New research reveals the fundamental role of AI in transforming the CX landscape

New global research from MIT SMR Connections, sponsored by SAS, has uncovered the fundamental role analytics and AI is set to have in transforming the CX landscape.

Delivering Experiences That Win Business and Build Loyalty: CX Champions Share Their Strategies’, found that more than 40 per cent of respondents planned to increase CX technology investments as much as 25 per cent over the next two years. Similarly, 35 per cent expected to boost investment by up to 50 per cent from current levels.

CX champions lead the pack in terms of sophisticated use of analytics and AI, with more than 80 per cent of CX champions making significant use of analytics throughout the customer journey. In fact, champions are more than three times as likely to rely on AI than Laggards, where it’s less than 40 per cent.

Champions are also ahead of the game when it comes to adoption of CX technology, in fact some tools will be nearly ubiquitous for CX champions within the next two years. The research found that 86 per cent will have adopted personalisation technology, while 84 per cent will have adopted real-time data collection. Eighty-one per cent will have adopted AI-powered chatbots and 72 per cent connected omnichannel experiences.

The lion’s share of so-called CX champions are IT and telecom companies and this sector is the most aggressive user of many CX technology tools. Despite plans for CX technology investments, financial services entities have yet to move ahead of industries at large.

Retail and consumer goods companies, on the other hand, are significantly ahead of industries overall in use of smart assistants embedded in phones and tablets, and slightly ahead in use of live chat, personalisation technology, use of AI chatbots, and providing immersive experiences. But they are still behind other industries in developing interconnected omnichannel experiences — a must-have in the minds of most consumers.

Commenting on the findings of the research, Steve Perks, Customer Intelligence Practice, SAS said:

“It’s imperative that companies have a clear roadmap on where and how to get a return from investing in CX technology. MIT cautions against ‘random acts of technology’ because value is created only when the technology helps to address a particular issue and fulfil customer expectations. In today’s world organisations need to be prioritising technology that enables them to capture digital activity at a customer level, and dynamically manage those individual customers by incorporating analytics and AI into actionable real-time decisions.”

Antonio Grasso, founder and CEO of the digital transformation consultancy Digital Business Innovation stressed the importance of CX tech, telling MIT; “We have the technology to achieve real-time insights, which are essential to adapt to a changing customer landscape. Our world is accelerating so much that companies also need to rely on real-time insight to manage and improve CX.”

The research also found that champions are significantly more likely to leverage “smart” approaches to improve CX, including “smart” assistants embedded in goods and services. They also expect to outpace the competition in their use of edge computing, leveraging its ability to boost real-time analytics.

For more information visit SAS Customer Intelligence.

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