Despite consumer appetite for AI-powered customer experiences, businesses are prioritising traditional metrics over customer preferences.

The report, ‘The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts with Artificial Intelligence: Add Human Intelligence’, which was carried out by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, found that 62% of organisations are prioritising cost, and 59% of organisations are prioritising ROI as the most important factors when implementing AI technology.

Surprisingly, just 7% of organisations rank solving known consumer problems, and 10% rank the impact of customer experience as important factors when implementing AI-enabled use cases.

More ‘human-like’ AI

The research, which surveyed 10,000 consumers and over 500 executives at leading organisations across 10 global markets, revealed that AI is no longer alien to consumers.

More than three in five (62%) consumers are comfortable with human-like intellect, and consumers’ growing comfort in using AI is increasing their reassurance in AI having human-like attributes.

Nearly half (49%) said they would have a better connection with a company if their interactions enabled by AI were more human-like. In addition, AI-enabled interactions also foster more loyalty to and higher trust in the company.

Surprisingly, all age groups between 18 and over 55 years prefer interactions to be a mix of human and AI. Only 28% still want human only interaction.

While 62% of consumers are keen for AI to have a human-like voice, and over half the ability to understand human emotions, physical features are deemed ‘creepy’.

At present, over half of the respondents are not comfortable when AI is set up to look like a person. In addition, the report also finds that 66% of consumers would like to be made aware when companies are enabling interactions via AI.

“It is somewhat ironic that natural language processing and machine learning provides organisations with the opportunity to build deeper, more human relationships with their customers, said Mark Taylor, chief experience officer, digital customer experience practice at Capgemini; “By focusing their AI implementations to reimagine, streamline and simplify customer interactions, organisations can boost customer spend and loyalty. To see the biggest bottom-line boost, firms need to make both artificial intelligence and customer experience a strategic priority”.