Home Customer Experience AI Isn’t an IT Project

Customer Experience AI Isn’t an IT Project

The global pandemic has illuminated many shortcomings of business today. One example is the lack of infrastructure to seamlessly provide world-class customer experience and give prospects the necessary information — like receiving healthcare, paying bills, securing or altering travel and more.

But interest and adoption of on-demand experiences are rising as it’s proven to have near-double digit sales lifts. However, incorporating new technology is a process involving many moving pieces. The IT department often leads these types of initiatives, but have they been the gatekeeper too long? 

While it may sound counterintuitive at first, IT shouldn’t own user experiences. Despite a smooth implementation and the abundance of customer data available, initiatives like conversational experiences that facilitate on-demand engagement fail because of misplaced department priorities. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Especially today, customers want to engage with your brand. They just need to be able to do it on their own time and terms, not waiting hours in a queue to speak with a call-center rep. AI can meet this need head-on, giving everyone time back in their day to focus on what matters.

Alignment of Business Outcomes and Priorities 

When speaking on the importance of a technology’s features and capabilities, IT and customer experience teams will have different perspectives and goals.

While IT might obsess over the natural language understanding (NLU) intricacies or backend integrations, customer experience leads will tie in their own business problems and practical outcomes for success.

While both parties are focused on accessible data and insights, customer experience teams are more keenly aware of the importance of personalization because they see the role it plays in fostering meaningful engagements.

Additionally, investment in technology often begs the question, should this solution be built or bought?

Those companies that can build technology are an elite group, as there is a vast field of knowledge required to build a user experience that works — which is why companies often resort to partners and third-party providers.

But this is not without its hiccups. Vendors still need to understand design, and content to make on-demand experiences seamless and relevant. 

For a guiding light: Solve user pain points and enable effortless experiences. Without this, teams may run in circles and lose ROI because of technical tangents and playthings.

Deploy Technology on Use Cases that Matter

It’s common for AI to go through “practice runs” with proof of concepts or pilots. Unfortunately, these rarely make the cut for high-quality outputs.

Often, these runs don’t face the unique complexities of real-world engagement, like curveball, unrelated or multi-faceted questions from users. Practically speaking, the success of AI completing just a single-task is hardly going to be worth the time and cost investment.

For on-demand conversations, practicality is key. Only when stakeholders and customer teams see AI deliver a wide-scope, will everyone think bigger about what is possible. 

It’s not that IT, sales, marketing or experience teams want to hinder a business outcome. Everyone simply has their own goals on their shoulders and this reality muddies the water.

When customer satisfaction, revenue generation, and reduced costs are the goals of experience design, the company is much more likely to see the business impact. 

UX is the Driving Force 

The next couple of years will yield mixed results for conversational AI deployment.

Many companies are placing too much weight on their IT team and pushing UX experts to the wayside.

A brighter future exists for brands that empower their experience teams to lead deployments. This shift will create a true competitive advantage and provide the on-demand experiences customers expect.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Evan Kohn
CBO, Head of Marketing

"Evan drove Pypestream’s growth from stealth concept in 2015 to the market leader in conversational AI today. He is the creator of PypePro℠, an AI onboarding methodology used by Fortune 500 firms. A digital marketing and CX leader, Evan has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, VentureBeat, and Newsweek. Evan’s background includes leadership roles in venture-backed Silicon Valley startups and strategy consulting. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College and master's degrees from the London School of Economics and Columbia University.

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