While marketers in many countries are worried about a recession, there is also optimism regarding the business climate and marketing budgets.
Can AI and chatbots really deliver customer service excellence?
By our News Team | 2023
Organisations must harness the power of AI to free up their people to do what no robot can do – truly connect with customers.
You would be hard-pressed to find a place today where you are sheltered from the discussion around the endless potential of artificial intelligence and the role it can play in shaping society.
The world over, companies are beginning to feel the pressure to get AI-ready and be seen as innovative and tech-forward. But it’s important to be able to discern the functionality from the hype.
AI cannot empathise with what we, as customers, are experiencing. Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels
From a customer experience perspective, AI, chatbots and other tech advancements can be incredibly exciting. When it works well, it’s an advantageous enabler. The problem, however, is that it doesn’t always work well, believes Nathalie Schooling, founder and CEO of Nlightencx, an Africa-based customer experience company.
Writing in Issue 3 2023 of ‘Strategic Marketing for Africa’, the magazine of the African Marketing Confederation, she says that when looking at the current customer service options available, it can be narrowed down to four basics: human interaction; self-help; online forum; or chatbots.
Best service came from human interaction
A study conducted by Nlightencx in February this year revealed that 85% of the people found the best service from human interaction, 14% from self-help and FAQs, and only 1% enjoyed interacting with chatbots. These results are not surprising, given that customers are human beings who desire authentic human interaction.
While AI might be efficient and to the point, its biggest downfall is that it lacks an understanding of human emotion. AI cannot empathise with what we, as customers, are experiencing because it has no frame of reference.
At best, it can simulate what it has learned through programming. And, while a bot may be able to use language that mimics compassion, the responses are not authentic and human beings are acutely aware of this.
“There appears to be a resounding consensus that emotional intelligence is one of the main limitations of AI in delivering a great customer experience,” says Schooling.
“It’s for this reason that I believe customers are often left with feelings of frustration after dealing with automated services – because the AI just can’t contextualise understanding, enough to empathise with a customer.”
You can read more about customer experience on page 42 of the latest issue (Issue 3 2023) of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the magazine of the African Marketing Confederation. Read or download the digital edition here.
US industry body warns marketers to be vigilant as programmatic media is ‘complex’ and ‘can be non-transparent’.
Dentsu says big events like the Euro 2024 soccer finals and US presidential election will help to push up spending.
Look for transparency, check results of previous projects, and request an air-tight scope of partnership, advises industry expert.
AMC’s range of Short Courses is designed to complement the study and career-growth initiatives offered by our member countries.
More people also took advantage of deals to buy everyday items, rather than spending on big-ticket luxury goods.
Bath and body well-being brand creates a 3m-high candle and lights it in a busy Christmas shopping precinct to encourage people to ‘reset’.
Data from 2008 recession indicates that, in another recession, the amount spent on higher-priced Fair Trade goods may actually increase.
Interbrand study says lack of growth mindset, weaker brand leadership and poor forecasting are among the key reasons.
Tlali Taoana has experience in strategy, marketing and executive roles, and will expand the capabilities of the business.
AMC President flies the flag at the World Marketing Forum in Thailand, then welcomes Tunisia as the confederation’s 11th member.