The term ‘artificial intelligence’ refers to any behaviour exhibited by a computer, robot or machine that mimics those of a human and in 2021, AI is everywhere. It’s no longer a figment of futurists’ imaginations but paves the way for convenience in our modern day society. From intricate algorithms designed to lure consumers with personalised advertising to self-driving cars, the future belongs to AI.
The dangers of unempathetic AI
Even with the steady increase in the use of chatbots by organisations as a service channel, customers undoubtedly still prefer to turn to traditional channels such as phone and email for help when an issue arises. With expectations of a fast and personalised experience, when they reach out for support they want to feel listened to.
And, while AI can solve many problems, it still lacks the personal human connection, which is why 80 per cent1 of customers say they are less likely to make a purchase when they perceive their conversational partner is a bot and not a human.
AI and humanity working together
As much as Hollywood would like us to think otherwise, AI can’t solve all our problems – it's here to support routine tasks and make business more efficient, and supplement – not supplant – the human experience.
Customers expect their service to be personalised and would rather pick up the phone than deal with a rabbit hole of unsatisfactory responses created by a chatbot, which is only as good as the knowledge centre its programmed with.
Humans bring the added empathy and can show the compassion that customers crave when they want to connect to a brand. Humans can empathically adapt their response and, ultimately, that customer experience can decide whether or not they return.
AI works at its best when it doesn’t replace the human interaction but enhances it. And when the lines of human interaction and artificial intelligence are blurred so much you can’t tell them apart and they become a part of your everyday.
Simple yet powerful examples of this are the algorithms of streaming platforms that suggest which series you should binge next based on your previous watch history. A second is chatbots reading customer sentiment based on just a few keywords and acting like a traffic cop directing customers to the most appropriate sales agent.
With more data, comes better analysis of a person’s needs and in turn, an opportunity to provide more products and services based on their feedback or historical usage.
Understanding your clients' needs is about creating empathy and therefore the human connection to your brand.