COPC Inc, a customer experience consulting firm, and Execs in The Know, a community of customer experience professionals, have announced the release of the 2018 corporate edition of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) series. The report, entitled “CX Journey: Understanding Corporate Strategies and Best Practices,” provides customer experience management insights from the corporate perspective. A key finding is that, since 2017, companies have dramatically increased their use of AI-powered solutions for customer service.
“Our new corporate report shows that companies see tremendous potential in AI-powered solutions for customer care, both in applications that are customer-facing and in those that assist call center agents with their work,” says Kyle Kennedy, President and Chief Operating Officer at COPC Inc. “However, we also know from previous research that customers want a quick and easy way out of any AI-powered solution to reach a live person. Our findings overwhelmingly show that companies are keenly aware of this necessity in any customer-facing application. And while customers still want that personal interaction, we think that AI-powered solutions will find their appropriate place in the service journey.”
Back in September 2018, COPC also released a consumer edition of the survey, entitled “Consumer Insight: CX—Understanding Consumer Experiences and Opinions.” The report featured an extensive field of customer experiences and opinions in terms of unassisted channels. The survey highlighted that the resolution rate of multichannel engagements remains high at 75 percent, but satisfaction with multichannel experience remains only at 57 percent. 30 percent of surveyed customers also viewed interactive care such as online chat as the most convenient, which was a 20 percent jump since 2015. These findings indicate that businesses need to improve and integrate artificial intelligence in their organizations to best support customers.
In addition to AI content, the corporate edition (of the) report also includes survey results on key topics such as aligning brand culture with a customer-first strategy and providing a consistent experience across customer service channels. Specific findings include:

  • Interest in and budget for AI-powered solutions for customer care expanded at a rapid pace year-over-year. In 2017, only 17 percent of brands had incorporated AI into their customer care business. In 2018, this rate nearly doubled to 30 percent.
  • About half of all brands with AI-powered solutions are deploying both agent-assisting and customer-facing solutions.
  • Fewer than half of survey respondents claimed a cohesive alignment between their brand’s culture and their leadership’s customer-first strategy.
  • Only one in 10 brands think they are doing a good job of providing consistency across channels. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of all brands had no initiatives to improve their cross-channel consistency. Creating greater consistency across channels represents a huge opportunity for companies to improve the customer experience.
These key takeaways indicate a positive trend in organizations’ attitude towards utilizing AI solutions for their businesses. However, there are still a number of companies that have already realized the necessity of AI but hesitate to officially work on it. Even though more companies are moving towards AI-powered solutions, less than half of them manage to establish a culture that follows the customer-first strategy.
Without this culture, people in the organization may fail to deliver efficient customer care consistently across channels, no matter how powerful the AI solutions they currently employ. It is like having good sword but not knowing how to swing it right.

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