Actionable ways that businesses can start using AI to improve customer experience and employee productivity

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with David DeWolf and Andre Yee at the Voice & AI conference in Washington, D.C. We spoke about business leadership in the AI era, at a time when business has seen a 300% increase in the use of AI in the last 5 years. One of the topics of discussion was around use cases for AI, and finding tangible opportunities to make a business impact. This is something that I’m very passionate about and wanted the opportunity to dive deeper into.

AI powers “ask and get” experiences

At XAPP AI, we use a combination of the AI technologies that are out there to provide what we call an, “ask and get” experience. These are consumer-facing experiences that make it simple and delightful for a user to get the answers to their questions, and get things done, quickly. It can be done in a conversational format through chat, or in a less formal experience, like a search bar.

When users can ask for what they want and get it immediately, it creates a highly satisfying customer experience.

People buy differently today than they used to. For the most part, they don’t want to talk to anyone. They want to handle their own self-service and research. They don’t necessarily trust people acting “on behalf of” a company. That inherent lack of trust trickles down to sharing information. When something pops up and asks for a phone number, people get protective. They don’t want to give their information to get information back. They just want answers to their questions, quickly.

When they’re able to get answers to their questions in a self-service way, that starts to build trust. As the conversation continues, with the user feeling a strong sense of control, they’ll often be more willing to tell you something about themselves and their intentions. From there, it’s a lot easier to drive them to conversion and capture that lead information.

Generative AI is creating a renaissance in productivity

In today’s world, organizations of all sizes are strained to find talented salespeople and customer service people. It’s a problem that exists 24-7 in a world where customer expectations are such that they want answers and support at all hours of the day, every day. 

Every role, every business, every organization, and every use case can be better with generative AI. Whatever your job is, whatever company you work for, you should be asking yourself how generative AI can improve the work that you do. 

CEOS need to think about AI as the exercise room for productivity. You need to get into the exercise room. You need to show the time you’re spending and what you’re doing to use AI to make us as a business or as an organization more productive. It’s that important.

Organizations that are not taking advantage of generative AI will be left in the dust.

Business leaders, even the non-technical ones, can use these tools to do things that add immediate value to the business. Everybody talks about analytics and how much data we have. Data without analysis and understanding isn’t valuable. Using AI to cull through the data and pull out insights allows you to define information from massive amounts of data.

Companies can put guardrails around AI to make it feel less scary.

Handing conversations where people can ask specific questions off to AI can understandably make folks nervous, especially in regulated industries. But we have techniques for how to handle this using prompt engineering that puts guardrails on generative AI. At XAPP AI, part of the guardrail is that we use Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) where we crawl all the content that a business owns. We then only search that content, and use AI to articulate an answer from it. Accuracy is guaranteed and the business can feel confident knowing that the only answers given will be ones culled from information published by their organization. 

The ability to put guardrails on AI technology extends to ethical concerns as well. There are rules to define everything – including how to manage and respond to user inputs in a way that aligns with the values of your business.

Improved productivity makes teams stronger.

Right now we are in a very tight labor market, where it’s hard to find the people needed to do the work that has to get done. The reality is that the “extra” work often falls on the shoulders of the existing employees. When you can use AI to improve their productivity, you are quite literally giving them time back in their days that they would not have otherwise. They’re better positioned to deliver more value to your customers, to have improved work-life balance, and to feel less overwhelmed and overworked. 

Trying something new can be scary. This is one thing that you need to build over time, like a muscle, by experimenting with AI technology and finding creative ways to use it to help solve business problems.

The value to the customer experience is an easy sell. Where people start to get uncomfortable is when we start talking about the productivity use case because it can feel like a roundabout way of discussing replacing people with computers. That can feel scary and intimidating and keeps many businesses from dipping their toes into the generative AI waters. I’d advocate for jumping in with both feet in pursuit of a world where people are better supported by computers through AI.

Contact us to discuss how we can help any size business launch AI-powered search and chat solutions that answer customers’ questions, build trust and capture leads.

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