Companies operating in the last decade have felt the pressure of the evolutionary maxim: adapt or die. Adapt to a rapid technological revolution which includes digital transformation, market disruption, and the use of artificial intelligence as a tool not only for business but for the consumer. Yet while consumers have quickly accepted the use of AI in their daily lives, companies are still struggling to see consumers as the driving force in AI implementation. Inability to do this will leave once strong companies behind to face AI natural selection.
Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute report The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts with Artificial Intelligence focuses on how consumers want to interact with AI. Since AI is already proving its value to customers, it should also be valued by companies. The report gives companies insight into how to effectively gear their AI implementation towards success with consumers.
73% of consumers realize that they are interacting with AI on a regular basis. They are leaning into the world of AI and allowing themselves to benefit from it. They enjoy using their smart speaker as it makes their life a bit easier. They like that chatbots can help them at any time. AI has already begun to make their lives easier. Because of these positive interactions, consumers are open to the possibilities that increased AI innovation allow, such as a digital alter ego.
“I think I would be good with it making appointments for me… I am good with anything that is going to make my life a little bit easier.”
Although they are open to AI, consumers do not want it to take over every part of traditional human interaction. They see value in AI-only and Human-only interactions. The lower the product consideration, the more likely consumers are to use AI-only to purchase. But overall, consumers want a mix of both. This makes it possible to get the best of both worlds.
“I could buy a car online via a virtual assistant… but if I have a car accident and need to deal with my insurance company, I would find human interaction more assuring.”
There are costs and benefits of using AI that consumers are forced to weigh. It makes their lives easier, but in doing so it allows companies more data. Data breaches and misuse live in the forefront of consumers’ minds. Consumers want to know where their information is going. They are wary of companies collecting their private information and selling it without their knowledge. More than 75% of consumers want transparency from companies implementing AI.
66% of customers also want organizations to be upfront and clear when an AI system is in place. However, only one third of company executives believe this to be true. How could a company possibly survive if they are not listening to what consumers want?
AI implementation will have clear winners and losers. Winners will break away from the pack through their understanding of consumer attitude toward AI. These leaders already see themselves as AI-first companies that innovate to meet the needs of their customers. They understand that the customer experience is an important investment.
Head of Technology Innovation at Telecon Italia, Enrico Maria Bagnasco explains, “We actually start from the most relevant need on the customer side, and we build the knowledge into the virtual agent based on this.”
Organizations successfully using AI see it increasing influence, boost sales and generate insights. Customers who have positive interactions with AI seem more willing to reward these experiences with more business. The positive use of AI changes customers into advocates for the brand. But only 7% of businesses surveyed fell into the successful AI implementation category.
“For serious organizations, the key metric of success shouldn’t be organizational transformation, but customer experience transformation,” says MIT’s Michael Scharge.
Over 90% of companies surveyed do not see AI as a customer-first initiative. Instead, they see AI as “capabilities out” instead of “customers in.” 62% of companies care more about the cost of implementing AI systems than the experience of their customers. There seems to be a disconnect between the attitude of companies and consumers regarding AI. 59% of companies are more fixated with implementing AI to see expected ROI, while only 7% are focused on solving customer pain points. These numbers do not lean toward sustainable business growth.
The difference in the way organizations approach AI means that there will be winners and losers. The DTI report study reflects on where customers find value in using AI. If consumers are comfortable with AI they will begin to demand that from business, and those businesses that cannot provide run the risk of falling behind.
Read more by downloading the report here.