is applied so that the technology can meet internal and external needs without causing additional work for employees or creating unnecessary frustration for customers who really need to talk to a human.

As rapidly expanding organizations face pressure to reduce costs while increasing value, those who discover the best place to deliver AI as a solution are better placed to succeed. Here are some pitfalls to avoid.

Employees who think automatically will still be in a bear market

Many companies are currently working with weak teams and can’t afford to lose top talent. Forward-thinking leaders have quickly adapted to take advantage of AI in a way that eliminates repetitive core work and allows employees to focus on more intellectually exciting work. By making this deliberate transformation, companies are able to increase employee satisfaction and improve production.

To begin eliminating these boring and mundane projects, companies must assess where AI and automation can increase efficiency and improve workflow.

One place to start: Empower employee experience administrators with click-to-configuration tools that easily and quickly create experiences with built-in automation without writing a single line of code. This automation can handle basic requests such as “How do I reset my password?” And free up time for more strategic and creative work.

Another application in HR departments. These departments often use AI to assess vacancies for potential hiring bias as well as to analyze labor market data when calculating competitive pay rates. This not only speeds up the hiring schedule, but allows HR teams to get more involved in other parts of the process that shouldn’t be overlooked. AI allows employees more time to provide better human-centred experiences such as having good conversations with internal hiring managers and spending more time with external candidates.

Maintain an old school mentality 9-5

Organizations can no longer provide “good enough” customer service, leaving people waiting for hours or even days for a response. This just doesn’t cut it anymore as customers expect easy, accessible, and personalized support from every brand they interact with. In fact, 61% of customers are willing to move their business to another location after just one bad experience; 76% after two years.

Businesses can leverage AI as an “always on” tool in the customer journey to keep pace with the growing expectations of modern communication channels, 24/7 response expectations, and the desire for self-service and personalized customization.

There is an opportunity for organizations to embrace messaging, amplify interactions with AI, and scale AI to help with most service needs. AI can also reduce resolution time, such as processing routing queries based on skill level, agent availability, and request priority. Then the clients are matched with the most qualified agents to solve their problem. This is especially important because companies of enterprise size need scalable and agile processes to handle massive amounts of conversation.

With 65% of customers expecting AI to save them time, companies are adapting their customers’ experience so that the majority of interactions are initiated (and possibly resolved by) a bot. For example, the gaming platform Roblox uses artificial intelligence to respond to requests for its specific game currency in a range of languages. By automatically solving simple frequently asked questions, bots increase agents’ productivity and allow them to focus on solving more complex tickets.

However, it is important not to rely solely on artificial intelligence.

While issues such as resetting the password can be resolved using artificial intelligence, there are still many issues that require a human being. The biggest mistake a company can make is not properly training its bots to quickly and efficiently escalate problems with the necessary context for a human to intervene in a solution.

Stick to old technology systems

While some companies can easily adapt and go digital first, traditional organizations are often stuck using old, solid, existing systems that took many years and budget to build. These inflexible and fragmented system structures can prevent organizations from improving the core of the customer journey with new technology groups and tools.

AI is an opportunity for organizations to disrupt this status quo because it can help regenerate solid infrastructure, bring more scalability and empower teams to handle the most complex use cases, and improve the experience for both customers and employees.

The main challenge of modernization is to apply technology between faulty channels and rigid regulations that cannot change and become pivotal at the speed that the company’s growth requires. Although iterations of technology packages will not be completed in a day, companies can start making incremental changes. They can replace one part of the old packages with an easy-to-implement solution using artificial intelligence to pull data from other parts of the company.

For example, a company can make use of artificial intelligence to revamp its knowledge framework not only to address common problems, but to motivate employees when there are gaps in their content base.

Trustpilot, for example, has done exactly that to grow, build, manage and leverage knowledge to cash out tickets and improve agent capacity. The company has implemented a knowledge base program to organically guide customers to solutions and proactively deliver content when a problem is detected. This self-service investment resulted in 62% annual growth in customers opting for self-service, a 98% self-service success rate, and an annual return on investment of 1,272% on the platform.

Customer and Employee Experience: A Positive View of Artificial Intelligence

While customer and employee expectations have changed, enterprise leaders have remained focused on driving net profit growth.

Using AI, companies can deliver interactive experiences that retain employees and build strong relationships with customers during a period of transitory loyalty. AI has tremendous potential to meet customer needs without sacrificing the personal human touch.

By pushing boundaries, thinking in new ways, and abandoning legacy systems, companies can embrace AI — even in small ways — to make a massive impact.

John Anyano is Senior Vice President, Producer at Zendesk.

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