While consumers are open to the benefits of personalization that AI provides, marketers still have work to do to make those interactions feel truly personal and valuable, new research from customer data platform (CDP) industry analysis firm CDP.com reveals.
The new study on consumers’ perspectives on artificial intelligence (AI) usage in marketing and customer service also found that automation does not fully replace human connection, and that data privacy is a primary concern for how people choose to share their information with companies online.
Despite CX and privacy concerns, people are in favor of companies using AI in marketing
Consumers expect personalized communications now, and a majority (81 percent) are open to AI’s role in providing those experiences. People who work with AI on a regular basis are nearly twice as likely to find AI’s role in personalization helpful (55 percent). While consumers who are less familiar with AI remain open to the technology, it’s more likely to be on a case-by-case basis, depending on the company (48 percent). Overall, 58 percent of people say they prefer companies to offer product recommendations based on their search history.
Familiarity with AI impacts perceptions on role in CX
Overall, people are open to AI’s influence on the customer experience (CX), with a majority expressing positive or neutral views of the technology’s role across industries. In addition, consumers who work regularly with AI are nearly twice as likely to express a positive outlook when compared to those who do not work with AI. Lastly, respondents had the most positive outlook on AI being utilized in entertainment (54 percent), shopping (51 percent), healthcare (48 percent), and advertising (44 percent).
AI in customer service still requires a human touch
Despite their growing popularity, only a third of people (34 percent) find AI chatbots are actually helpful, with nearly 44 percent saying there is room for improvement. More than 20 percent find the experience irritating or time-consuming, which results in a poor CX. When asked what could be done to improve customer service, 64 percent say access to live people would significantly improve their experience.
Data privacy is critical to earning consumer trust
Personalization requires a deep understanding of customer data. While people generally are open to AI and its role in personalization, data privacy is of major importance to consumers. 81 percent of consumers say they are somewhat or very concerned about how the use of AI for marketing, customer service and technical support could potentially compromise their online privacy.