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The role of GenAI in the evolution of CX

By Esther Yoon, VP, Product and Industry Marketing, RingCentral

For customer experience leaders, the pressure to deliver exceptional service is intensifying in an era defined by instant gratification. Traditional challenges – such as delivering personalised experiences, ensuring consistency across multiple channels, and providing round-the-clock service – have long plagued CX initiatives. Today, generative AI (GenAI) stands at the forefront of technological advancements, promising to tackle these perennial issues and redefine the standards of customer interactions.

It’s no surprise, especially with the cost of inflation, that the customers that are parting with their hard-earned money, also want to feel valued and respected, with their needs fulfilled competently and efficiently. This is the baseline. While these principles haven’t waivered, consumer expectations continue to rise. Our own research found that 87% of customers cite high-quality service as an increasingly important factor influencing their purchasing decisions. Further, high-quality customer service experiences are a cornerstone for retaining customers, with two thirds (65%) saying they would be unlikely to return to a company that delivered bad customer service.

There are a myriad of reasons why our expectations are on the rise. Social media has changed the definition of ‘speed’, while self-service options have created self-sufficient consumers who try to solve problems themselves and the proliferation of GenAI showed consumers what technology was truly capable of. We’re living in an always-on, hyper-connected culture – and it’s an era which is only just dawning. Yet, deploying these technologies within customer services can be complex.

Harnessing emerging technology for growth

For every which way that technology alters our expectations of CX, it is also capable of surpassing them. Take generative AI (GenAI), which has been revolutionary since its rollout in 2022, reshaping the way companies interact with and serve their customers. At its core, GenAI empowers organisations to provide highly personalised customer experiences at scale. For customer service agents, AI can rapidly analyse vast troves of data – including documents and customer histories – and offer tailored recommendations to guide agents through interactions more effectively. This AI-powered assistance enhances agent productivity and ensures customers receive accurate, contextualised support.

Moreover, GenAI is supporting live agent interactions, surfacing conversational intelligence for precise decision making. Traditionally, CX tools that deliver insights into how agents are performing have fallen short of providing easy ways to gauge quality. However, by leveraging the capabilities of GenAI, companies can better understand the issues that frustrate customers and, along with sentiment insights, offer accurate responses, streamline the resolution process and substantially increase call quality to enhance customer satisfaction.

The transformative potential of GenAI extends beyond individual customer interactions. These cutting-edge solutions empower businesses to gain deeper insights into customer needs and preferences. In turn, this unlocks real-time personalisation of products, services, and experiences. By harnessing the power of AI to analyse vast datasets, companies can identify patterns and trends that would be virtually impossible for humans to discern, unlocking new opportunities for innovation and customer-centric strategies. In addition, companies can optimise their processes, anticipate customer needs, and deliver truly personalised experiences that foster loyalty and advocacy. 

Bringing ethics and security to the core of GenAI implementation

While the benefits of GenAI in CX are undeniable, its integration also raises important ethical considerations that businesses must address. Ensuring the data used to train AI models is diverse, unbiased, and representative of the population served is crucial. AI systems must also be designed with robust privacy, security, and transparency measures, providing clear guidelines on data collection, storage, and usage.

Furthermore, organisations must remain vigilant in identifying and mitigating potential biases and risks associated with AI deployment. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of these systems are essential to ensure alignment with ethical principles and societal values. By prioritising responsible and ethical AI development, businesses can harness the transformative power of generative AI while safeguarding the interests of customers and stakeholders.

An additional ongoing risk with GenAI is security. As the technology handles increasingly sensitive customer data (i.e. financial information and personal details), robust cybersecurity measures are pivotal to prevent data breaches or misuse. Companies must implement rigorous encryption, access controls, and monitoring to protect customer privacy and trust. Moreover, clear governance frameworks with well-defined principles are necessary to mitigate ethical risks like biased outputs or prioritising commercial interests over customer welfare. Striking this balance between innovation and ethical AI use will be crucial for long-term success with GenAI in the CX space.

With modern customers displaying ever-heightened expectations, GenAI is among the best tools in our arsenal, heralding a paradigm shift for business-consumer relations. In an era where personalisation reigns supreme, those who harness AI’s prowess – while safeguarding ethics and fortifying cybersecurity – shall emerge as leaders. By striking the right balance, companies can leverage the full potential of generative AI to deliver unparalleled customer experiences, fostering lasting loyalty and competitive advantage.