The latest 2022 Odigo-Davies Hickman tracking research, involving 1,035 European business leaders, explores the impact of 11 different applications of artificial intelligence for customer experience (AI for CX) across Belgium/Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
Customer service professionals are the loudest advocates of AI
This 2022 research indicates that the executives most interested in AI-based solutions and innovations are located within the customer service function whereas previous research showed those most interested were IT professionals. Customer service executives are now clearly understanding and appreciating the potential of AI and are developing ways to apply this technology to their customer experience issues. These ideas go beyond the use of chatbots which executives agree need more development.
CX is a top priority for business executives
European business executives acknowledge there are areas in their customer service delivery and contact centres which require improvement. 79% of executives want to offer better support to their customers (up from 70% in 2021), 75% of executives agree it is useful if AI supports agents in optimising their efficiency (up from 69% in 2021) and 68% of executives see the value in investing in cloud technology for their contact centres (up from 62% in 2021). The research confirms that European executives believe AI can bring significant changes to their customer relations, agents’ experiences and organisations’ goals.
A surge in AI investments for CX
Of the 74% of European businesses which have invested in AI solutions, Spain is the clear leader in AI adoption with 81% of Spanish business leaders investing in AI for CX, compared to the UK (76%), Germany (73%) France (72%) and Belgium/Netherlands (65%). In addition, the research indicates that some sectors have made championing AI for better CX an industry-wide standard. This applies particularly to media and consumer electronics (87%) and financial services (85%). Only the public sector and charities are less likely to have used AI for CX.
Mapping the expected benefits
Of those executives who have already invested in AI for CX, 89% agreed that their investment has been successful. Overall, 71% of executives believe AI will improve their brands’ interactions with customers (up from 66% in 2021). In addition, the use of AI is expected to decrease operational costs and improve competitive advantage. The majority of executives who haven’t yet deployed AI for CX agree that their organisation will be investing in AI for CX. More than 6 out of 10 executives are convinced by its benefits and that their adoption of AI for CX will have an important part to play in the future success of their business.
Suddenly the future is here
Undertaking market research is essential for understanding where we are and where we could be. It is a useful tool in preparing for the future. Sometimes the results can be positive, sometimes the results can be negative. As part of our Odigo-Davies Hickman research we asked business executives if AI hype is real? 55% of those surveyed feel it is heavily hyped, yet 1 in 2 agree that they have heard more positive than negative information about AI.
Whatever your own views of AI for CX, explore Odigo’s eBook (the first in a series of three) about how technology can turn around customers’ experiences at: https://www.odigo.com/en-gb/blog-and-resources/resource/six-ways-to-improve-cx-using-ai/ .