How Big of a Game Changer is AI for Businesses?
You likely already know that customer experience is directly correlated with business success. You also probably have heard a ton about how AI is driving the future of customer experience (CX). What you may not know is how big of a game-changer AI really can be.
A study we conducted with Forrester Consulting found that organizations with a more advanced approach to CX, including leveraging omni-channel and AI technologies, see an increase in revenue and conversion at double the rate of other companies. That’s the definition of game-changing, right?
We also found that as these more “mature” organizations continue to evolve their strategies, they are leaving other companies in the dust. So much so, that if these less mature companies don’t start to make moves, they may never be able to catch-up.
And while that is a bit of a scary notion for those that may be dropping behind, the sky is not falling. The study wasn’t just about separating the leaders from the laggards. We also set out to learn where most companies are today and help them improve their CX posture. We created the Customer Engagement Maturity Assessment which tells businesses where their CX stands on a continuum based on a range of factors: their processes, organization, strategy, technology, and use of AI. We found that most companies fall in the middle – meaning they understand the importance of CX and are making moves, but there is still room for improvement. Even for the ones that were deemed the least mature of the bunch, we found that even incremental improvements can lead to outstanding results.
Greater maturity equals bigger business benefits—especially with AI in the picture.
No matter where an organization is on the scale, there are quantifiable business benefits to increasing maturity, including higher customer satisfaction / NPS, higher conversion rates, increases in both revenue and order size, and greater agent satisfaction. We also found, when comparing results from the same survey conducted a year earlier, that the maturity gap is widening with Experts making greater gains in their customer engagement maturity, at a faster rate.
AI is playing a critical role in helping more mature organizations drive revenue and improve customer experience to a much greater extent than their less mature peers. Those with strong fundamentals of customer engagement see their business metrics skyrocket when they incorporate AI, while those with weaker strategies are unable to capitalize on the efficiencies that AI can bring.
The obstacles to customer engagement maturity
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer engagement, and even the most mature companies still face obstacles. Across the board, surveyed companies struggled in these areas:
- The silo effect: Channels run by separate departments, and modernization efforts led by IT without input from lines of business, result in a fragmented customer experience.
- Channel inconsistency: With consumer experiences become increasingly multichannel, back-end channel management has to be seamless.
- Dead-end data: While Experimenters struggle just to gather feedback across channels, more mature groups have a hard time making sense of the data they do collect and using it to make meaningful improvements.
- Obsolete or inflexible technology: At the low-maturity end of the scale, companies suffer from reliance on obsolete technology. Higher-maturity organizations, meanwhile, struggle to add new digital channels due to rigid digital architectures.
How to increase your customer engagement maturity
The gap between companies that invest in AI-powered customer engagement operations and those that don’t is widening. These technologies are creating a significant competitive advantage for those leading the way and are leaving the rest falling irreparably behind. Now is the time for companies to start thinking about their engagement maturity and what they can do to continually evolve it. Wonder where you fall on the scale? Take the assessment for yourself and find out!
For more detailed findings and analysis of the challenges and implications of customer engagement maturity, and recommendations for improving your customer experience, download the full study here.