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How Generative AI is Reshaping the Customer Experience


Presented By: CrmXchange

Contributed article by Marc Ferrentino, President & COO at Yext 

ChatGPT has captured our collective attention over the past few weeks. From writing rap songs to planning beach vacations, OpenAI’s large language model (LLM) is resetting the public’s understanding of AI’s capabilities.

Of course, generative AI has more functional and consequential applications than picking a beach destination. For businesses, this technology offers an entirely new way to interact with and engage customers.

From creating engaging content to powering unprecedented chat experiences to ushering in a new era of support automation, generative AI promises new ways for businesses to meet shifting customer expectations.

AI-generated content will create better digital experiences 

The key advancement of generative AI is its ability to not only analyze or aggregate existing information but to create new outputs. Paired with natural language processing, this technology is capable of generating organic-sounding, conversational responses to prompts.

That has significant implications for businesses at a time in which content has become central to delivering meaningful digital experiences. Delivering quality user journeys means creating and updating vast libraries of content across various owned and third-party properties… a process that requires significant effort across the enterprise, from sales to marketing to operations.

Though ChatGPT isn’t going to take over as your staff copywriter any time soon, LLMs do offer a path to more efficiently creating content at scale. Imagine taking a description of a product or a blog post and generating a list of FAQs from it. Or automatically generating a response to a customer review in order to streamline workflows.

What’s more, AI-powered analytics systems can in turn monitor the usage and impact of these knowledge resources and automatically create additional content assets to fill the gaps in customer experiences.

This isn’t just a matter of saving time and money. By increasing a business' capacity for creating high-quality content on the fly, generative AI improves the business’ ability to deliver better digital experiences to each and every customer.

Conversational experiences will augment traditional search 

Various applications of generative AI have already been woven into consumer search experiences. Popular search engines like Google no longer strictly rely on keywords and backlinks, and instead use AI to better understand the actual intent behind a user’s search query.

But the real difference maker will be the proliferation of conversational experiences, which are increasingly used to augment or even replace search in certain cases.

Not only can generative AI assist with natural language understanding (NLU), it can return information in a more conversational format. These thorough, readable answers lend themselves to more “encyclopedia-style” searches like “how does knowledge management work?” or “why do I need a CRM?”

Chat can also take the history of the conversation into account, allowing a user to ask follow-up questions and dig deep into certain topics. This makes chat ideal for sales and customer support use cases (more on that in a moment).

Chat will never replace search entirely; search will remain a superior solution for actionable, intent-focused queries like “best CRM for SaaS companies” or browser-centric experiences like ecommerce. But more users will gravitate towards conversational experiences for certain tasks as the technology continues to advance.

Bing and Google have already announced conversational interfaces and this trend will continue as the legacy search engines attempt to retain market share.

Automated customer support will improve dramatically

One of the best use cases for generative AI-powered chat is customer support; perhaps no component of the customer experience is as ripe for disruption. Chatbots and other automations have been widely adopted as companies attempt to efficiently scale their support offerings, but technological limitations often still lead to unsatisfactory interactions.

Generative AI is changing that. Just as with search, its ability to understand the meaning of queries — rather than match keywords — powers hyper-specific responses to user questions.

Backed by this technology, support chatbots will provide conversational experiences that feel more like an interaction with a real person. And not only will they reliably surface FAQs and support content relevant to the individual user but, thanks to its automated content creation ability, the AI will be able to intuitively create new content based on data collected through support interactions.

Improving these interactions will ultimately lead to improved customer loyalty and lifetime value.

Generative AI is still only as good as the knowledge it possess 

As impressive as ChatGPT and other early-stage generative AI systems are, they’re still limited by the data on which they’re trained. AI can’t use information it can’t find; a problem presented by companies with poorly structured or siloed databases.

Knowledge graphs, which structure complex and disparate data sets in a way that allows AI systems to draw connections between different things in the world around us, will play a critical role in businesses’ ability to get the most out of this new technology.

By investing in knowledge graphs and data protections now, companies can set themselves up to hit the ground running as generative AI tools become increasingly available on the market. That will mean a more intuitive, positive digital experience and happier, more loyal customers.