AI, CX and the Future of Business: Insights from Alterian Product Director Alex Thompson

The role of AI in the business world has never been more pivotal. In this article, Alterian Product Director Alex Thompson explores the intersection of innovation, technology, and customer-centricity and the impact AI will have on the future of customer experience.

Alex Thompson

  1. AI-driven technologies have already had a major impact on the customer experience. Considering the ongoing advancements in AI, how do you foresee these tools further enhancing customer journeys in the future?

There are many exciting things on the horizon. For one, AI that is equally versed in the needs of the customer as it is the goal of the business is set to have huge benefits, a big one being increased empathy for each individual and their situation. Basically, there’s an opportunity to create somewhat of a digital twin of each customer that understands exactly what they need down to an individual level. In practice this means the added context from the customer’s perspective and the journey they are on which will elevate AI based personalization beyond the more single dimension based on the brands view of that person that organizations have today by incorporating the customers’ needs too. Additionally, the impact of AI automation is only strengthening and going forward will further streamline and optimize all aspects of the customer journey, from initial inquiries to post-purchase support.


  1. Let’s talk about something every business cares about: reducing costs and boosting efficiency. How can AI play a role in helping businesses achieve these critical goals?

Reducing costs and improving efficiency are top priorities for business leaders, and AI is the game-changing tool for this. AI revolutionizes work by enhancing productivity in content creation, critical thinking, data analysis, and even coding.

AI tools make individuals 46% more efficient at basic tasks and identify inefficiencies in processes and operations. AI spots bottlenecks and streamlines workflows quickly, driving operational efficiency.

For example, AI-powered analytics enable smarter, data-driven decisions, cutting costs and optimizing performance. AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants transform customer support by handling inquiries efficiently, freeing up human resources, and enhancing customer experience.

In short, AI is essential for businesses to reduce costs and improve efficiency, leveraging technology to work smarter and deliver greater value.


  1. How can businesses effectively leverage AI automation while maintaining human interaction, empathy and understanding across the customer journey?

AI is a great enabler for human decision. That said, it is not a replacement, and this is because it lacks the wider context of a world that it hasn’t seen in its training data. Yes, AI can quickly spot problems in volumes of customer data in ways that are extremely difficult (almost impossible) for a human. It may even suggest some great next best actions and reveal new opportunities that would otherwise not have been identified. But human input, management, and curation is essential – it is this that provides the necessary layer of empathy and context.


  1. As we look ahead, what hurdles might businesses face when it comes to utilizing AI-driven technology, and how do you propose they navigate these obstacles?

There are a few things that spring to mind. Firstly, data privacy and security. Customers want to know that their data is safe. It’s up to businesses to ensure the technology they use is secure and its outputs are accurate. Additionally, it’s about building trust with customers and ensuring you are transparent, AI-based decisions are explainable, and regulatory compliance is always adhered to.

Additionally, with AI becoming increasingly accessible, it can be tempting for businesses to jump on the bandwagon without fully considering how it aligns with their business needs and market positioning. Businesses must not lose sight of what makes them unique and ensure they have a robust strategy in place when it comes to adopting AI. Further to this is how businesses integrate AI into existing processes and IT systems. It takes careful planning and execution to get it right without causing disruption, along with the right choice of solution and partner.


  1. How can AI-driven predictive analytics evolve to better support proactive CX strategies?

Great question. It’s crucial to have comprehensive data across the customer lifecycle. Leveraging this data allows businesses to train AI models for smarter acquisition decisions and understand their impact on retention and profitability. Enhancing predictive analytics can provide real-time insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs, helping businesses adapt and respond effectively.

Integrating predictive analytics across multiple channels ensures consistent and personalized customer experiences. Additionally, improving sentiment analysis helps understand customer emotions and tailor responses in real-time. Advanced churn prediction models can identify at-risk customers and enable proactive retention efforts, strengthening overall customer relationships.


  1. How will AI-driven personalization shape future customer expectations and preferences?

Content personalization to a 1.1 individual level has always been limited by high productions costs. Up until now that has limited most personalization to a segment-based approach or limited variations of media. Thanks to generative AI, that barrier has now been removed. As its quality continues to improve over the next few years, so too will customers expectation and demand for content that is highly personalized and relevant to them. On top of that, seamless customers are increasingly expecting seamless integration of personalization across channels and devices. AI can help to deliver this at a low cost.


  1. What advice would you give decision-makers to ensure maximum and sustainable success from their AI investments?

Align AI strategy with business objectives and educate the whole business so that everyone is on the same page and understands the path you are on and the objectives going forward. Just as PCs and the internet were a huge productivity boost for companies in the 90s and early 2000s, AI will improve businesses productivity at the same rate (if not more!) over the next few decades. Bringing the whole business on that journey means more opportunities to utilize AI to improve the customer experience and gain a greater competitive advantage.

Beyond that, I’d urge businesses to always measure, test, and iterate. Test, experiment, and seek out feedback from both your customers and employees. This is so important to learning and growth, and the key to achieving the best outcomes. I’d also encourage leaders to focus on scalability and flexibility. What I mean by that is, build solutions and choose AI technology with scalability and flexibility in mind to accommodate future growth and evolving business needs.


  1. Five years from now, how will businesses be utilizing AI to further enhance CX and business performance?

I think generative AI will become commonplace in assisting all aspects of customer interaction from sales right through to support. The benefit for business will be higher efficiency and quality across each interaction. We will likely see a new breed of AI that is deployed by each individual customer emerge that will unlock a whole new area and technology and customer services. At Alterian, we have been researching and developing AI for more than a decade that is specifically designed for customer journeys and aims to give a true reflection of customer needs based on each individual and the journey they are on. In our eyes, this is critical to delivering a customer experience that meets both the aspirations of businesses and need of customers in a way that both can thrive.

Want to find out more about the future of AI and how it can elevate your customer experience and business performance? Get in touch with the Alterian team today.


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