Powering the customer experience with AI and data

Poor customer experience can cost businesses a significant portion of their revenue. For enterprises in Southeast Asia, this could amount to up to 14% of their revenue, or US$165 billion, according to research by Qualtrics XM Institute.

While this figure alone should command attention, the fact that up to 60% of surveyed individuals reduced or completely ceased spending with brands due to poor customer experience should serve as a wake-up call.

Standing out with brand evangelism

In this age of AI and omnichannel customer experiences, good customer experience is now par for the course. However, organisations must continue to create value for customers, foster brand loyalty, and transform them into brand evangelists.

Understanding customers, increasing engagement, and being responsive are key to creating evangelists. Enterprises can harness the power of AI to cultivate these extremely loyal customers.

Tapping on AI to create customer value

AI has gained traction, thanks in part to technologies like ChatGPT and DALL-E, which can produce content nearly indistinguishable from that created by humans, such as computer code, essays, and even jokes. With generative AI serving as a catalyst, interest in AI has permeated the business world. Organisation leaders are keen to determine whether it’s a fleeting trend or a transformative opportunity. According to IDC’s latest Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, organisational spending on AI in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) is projected to reach US$49.2 billion by 2026.

There are many applications of AI, but at present, generative AI shows the most potential for innovative enterprise use cases. For instance, customers can ask AI-based virtual assistants for technical queries about products, either to inform future purchases or resolve existing issues. When equipped with relevant data and context, these assistants can provide accurate information much faster than a human can. As their AI models mature, enterprises may employ them for more complex tasks, such as helping customers identify and repair equipment faults.

Using AI to automate the more basic or mundane customer experience tasks also enables organisations to devote more staff and resources to areas requiring human interaction or pursue higher-value opportunities such as potential sales.

These examples merely scratch the surface of what generative AI can achieve in an enterprise setting and how it can enhance customer experience.

Leveraging your data to deliver exceptional customer experiences

It’s crucial to remember that delivering exceptional customer experiences requires enterprises to derive value from their data. Analysing historical trends and patterns in customer behaviour enables enterprises to anticipate customer needs and proactively offer more personalised products and services.

However, even as enterprises recognise the importance of data in bolstering customer loyalty, they often encounter challenges in collecting, organising, integrating, and analysing it. These challenges can be exacerbated when large enterprises have data dispersed globally across both public and private clouds.

One of Southeast Asia’s leading banks, OCBC Bank, addressed this issue by implementing a unique hybrid cloud solution. This cloud-agnostic, hybrid data platform enabled the bank’s data scientists to work with various applications and access a broad range of OCBC’s structured and unstructured data across different cloud environments, all while maintaining data security. As a result, OCBC could leverage AI and machine learning to deliver over 100 different personalised alerts via its mobile banking app, achieving click-through rates of up to 50%.

This increased access to data also means that organisations must be able to trust their data. Because AI is only as good as the data it is trained on. By ensuring that their data is up to date, accurate, and free of bias, organisations can have confidence in the insights and outputs generated by their AI models.

Brand trust is imperative. Brand evangelists have faith that their preferred brand will meet their expectations and deliver on its promises, encouraging repeat business. Similarly, trust in data is just as essential to an enterprise. By ensuring their data is reliable and readily accessible, enterprises can depend on this data to inform their AI models, thereby enhancing customer experience.