Software provider Redpoint Global has carried out research on consumers' perceptions of artificial intelligence and machine learning in customer experience. As many as 45% of consumers don't understand how these technologies are used, while 73% believe they can impact customer experience, especially in digital settings. Nearly half of the respondents (48%) would use AI more often if it made their customer experience with a brand smoother and more convenient.
The human aspect is paramount in how consumers view AI. According to the survey, 77% of consumers believe that positive customer experience still requires human interaction, and 58% want companies to be transparent about when they use AI. If AI communication with a customer is inconsistent across different channels, 76% of consumers are less likely to trust and continue engaging with the brand.
On the bright side, AI positively impacts the customer experience in website, mobile, text/SMS, and in-store interactions, according to a third of consumers, while a quarter of consumers also see improvements in email and phone interactions. Although most users see chatbots as the best way to leverage AI to improve customer experience, 70% still prefer human interaction.
“As AI technology evolves and moves into more aspects of the customer experience, brands have to focus even more on delivering a frictionless consumer experience. Positive CX outcomes depend on access to relevant customer information in real-time as consumers navigate between channels, AI and human interaction. Consumers are quick to pick up on inconsistencies as evidence that brands simply do not understand them and will move their business elsewhere. The fragmentation may be driven by different decision criteria, or different data being accessible at different points in a journey, but for consumers, it is one and the same – a negative experience,” said John Nash, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Redpoint Global.
Different generations have different opinions towards AI, as Gen Z and Millennials are more confident in how brands use AI than Gen X and Boomers. All generations agree they would use AI if it could solve problems faster than waiting for a human representative. However, 42% of Gen Z respondents are still the most comfortable interacting with AI before human interaction. Also, according to 57% of consumers, the pandemic has had a huge impact on the acceptance of AI throughout industries.
Consumers believe there are several benefits to using AI. For instance, 54% believe AI protects their personal information, with younger generations (66% of Gen Z) believing this impact to be even greater. Additionally, 26% of consumers find AI's ability to help brands quickly identify solutions or trigger actions in the customer journey to be the most beneficial.