Zendesk, Inc. today released its annual Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report, the findings of which signal a rapid transition towards intelligent CX. Indian businesses are realizing the potential of generative AI with 81 percent of CX leaders in the country saying their teams are under significant pressure to leverage generative AI in CX.
In this era, the shift to AI-driven service will create a big divide between companies who use AI to create the best customer experiences and those that miss the mark on implementing, or worse, don’t embrace AI at all. Businesses with the ability to bridge this AI divide will completely transform CX, delivering personalization at scale and elevating service quality while reducing costs. In India, 85 percent of CX leaders are increasing their investment in generative AI for CX within the next year.
“We’re on the verge of the most significant inflection point we’ve ever seen in CX with the latest advances in AI,” said Adrian McDermott, chief technology officer, Zendesk. “Businesses will need to rethink the structure of everything, from their tech stacks to their teams to how they deliver support. Companies that thrive will shift to a much more intelligent CX strategy, using AI to manage volume, lower costs, increase quality and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.”
The report reveals CX leaders in India are charging ahead with generative AI adoption–83 percent have already begun experimenting with or implementing the technology into their customer journey, the highest in Asia Pacific. This adoption has real benefits–91 percent of CX leaders in India using generative AI in CX report positive ROI, proving these changes set a new standard for successful CX. The report also places a spotlight on some defining elements of the era of intelligent CX:
Chatbots are evolving into advanced digital agents: Generative AI and evolved chatbots are revolutionizing consumer interactions by facilitating personalized, instant and interactive experiences.
Live and immersive interactions will redefine experiences: As consumers expect more engaging and interactive experiences, CX leaders will need to transition to tools like conversational commerce, live streaming and voice.
CX leaders are the new drivers of data privacy: CX leaders, not IT, are the new drivers of data privacy, integrating security seamlessly into CX for protection and ease.
“In the era of generative AI and data privacy, businesses in India show a positive outlook towards intelligent CX adoption. New and emerging technologies have intensified customer expectations, and it’s now pushing businesses to deliver instant, personalized experiences in real time, while anticipating customer needs even before they arise. This places massive importance on real-time data,” said Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India & SAARC, Zendesk. “However, AI adoption must be done thoughtfully, ensuring employees are given adequate training while customers are offered greater transparency. As businesses expand their AI capabilities, maintaining transparency and explainable AI decisioning is crucial. It ensures customers understand the data that’s driving AI models and helps build trust.”
Chatbots evolve into advanced digital agents
Eighty-four percent of CX leaders in India believe chatbots can build a stronger emotional connection with their customers. This is largely due to AI chatbots evolving into skilled digital agents, playing key roles in customer service and the overall customer experience. Their ability to mirror brand styles and evaluate their customers’ feelings and desires enables them to deliver tailored, accurate responses. A vast majority (89 percent) of CX leaders in India believe that bots are becoming skilled architects of highly personalized customer journeys. Customers too are expanding their range of inquiries, with 88 percent of Indian consumers asking AI/bots more varied types of questions than before.
The transformation of chatbots into digital agents aligns with escalating expectations – 80 percent of consumers believe chatbots should have the same level of expertise and quality as highly skilled human agents. Furthermore, 88 percent of customers agree that interacting with bots is a great way to discover new products and information about a company. Businesses are grasping the importance of upgrading chatbots into digital agents and plan to boost their AI investments to speed up this process. In India, 73 percent of CX leaders report increasing their investment in AI for CX within the year.
Live and immersive interactions redefine experiences
Consumers have now come to expect more than just traditional support to truly enhance their experiences. Globally, more than half of those surveyed believe the way they interact with a company will completely change within two years.
People are embracing conversational commerce. They are buying products within chat interactions and turning to live-streamed sessions for immediate help with shopping. In India, 87% of customers expect chat agents to assist them with everything they need–from service to sales and support. To keep pace with this change, 88 percent of CX leaders in India are partnering with external vendors and experts to implement conversational commerce. Brands are also turning to social media and in-store influencers for sales–an approach that attracts new consumers and caters to those who prefer shopping at home. Seventy-four percent of CX leaders in India believe failure to leverage tools like live streaming that provide real time support will lead to lost opportunities.
CX leaders In India recognize their role in driving data privacy
Amidst escalating privacy concerns and rising demands for AI-enhanced personalized experiences, data privacy is becoming a central responsibility for CX leaders. In fact, 90 percent of CX leaders in India see themselves as responsible for making sure their customers’ data is safe. Another 94 percent say data protection and cybersecurity are top priorities in their customer service strategy.
Yet, there lies a major gap between how businesses and customers perceive the data protection measures in place. 91 percent of CX leaders in India are confident that their customers trust their data protection efforts. However, 73 percent of customers feel most businesses aren’t doing enough to protect their data and 63 percent of customers feel they are constantly under the threat of being scammed.
With CX leaders now active drivers of data privacy decision-making processes, they’re focused on delivering solutions that protect data while facilitating personalized experiences and deploying AI. Eighty-six percent of CX leaders in India are actively collaborating with external partners or vendors to evolve customer data privacy in their CX operations. More can be done to communicate these efforts to customers. When customers see that a company is proactive about data security, they’re more likely to feel comfortable providing personal information, leading to stronger trust and loyalty.