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Event Recap: AI-powered CX at TechWeek

For Techweek 2024 the CX Collective partnered with Deloitte Digital for a panel discussion about the intersection of Customer Experience and AI. During the hour-long discussion, the panel discussed topics like the use of AI tools in the workplace, the potential of AI as a collaborative tool, training and diversity in AI, and getting started with artificial intelligence. 

Thanks to the panel for the lively discussion, and to Leissa Wheatley & Kavi Chetty from Deloitte for their collaboration in pulling this great event together.


Our panel included:

Here is a summary of the discussion below: 

1. Workplace Culture

While many of us are using AI tools like ChatGPT, there's a hesitation to openly discuss it at work. It's like a "giant pink, bedazzled sequined elephant in the room" that everyone is aware of but few are willing to acknowledge. This secretive use reflects a mix of fascination and fear surrounding AI and workplaces haven’t found a way of making AI ‘part and parcel’ of our ways of working.

To date, organisations seem to approach AI in two main ways: Some are apprehensive and unsure how to proceed, often turning to consultants for help. While expert advice is often useful, much of the power of AI sits in bespoke, highly relevant uses of AI. Others are more adventurous but still worry about the potential for AI to replace human jobs. This often shows up in an overly cautious approach to AI, leading to a lack of fluency and comfort with the technology.

Reports of burnout and workplace overwhelm are ripe, and AI is seen as a potential solution to help ease the pressure of task loads (emails, documentation, meeting logistics) by automating these or offering a starting point for otherwise time-consuming activities. This shift has only happened recently though, with a large number of people adopting AI tools only in the last six months.

2. Collaboration over Delegation

Instead of viewing AI as a replacement for humans, the discussion highlighted the potential for AI to act as a collaborator. At the task level, the likes of ChatGPT can act as a co-author and conversation partner. The Panel also shared examples of how AI can automate routine tasks, allowing humans to focus on more meaningful and creative work. This collaboration can lead to better productivity and enhanced human experiences. 

At an organisational level, AI has revolutionised how insights are generated, shared and accessed within companies. Previously, customer insights were confined to specialised teams and - given the preference of many CX teams for qualitative over quantitative customer data - may be seen as “anecdotes” by non-insights team members, rather than data worth acting on. Now, anyone can ask AI questions and get detailed answers, making valuable information more accessible across the board. Importantly, AI can offer access to customer insights at scale, sourcing from both qualitative and quantitative data with customised outputs based on stakeholder or team needs. 

3. Diversifying AI

The Panel urged diverse voices who don’t see themselves reflected in the technology, to start interacting with it, and ‘training’ a more diverse & nuanced perspective into the systems. AI will not be able to move beyond the coded bias, and the lack of diverse perspectives, if diverse users don’t interact with it. 

While there was a consensus that AI can handle many tasks, it should not replace the human touch. Organisations need to focus on how AI can enhance human capabilities rather than diminish them, ensuring that the customer experience remains personal and meaningful. This requires investment by organisations into AI capability, policies & governance.

4. Advice from the Panel

The panellists offered practical tips for integrating AI:

  • Training and Learning: Investing in training for teams and creating safe spaces for learning and asking questions. Our friends at AcademyEX currently offer a subsidised micro-credential in this space.

  • Experimentation and Collaboration: The cited BCG study suggests that those who collaborated with AI (rather than just delegating tasks to it) saw the most significant improvements. Diving into AI and using it, is the best way to learn about it. 

  • Getting Started: The best time to learn about AI was yesterday, the next best time is today.

These themes paint a picture of a world grappling with the rapid integration of AI into daily work and by extension how we resource and design for customer experience. While AI offers incredible potential, its success depends on thoughtful and inclusive implementation, focussing on collaboration and capability.

Keen to hear what attendees took away? Join Rebecca, Alyona, Xaviere and Chris in the conversation on LinkedIn.

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