Generative AI has topped the list of customer inquiries and conversations that I have been having this year — no surprises there! Interestingly, at least half of them have been about AI in customer service and chatbots, virtual assistants, and knowledge bots for customers, which seem top of mind for most customer service leaders. This makes us wonder if this is the limit of what AI can do for customer service.

I think not.

These are the most obvious and simplest use cases that need the least amount of disruption in existing customer service operations, seen as easily done and deemed relatively safe to start experimenting with generative AI for customer-facing use cases. But larger and more ambitious experimentation has emerged for internal and employee-facing customer service use cases. Case summarization, synthetic data for forecasting and staffing, and AI-infused training and coaching are delivering significant improvements in productivity, performance, and cost of operations for many customer service teams.

The problem, though, is that these are still siloed, disconnected use cases with incremental impact in the larger scheme of things. To truly unleash the potential of AI, there needs to be a fundamental shift in how we infuse AI into customer service, and the starting point is to stop thinking about AI as a point solution that does one thing really well. We need to move away from AI solutions that improve a single touchpoint and build AI-infused workflows for customer service.

To be more intentional and strategic about how we leverage AI for customer service, we need to start identifying all AI-impacted processes within the customer service ecosystem and the connections that exist between them. This means connected journeys that span contact center operations, the customer service workforce, performance and talent management frameworks, and the customer. And let’s not forget all the tech that powers these connected journeys, not an easy task for even the most advanced customer service organizations.

How do we get started? What does an AI-infused customer experience operation look like? What dependencies do we solve for? Answers to all these questions, customer stories, and best-practice recommendations from Forrester are what we will be discussing at CX Summit APAC 2024. In addition to my session, Designing Your AI Customer Service Strategy, you’ll hear from Forrester experts and industry leaders on what is top of mind for customers and customer experience.

Join me at Forrester’s CX Summit APAC on May 28 in Sydney, Australia, to be a part of the fantastic conversation and share your views and experiences on how you are applying AI in your customer service operations, interact with peers, and get answers to some burning AI questions.

See you all in Sydney!