Today, global software company Zendesk Inc. released its 2024 report on Customer Experience (CX) trends, detailing a major uptake in artificial intelligence (AI) usage among Australian businesses. The study shows that 75 percent of Australian leaders are rethinking their customer journeys, using AI to enable personalisation at large scale, which outpaces the global average of 70 percent.
Adrian McDermott, Zendesk's Chief Technology Officer, says, "We’re on the verge of the most significant inflection point we’ve ever seen in CX with the latest advances in AI. Businesses will need to reconsider the structure of everything, from their tech stacks to their teams to how they deliver support. Companies that thrive will shift to a much more intelligent CX strategy, using AI to manage volume, lower costs, increase quality and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.”
Kellie Hackney, Country Leader, Australia, and New Zealand, Zendesk, also highlights the pressures exerted on Australian businesses by inflationary pressure. Hackney emphasises that companies must implement more intelligent and seamless customer journeys using AI, so as to enhance customer experience and maintain competitiveness.
The report reveals that 77 percent of Australian CX leaders are already exploring or integrating generative AI into their customer journeys. This beats the global average of 65 percent and shows positive ROI for 85 percent of these leaders, proving that AI can constructively reshape CX. The study further uncovers three major ways in which companies are renovating CX – transforming chatbots into advanced digital assistants, fostering live and immersive interactions, and making CX leaders the drivers of data privacy.
Eighty-three percent of Australian CX leaders see chatbots as a means of establishing strong emotional ties with their customers. With around 64 percent of Australian consumers expecting chatbots to offer a similar quality of interaction as their human counterparts, businesses plan to heighten their AI investment to fine-tune this important aspect of customer experience.
In addition to AI-powered dialogue platforms, more than half of surveyed Australians believe that their interaction with companies will drastically change in two years. From this, 84 percent of Australian CX leaders are adopting tools such as conversational commerce and live streaming to meet this shifting demand, with 81 percent believing that failure to capitalise on such interactive tools could lead to missed opportunities.
The report also shows that responsibility for data privacy, a key priority in customer service, is increasingly falling to CX leaders. With 86 percent of Australian CX leaders taking on the task of ensuring data safety for their customers, companies are looking to protect data along with providing personalised experiences fans with AI.
A glimpse into the future of CX in Australia shows leaders actively preparing and placing substantial bets on intelligent customer experiences for 2024. Zendesk's report indicates this could be a watershed year for CX due to these emerging technologies.