Reimagining the Customer Experience with AI: A Harvard Business Review Study

A good customer experience allows companies to retain their customers but also to reach others thanks to the positive feedback that the former post on their sites. For 70% of consumers, the customer experience is as important as the product or service offered for sale according to a 2021 study. Harvard Business Review conducted a study for Genesys entitled “Beyond Net Promoter Score: Customer Experience Measurement Reimagined” for measure customer experience in a different way.

Since the start of the pandemic, the customer experience has changed a lot. A survey conducted by Genesys found that a third of global consumers have interacted with chatbots, voice robots and self-service tools in the past year.

For companies, understanding and continuously improving the customer experience has become as important as developing better products, innovation, supply chain management or marketing.
Yet the measurement of this experience has not changed. Companies use traditional metrics based on satisfaction surveys or the Net Promoter Score, which indicates the probability that a customer will recommend them to their acquaintances.

Richard Charette, chief of staff, research and strategy, for experience design at Wells Fargo & Co, explains:

“Due to the speed with which digital channels have grown and transformed during the pandemic, it was difficult to immediately put in place the tools and strategies needed to track customer experience measurement. »

The benefits that AI can bring to the customer experience

The digitalization of workflows and interactions can bring a lot of information to the customer journey, the data generated continuously informs the customer experience.

Artificial intelligence tools like predictive analytics, sentiment analysis, natural language processing (NLP), provide detailed insights into employee-customer interactions, enabling targeted coaching opportunities for managers. Real-time perception analysis allows employees to course-correct Predictive algorithms detect a customer’s intent and direct them to the right content or person and improve their sentiment.

Yet less than one in five of the 438 companies that responded to the survey say their organization plans to deploy artificial intelligence (17%) or predictive analytics (15%) tools in the next 18 months to measure customer experience (if not already using it).

Some organizations, like TransUnion, have already made the investment. In particular, TransUnion uses NLP to analyze the millions of calls it receives from customers each year, to find out the reason for their call and whether they are satisfied at the end of each interaction. It also employs this technology to analyze social media content. Jill Herriott, Customer Experience & Marketing Executive, at TransUnion, says:

“You need to understand what moments matter most to the customer, and then identify the highs and lows of the customer experience IN those moments. That doesn’t mean measuring every little thing (if you do that, you’re going to get overwhelmed and won’t know what to focus on). You need to focus on the moments that best fit your brand, then make sure you deliver really what you promise in these areas. It takes a lot of orchestration across functions and disciplines. »

Understanding customer satisfaction

The study ranked companies according to their level of understanding of customer satisfaction:

  • 28% of companies have a good understanding of customer satisfaction and are leaders in customer experience;
  • 43% are followers;
  • 29% latecomers;

Leaders monitor customer reviews much more closely than followers and laggards, and demonstrate more empathy through customer relationship management software and other technologies, such as artificial intelligence. On the other hand, they encourage good behavior and focus on channel consistency.

Survey results

49% of companies rely on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) strategy to manage their customer relationship, compared to 53% among leaders. However, only 30% of them have the necessary tools and 21% of engagement measurement solutions.

Advanced technologies, such as AI, sentiment analysis, predictive analysis, NLP, authentication tools or usability testing are used by less than 20% of the companies in the study, but the leaders use it more.

Almost half of companies (49%) plan to invest in customer experience measurement. 47% of organizations want to improve their customer empathy, the percentage rises to 61% among leaders. They also want to invest in the training of customer services, 45% in total and 56% of leaders.

When asked what are the biggest challenges with customer experience measurement methods currently in use, 39% of companies said that these are difficult to action, 36% that it is difficult to measure key points of the customer journey and 31% are not convinced that customer experience is linked to business results.

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Reimagining the Customer Experience with AI: A Harvard Business Review Study

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