Artificial intelligence as MVP: Shoot for 3 practical ways to score CX points

The NCAA Women’s March Madness tournament had everyone on the edge of their seats. Phenomenal players like Caitlin Clark drew crowds and high TV ratings alike by providing the ultimate experience for spectators and fans (myself included).

As players like Clark and Angel Reese launch their WNBA professional careers, the hype has only intensified. Clark's debut for the Indiana Fever drew 2.1 million viewers across all platforms—making it the most-watched WNBA game to date on ESPN.

Just like women’s basketball, customer experience (CX) has found its own MVP to change the game: artificial intelligence. With AI, CX can deliver the ultimate experience for customers and create lifelong fans of your brand.

The optimal way to leverage AI technologies to improve agent performance, enhance customer interactions and drive business results relies on the triple threat of a unified interaction-centric platform, the convergence of rich CX capabilities and AI purpose-built for CX.

Research success group nearly 2 times as likely to use AI extensively for customer and employee interactions

What’s all the AI hubbub about?

Maybe you feel like the hype surrounding AI is just that—a lot of hype. But customer experience leaders’ confidence is behind an increase in AI adoption as they report proven benefits across the business. Simply put—AI has game.

Metrigy’s 2024 AI for Business Success global research study found AI adoption in the workplace surged to over 40% in 2023—signaling a growing recognition of AI's potential to enhance efficiencies, elevate customer experience and drive business growth in a competitive landscape.

The study found successful companies spend more on AI than non-successful companies, saving time and resources. In fact, AI resolves an average of 41% of interactions without live agent support, saves 35% on after-call work and makes calls 35% to 39% shorter.

In addition, Omdia’s recent Mind the Gap study found:

  • 62% of agents say they engage more proactively with AI
  • 84% of consumers say AI will improve CX
  • 94% of contact centers have deployed or plan to deploy agent assist in the next 12-18 months

Over the past few years, businesses across various industries and sizes have significantly increased their investment in AI technology. But Aberdeen reports only 35% of organizations feel fully satisfied with their capacity to leverage data for effective decision-making.

Impediments to achieving true CX AI fluency in your organization can vary, but data integration is the main culprit. Why? Omdia found:

  • 48% cannot integrate data from disparate sources
  • 47% said data isn’t accessible
  • 44% spend too much time querying data

The bottom line is ultimate CX simply is unattainable if you’re struggling with data silos. Only AI that’s purpose-built for CX can really deliver a slam dunk for an overall better customer experience.

With inspiration from Caitlin Clark’s famous three-pointers, let’s look at the three leading ways to leverage CX AI to fully capture its power and potential to augment agent experiences, automate more customer interactions and assist agents.

1. Perfect the no-look pass: What AI can do to ease the load

Called a no-look pass, Caitlin Clark thrills fans by moving the ball behind her back without looking at the recipient. The element of strategy and efficiency is similar to how AI can work in customer service. AI technology automating after-call work (ACW) can help agents by summarizing interactions and updating data.

In fact, what is so powerful about AI in this scenario is all you need to do is turn it on like a switch. You don’t have to train your agents to do anything. It appears in their agent desktop—in a single pane of glass—and they’ll see the auto summary, yet they continue to be the human in the loop so they are empowered to read the summary, save it. The as structured data automatically reportable in interaction analytics as well as in CRMs.

That’s the exponential power of AI. The immediate benefit is saving all this time, but the long-term effect includes adding a bounty of structured data to your analytics, allowing reporting instead of having to write queries.

Here are the top ways CX AI works like a no-look pass.

Surprise and efficiency

Just as a no-look pass distracts defenders to make the play more effective, AI can automate routine tasks to essentially “surprise” agents with time saved and overall efficiency.

Trust and teamwork

Agents trust AI to accurately handle ACW, fostering a collaborative environment where AI and human agents complement each other just as a no-look pass relies on trust between teammates to know the receiver will be in the right spot.

Quick decision-making

A no-look pass requires fast, instinctive decision-making to execute the pass correctly similar to how CX AI can analyze conversations in real-time and make swift updates to records, enabling agents to focus on more complex tasks without hesitation.

Enhanced play and service quality

AI for CX improves quality by ensuring accurate and timely documentation so agents can dedicate more attention to customer interactions much like a no-look pass enhances the play's fluidity and effectiveness on the court.

Skill augmentation

A no-look pass highlights a player's advanced skill set, adding an element of sophistication to the game. Similarly, AI for CX augments agents’ capabilities by handling repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on strategic and high-value interactions.

Leveraging AI for after-call work (ACW) saves time, ensures consistency and accuracy, enhances customer experience, increases agent satisfaction and adds scalability to support business growth without compromising service quality.

AI's role in customer service is akin to the finesse of a no-look pass in basketball—seemingly magical yet grounded in practical benefits that enhance overall performance and satisfaction. By focusing on these tangible advantages, businesses can harness AI's potential to transform their customer service operations.

2. High-reward play: How CX AI delivers the power to change the game

Caitlin Clark is known for her shots from the logo—or a deep three-point shot from the area near the half-court logo on the court.

It's a high-reward play that can energize a team and excite fans due to the extraordinary skill and confidence required to score from such a distance.

CX AI is the power you need for equally impressive range and accuracy. Both shooting from the logo and automating customer interactions serve as strategic moves to truly change the game.

For example, Metrigy found that AI is helping resolve 41% of interactions without live agent support. That’s a major time saver.

With CX AI you can automate more interactions from half-court so to speak, before they ever reach a live agent. Using CX AI you can advance from rule based chatbots to human-like conversational AI to resolve more interactions. Incorporating top capabilities of CX AI can parallel a shot from the logo in the following ways.

Game-changing potential

A successful logo shot requires precision and expertise, and can energize the crowd—all to shift the momentum in the game. Modern CX technology is a game-changer in much the same way as it allows companies to handle large volumes of inquiries quickly with self-service, reducing wait times and enabling agents to handle more complex issues.

Precision and execution

Making a logo shot requires precise calculation of distance, angle and power. That level of play comes from hours of practice as well as innate talent. In addition, it takes the know-how of recognizing the right moment to make a move, often when the shot clock is winding down or to put points on the scoreboard.

Training AI to understand, interpret the context of inquiries and provide relevant responses is critical. Choosing a unified CX AI platform coalesces important data—creating an awareness of the individual situation much like in basketball.

3. Seamless shooting right off the dribble: AI delivers real-time results

Caitlin Clark is also known for her seamless shooting while in motion—right off the dribble where she takes the shot immediately without pausing. You can use CX AI to assist your agents in real time, and make it easier than ever for them to deliver great experiences every time without missing a beat.

Gen AI is so powerful, you need technology that has the capability to put up guardrails and leverage the most appropriate LLMs for customer service. You want a partner who’s not just jumping on the generative AI bandwagon but offers the depth and breadth necessary. You also need access to out-of-the box models that can be used from day 1—so you’re shooting off the dribble.

Swift response

Just as a player needs to make quick decisions and adapt, CX AI helps agents respond swiftly and flexibly to customer inquiries and problems. The accuracy required to make a shot off the dribble mirrors the need for customer service agents to provide precise, accurate information promptly.

Quick adaptation

When a customer presents a unique problem, CX AI can pivot quickly to adapt—just like a player adjusts their shot based on the defender’s position. Handling inquiries on live chat or phone calls often requires providing immediate solutions—similar to the immediate execution of a shot off the dribble.

Effective tools at fingertips

Organizations can create a winning lineup of communication channels, applications, data, and knowledge all onto a single open cloud platform for advanced capabilities so agents can be all stars. 

In customer service, shooting right off the dribble symbolizes the ability to handle customer interactions dynamically and effectively. It emphasizes the importance of agility, precision, and confidence, enabling an excellent customer experience amid rapidly changing and challenging situations.

Assisting agents in real time delivers real results, 61% of CX leaders have seen improved CSAT from using agent assist.

Agent attrition also is a real concern as agents get more and more challenging customer requests. Metrigy’s research found that agent assist solutions help reduce attrition by 29%.

Take the next steps to score CX AI points

CX AI is the MVP of the customer experience journey, but only if it features the following capabilities:

  • All inputs and CX interactions managed on a single platform
  • With AI models built from industry-specific CX data
  • That are consistently applied on all interactions across the entire CX Journey
  • On a platform for managing AI inputs
  • CX AI embedded across the entire CCaaS suite

NICE CXone is the only CX AI platform offering everything needed to orchestrate and optimize modern interactions. CXone is built to manage all customer interactions and conversations—from voice to digital messaging to chatbots and social—on a unified platform.

This is where CXone stands out from other platforms that have a limited scope, like managing social media, or simply managing transactions, such as CRMs.

In addition, NICE has converged its best-of-breed applications onto CXone, including all the channels, data, and knowledge, putting everything needed to manage the sophistication of interactions on a single cloud platform.

NICE has Enlighten AI embedded across the entire CXone platform. To help customers achieve business outcomes, NICE continuously innovates with Enlighten embedded across CXone.

With CXone you gain a unified data layer, bringing together both platform and external data, to deliver a 360-degree view of the customer experience.

If you are thinking about how to bring AI into your operations, having a holistic data approach is crucial for AI to analyze and derive insight from every interaction.

Enlighten, the world's first and only AI built specifically for CX, combines the latest generative AI technology with our 30-plus years of CX interaction data to deliver specialized AI that is:

  • Highly precise and trained on billions of customer interactions—not the open internet like a public AI models
  • Operationalized, with pre-built domain-specific AI models for CX
  • Brand-aligned to enforce and promote a company's business goals (because it uses dynamic knowledge to manage the AI)

Partnering with NICE helps your organization achieve real results with CX AI—such as boosting agent productivity by 25% with AI-powered assistance, improving CSAT by 34% year over year and eliminating multiple point solutions to manage brands with one unified platform.

These are real-world examples of results derived from augmenting agent experiences, automating more consumer interactions and assisting agents using the power of CX AI. When you’re CX AI ready, you can make a lasting difference, including efficiencies, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

When you’re ready to score CX AI points, watch the webinar where I go into detail about the advantages. Read the Drive Results with AI-powered CX report from Aberdeen Strategy & Research to learn more about how to lower costs, boost revenue and create happy customers.