Mark de Groot, Digital CX Evangelist at Oracle
I meet with hundreds of customers a year and I’ve only seen very early stages of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. More of a trendy buzzword than a mainstream practice; Gartner predicts AI will be one of the top 10 strategic technology trends in 2018. If companies incorporate AI with their digital transformation strategies, what will be the big issues for companies of all sizes to work with AI?
Natural language dialogue systems keep improving and will affect how customers will engage with smart devices and the Internet. Language matching and dialogue modelling will understand you and enable more natural, human-like conversations. Then about five years from now, we’ll see AI-intelligent machines such as automated driving and robotics. AI is going to create the next wave of digital disruption. Companies should be ready for the three main challenges: the customer perspective, data, and the human touch
First, companies should shift their perspective to the customer instead of focusing on the tooling. The business driver is customer experience and there’s no better way to improve this than through AI. Robotic advisors, chatbots, active notifications and product recommendations are all examples of how AI is improving the customer experience. Start with the customer in mind by taking a closer look at your customer journeys and determine if you provide customers the most relevant options at all stages.
Data, Data Data!!!
The second challenge that I see is the lack of a strong data strategy. AI is only as good as the data it uses. Therefore, your data management will play a crucial role for implementing an effective AI strategy and ensure your (big) data is right, reliable and secure. The goal is to take a connected platform approach. If you’re using different point systems and have a bolt-on integration approach, your environment will stay fragmented and your AI projects will suffer. By adopting a platform perspective, you can create a strong, scalable foundation for innovation and deliver a superior customer experience.
The Human Touch
Finally, never lose sight of the human touch. AI doesn’t replace human interaction. But, based on the customer journey exercise, your AI strategy should offer a consistent personal experience across touchpoints. Machines process numbers and humans focus on the creative personal tasks where they excel. Together, people and machines can bring a digital transformation that neither can manage alone.
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