AI, COVID-19 and the Human Customer

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Artificial Intelligence is now a part of a normal life for the everyday consumer. According to the Capgemini Research Institute, 54% of customers have AI-enabled interactions with companies, a major jump from 21% recorded in 2018.

The report titled 'The art of Customer-Centric Artificial Intelligence: How organizations can unleash the full potential of AI in the customer experience' highlights a number of factors. COVID-19 has certainly increased the customer adoption of non-touch AI based systems, such as voice assistants and facial recognition. Over 77% of customers expect to use these interfaces and 62% will continue to do so post-COVID. The figures are even higher in Germany (73%) and Brazil (71%).

From a sector perspective, automotive (64%) and public sector (62%) stands out as strong performers. In-car voice interfaces are a key reason. BMW has been using in-car AI voice assistants for many years, with plans to include gesture recognition and gaze recognition for the 2021 series.

Trustworthiness for customers have increased too since 2018. Over 67% of customers trust the personalized recommendations provided by AI. Organizations have also progressed in making AI interactions more human-like, 64% of customer who say they also believe this to be true.

However, what is key to AI customer service is the "context-aware" cases. Overall 51% of customers say they will consider an AI experience to be positive if it provides a unique experience beyond their expectations. They prefer "context-aware" cases, with examples including autonomous parking, detecting bank fraud, payment authentication through biometrics.

One thing that is holding the growth of AI performance is the fact that companies are still only using basic KPI (key performance indicators) for measuring customer experience, which only sees the amount of customers served by AI interactions. Organisations would fair better if a feedback management system was looped into AI design and development. According the Capgemini report, in two or three years time, around 80% will have more than half of their interactions enabled by AI.

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