How Retailers Can Use AI to Improve Customer Experience and Build Trust

In the U.S., ecommerce spending is estimated to reach $1.7 trillion by 2027 – representing over 20% of overall retail sales. Additionally, global ecommerce spending could surpass $7 trillion as early as 2025. With the sector continuing to experience accelerated growth, major retailers are looking for ways to maintain and build trust while dramatically improving customer experience and orchestrating cohesive customer journeys.

Consumers are only one click away from retailers at all times. While this certainly makes online shopping easier, it also means that consumers expect fast, first-contact resolutions during customer service interactions — and unfortunately, retailers can struggle to meet this demand.

In fact, according to the Genesys State of Customer Experience Report, only 18% of consumers worldwide said that online retailers provided exceptional service last year — down 22% from 2021. To combat this challenge, modern retailers are embracing AI to help improve the customer experience by increasing speed of service and adding a more personalized touch.

AI-driven solutions offer businesses a powerful way to personalize customer experiences. On the flip side, the technology can be misused by bad actors in ways that jeopardize security, which in turn damages customer experience, loyalty and trust. Here are the three areas retailers need to pay attention to in 2024 in order to deliver better customer experiences in the era of AI.


AIPowered Chatbots

Chatbots empower businesses to provide highly personalized digital experiences to their customers. They are an excellent way for businesses to provide around-the-clock self-service across all digital channels and customer service at scale. By using AI-powered chatbots, businesses can ensure every customer service request is personalized, intentional, and resolved quickly.

Additionally, chatbots can capture information, answer questions, provide basic transactional support and perform identity verification (ID&V) before engaging agents — significantly improving customer experience and orchestrating seamless customer interactions across channels.

Customer Verification and Trust

A critical component of the customer experience is trust that the business is using advanced security practices to protect the consumer. The ID&V process is a standard practice across most industries, ensuring the seamless verification of customer identity and establishing the right to transact. This process helps businesses verify a customer’s identity before any confidential information is provided. ID&V helps customers feel safe and secure when communicating with a retailer.

With the rise of AI-generated deep fakes — where AI video, photos and voice can create a virtual copy of someone’s likeness — companies could find themselves in situations where bad actors are able to evade ID&V in some circumstances and potentially impersonate someone fraudulently. To overcome this and maintain security and trust, businesses need to implement AI to effectively combat these AI-created deep fakes. Retailers can use additional automated predictive signals to detect potential fraud. By using automated two-factor and multi-authentication methods, businesses can effectively prevent identity theft and impersonation — preserving customer trust and information.

Purchasing Experience

When considering the purchasing experience, many retailers rely on biometric-assisted payment processing through services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. However, they can also benefit from AI-powered payment processing. This can help with fraud protection and can quickly sift through massive data volumes, identifying potential risks and detecting unusual payments.

Biometric-assisted payment processing and AI-powered payment processing provide a safe, secure and seamless payment processing experience. These advancements are essential, as many consumers will blame retailers for any payment-related issues they encounter. Any hiccup in the online payments experience can result in an abandoned cart and loss of sale. By offering seamless payment experiences through secure technology, retailers can provide customers with a safe, one-touch experience.

Using AI to Create Unmatched Customer Experiences

It only takes one negative experience for a consumer’s opinion of a brand to plummet. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of retailers to ensure they’re utilizing customer experience technologies that continually update their techniques to improve customer experiences while combating any challenges.

AI has tremendous potential to revolutionize customer experiences and establish ongoing loyalty. By finding ways to integrate the technology into their customer experience playbook, retailers can ensure increased customer satisfaction. AI can bring tremendous value for retailers, but they must also be aware of potential AI-fueled risks, like deep fakes. Businesses should prepare for the eventuality of advancing fraud technology and identify vendors that provide effective fraud detection to combat this risk. When implemented correctly, AI has the ability to significantly improve customer experiences — effectively preserving customer loyalty and trust.

Brett Weigl is SVP and General Manager, Digital, AI and Journey Analytics at Genesys. As a seasoned enterprise SaaS product management leader with more than 20 years in hi-tech, Weigl oversees the company’s digital-first solutions for complete customer experience and AI across both digital and the contact center. Previously, Weigl led the digital engagement product management team at Salesforce Service Cloud. Prior to Salesforce, he led product for social media engagement solutions at ExactTarget.

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