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Revolutionizing Customer Experience: How Advanced Generative AI is Changing the Game

Revolutionizing Customer Experience: How Advanced Generative AI is Changing the Game

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Andrew Kokes, the EVP and Global Head of Marketing at HGS, delves into the various ways advanced generative AI can help brands revolutionize their customer experiences. 

The world is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, all thanks to the complex yet fascinating branch of computer science—generative Artificial Intelligence. From banking and finance to healthcare and customer service, it’s creating ripples across industries. ChatGPT, Bard, Claude, Synthesia, and Coherent Generate are some of the latest generative AI solutions that help optimize various operations.  

Coupled with this transformation is also the evolution of the customer experience (CX), and generative AI has the opportunity to change the industry’s dynamic for good. Organizations are implementing these solutions to get ahead of the AI revolution; according to McKinsey’s State of AI report, more than half of companies are investing over 5 percent of their digital budgets in AI. It isn’t just companies that are excited about this new technology. According to a recent Adobe consumer survey, 72 percent of respondents believe generative AI will improve customer experiences. 

The world’s fascination with these tools underscores the continued dominance of generative AI in shaping CX strategies. However, leaders must recognize that harnessing any AI tool demands a deep understanding and commitment to transformation to achieve a significant impact. 

Streamlining Customer Contact Operations 

By balancing human interaction and automation, AI tools empower contact center agents to gather information rapidly and intelligently. This reduces agent stress and lowers customer hold times, creating a win-win situation for all parties involved. 

There are various AI tools that contact centers can implement to help support agents, as well as improve customer experience. By implementing AI solutions, contact centers can see faster handling time, refine customer responses, enhance the self-service tools available to agents, reduce overall customer complaints, and improve the overall training of agents. Happier agents create happier customers. 

On average, the typical call center hold time is around 12 to 13 minutes, but most people are only willing to stay on the line for six minutes before hanging up. According to HubSpot, 57 percent of customers find long hold times frustrating, negatively impacting CX. As a result, call centers have turned to AI—lessening the length of wait time and avoiding disappointment among customers. Generative AI solutions allow contact centers to quickly understand a customer’s issue and help find a solution quicker with automated and unassisted approaches than traditional agent-led methods, resulting in improved customer satisfaction. Most customers just want an answer fast. 

Recognizing the significance of a customer’s time and ensuring they feel acknowledged and supported during care center or help desk interactions are vital in crafting effective customer care and experience solutions. According to Forrester, 73 percent of customers say that the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service is to value their time. Generative AI can create smart responses for agents to utilize, which stem from a vast knowledge base. These responses can be used across platforms and help ensure personalization, improved grammar, and on-brand messaging responses for all customers.  

Generative AI solutions can also increase the self-service tools available to agents. Chatbots, for instance, present numerous distinctive opportunities for brands to swiftly address minor concerns, obtain real-time customer feedback, and proactively retain or regain customers. Deploying frontline chatbots can yield critical wins for companies, such as the ability to promptly answer a question, reset a forgotten password, or resolve a billing issue, all before real frustration sets in. By enhancing self-service tools through generative AI, organizations can realize lower overall contact center costs, increased CSAT scores, and improved operational efficiencies. 

These AI-powered solutions can go beyond decreasing customer complaints. Through generative AI paired with natural language processing (NLP) and 100 percent transcription of voice-to-text, contact centers can autonomously monitor for quality with every interaction. Historically, listening to 5-10 percent was considered very good, but today, AI is letting us unpack the full voice of the customer and ID coaching opportunities in near real-time.

With generative AI, near real-time training and simulations are helping frontline staff improve the quality of the customers’ experience. As the AI’s understanding grows, it recommends responses and the next best actions. As confidence in those responses and recommendations grows, the AI engine can address general inquiries from diverse customers without human intervention in certain instances. Advanced AI tools can comprehend the request, offering a direct response or aiding agents with a swift preview of the issue and recommended answers.  

Improving the Agent Experience 

Not only does generative AI offer solutions for customers, but contact centers can also utilize the technology to enhance their agents’ experiences.  

With so much chatter around AI replacing humans, it’s time to level set. Generative AI is trainable and adaptable—which means someone (enter, humans) must train it and serve as a complement to its capabilities. When paired together, generative AI solutions and agents are better equipped to serve customers. Despite the internet offering a sea of information, it’s quite a task to scour pragmatic and effective data simultaneously. Generative AI sources all this information for agents and feeds the data with past case studies and correct answers to match a broad set of questions. By utilizing generative AI tools, contact centers offer agents an additional leg up when it comes to customer experience. A well-rounded AI-to-human balance can lead to better-trained, longer-retained contact center employees.  

Mastering AI Deployment: Best Practices for Success 

Although generative AI offers fascinating capabilities to the CX industry, organizations should prioritize understanding how to onboard these solutions effectively. Contact centers must also undertake a meticulous implementation journey to prevent easy mistakes if they aim to utilize successful AI.  

For example, organizations should begin their AI journey by building on existing resources. By utilizing this approach, organizations augment frontline resources to facilitate AI training while alleviating the cognitive burden on valuable employees. By leveraging an agent’s existing knowledge and expertise, contact centers can create a synergy that enhances human and AI capabilities. 

It’s also imperative that call centers choose the correct partner for their generative AI needs. In order to do so, they must evaluate internally whether or not they have the experience to onboard the technology and source the right partner that offers what they’re looking for. With the vast and ever-growing amount of generative AI vendors worldwide, it’s essential to evaluate whether or not they have what you need. By selecting the right partner, organizations are better equipped to integrate generative AI into their everyday operations. 

Embarking on the journey of generative AI requires a strategic and gradual approach. By piloting each AI project and embracing smart automation transformation through incremental changes and accomplishments, organizations can pave the way for long-term success. As generative AI continues to take over headlines, the possibilities of their applications in the CX industry seem endless. CX leaders can harness the potential of AI to optimize their operations, making them more intelligent and efficient. 

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