Generative AI—AI that creates content of some sort—can be a game changer for customer service (CX). But it must be implemented carefully and gradually, according to a report from TechSee, a vendor of AI agents for customer service.

Of course, customer service is rooted in communications with customers and prospects. A key, according to the report, is the use of large language modules (LLMs) that have the “remarkable ability to understand and create natural human-like language.”

This is transformational, the report notes. “True conversational automation, made possible by LLMs, is unleashing massive new opportunities for CX leaders,” the report notes.

In discussing the benefits and challenges of AI for CX, the report focuses on the dangers/concerns that accompany LLMs and generative AI and the guardrails to successful deployments. These are referred to as “the good” “the bad” and “the ugly.”

The good category includes cost savings from automation, improved human-powered customer service; 24/7/365 availability; personalized real-time interactions with the public and the ability to collect insights into customer behavior and service performance that would be difficult to gather manually.

The bad category includes technical challenges with complex requests and context maintenance; high cost-to-value and time-to-value of some LLM-powered service automation solutions; a risk of stilted or rigid customer experiences; accuracy issues for LLMs lacking domain-specific expertise; security and privacy concerns and the need to implement strict security measures and adherence to privacy standards.

The ugly category makes the point that “ideal implementation isn’t easy.” It counsels organizations to start with an incremental approach to AI and to identify CX pain points for high-impact AI augmentation. Organization should involve staff; choose the right AI partners based on compatibility and cost; leverage multisensory CX for better context; ensure LLM guidance is clear and accurate; train LLMs on diverse datasets to reduce bias; recognize and design for LLM limitations; integrate human oversight in AI and monitor and refine strategy based on AI performance.

“Generative AI models like LLMs have immense promise across customer experience and service – namely, the opportunity to automate and augment every interaction,” the report notes. “However, leadership must be aware of the risks and challenges associated with the technology. By addressing these practical challenges and implementing guardrails and best practices, innovative leaders can fully harness the impressive capabilities of LLMs and provide superior customer experiences.”

The telecom industry has begun to offer CX services that leverage AI. For example, Verizon Digital CX is designed to enable to enable businesses to deliver personalized experiences to customers based on past interactions. This would be possible whether the customer communicated to the business via social media, chat, email, text or phone.

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