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Enriching Human Connections with AI

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Image: fizkes - Getty Images
For decades, we’ve made bold predictions for the future of artificial intelligence (AI) — and we’ve often been wrong. Some of our early forecasts were truly outlandish with humanoid assistants who would meet our every need, even companionship. The possibilities captured our imagination, but they also spawned a concern that these superhuman machines would replace us at work and home.
 
Today, we can stop trying to predict the future of AI because it’s here—and it’s nothing like the far-out world we had imagined. It’s much more interesting.
 
In a twist most early predictions failed to consider, contact centers are leading AI adoption—charting a path for others to follow. The transformative power of AI is undeniable for customer experience (CX) leaders who have embraced it. AI boosts speed, improves efficiency, and lightens the load for agents, supervisors, and planners. In a 2021 Genesys survey, 65% of CX leaders who implemented AI solutions noted significant improvements in agent productivity. That’s no surprise given the power of AI to enable self-service, deflect interactions, and predict trends for planning and scheduling.
 
But as AI applications have matured, they’ve also yielded some unexpected benefits. Instead of replacing people, AI empowers them to build and maintain relationships by delivering empathy in every interaction. When CX leaders deploy AI with empathy as a guiding principle, it helps enrich human connections.
 
Additionally, as AI-powered bots increasingly handle simple transactions and requests, they also free human agents to devote more time and attention to complex customer conversations. During those conversations, AI listens to understand the customer’s intent and then presents the agent with helpful information and recommended next steps. As a result, the agent spends less time digging for what they need and more time actively engaging with the customer. Because AI helps the agent anticipate the customer needs and deliver the help they’re looking for, they feel seen and understood.
 
The potential for AI to help us engage with more empathy has arrived just in time. Remote work, globalization, and digital transformation eliminate human touchpoints—while stretching our connections increasingly thin. At the same time, the pace of technology demands that we tackle ever-more-complex problems at a faster rate every day. These new challenges compound pressures on contact centers as customer expectations shift with the changing global economy.
 
Armed with lessons from first-generation AI implementations, today’s savvy CX leaders deploy AI strategically to deliver individualized customer experiences, empower employees to drive their own performance, and connect moments into seamless orchestrated journeys. Those who keep empathy as the guiding principle for AI are reaping big rewards.
 
The track record with AI predictions isn’t great. But I’m willing to bet that if CX leaders continue to use it to understand customers better and empower employees to engage with empathy, AI will do more than drive performance; it’ll enrich our human connections. Learn more about the power and possibility of AI in our “Enriching human connections” e-book.

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