AI in Australia: Notes from CCO Sydney

Author Bio

Author Bio

Late last month I joined my Aussie colleagues in Sydney for the Chief Customer Officer event. It’s a fantastic event with a brilliant line-up of speakers, from Westpac to Tesla to SumoSalad. It was great to see so many customer-focused people together, all looking for ways to build better customer experiences.

Of course, we weren’t just there for the networking and the discussion groups. Our own Chris Brown, Senior Director of CX Consulting was there to share his view on the role of AI in enhancing the customer experience. Chris noted that while at the outset, most CX programs have a simple premise, things very quickly become incredibly complicated. Sometimes inevitably, sometimes because we simply don’t make things easy for ourselves.

These days, it doesn’t take long before someone looks at a complicated matter and shouts “AI must be the answer!” The thing is, it’s rarely that simple. Often, we end up with a horrible conflict between people and technology which results in a worse state of affairs than ever.

Chris explained that the critical element here is balance. AI is not going to fix everything for us, but a combination of technology and people can move us a long way forward. This “augmented intelligence” can give us the best of both worlds, with technology helping to guide human decision-making.

In his keynote presentation, Chris suggested a three-phrase approach to make the most of the people and the technology at our fingertips. Step one is to identify the problem we need to solve. Areas like predictive analytics, text analytics, and deep learning can help us to find what might otherwise be a needle in a haystack. Then, it’s a case of prioritizing. Establishing the best action to take to resolve the situation. Here, modeling can help humans to understand the impact of decisions.

Finally, it’s time to take action. This is down to people, but technology can help to ensure that the results of action are clearly communicated and the flow of information is effective. This is where CX professionals act as the linchpin in getting the most out of our people and machines. For example, putting data and insights into a context that actually matter to the wider business. It’s a shock to some CX professionals, but not everyone in the company is bowled over by the latest NPS® score!

We had a brilliant few days in Sydney and it was clear that Chris’ presentation gave lots of people plenty of food for thought. There was a strong focus on what’s next in the world of CX, with words like “innovation” and “disruption” never far from presenters’ lips. For most CX pros, though, there’s still some way to go to get the foundation elements right, and this event will certainly have sent them away with a spring in their step!