Understanding AI Part II: The Smart Way to Use AI for Business Transformations

This article is the second in a 2-part series on the business implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What You Need to Consider When Bringing Generative Artificial Intelligence into Your Business

As anyone who has clicked on a news site in the last 6 months knows, there’s a lot of hyperbole floating around the conversations about AI and ChatGPT. No, AI isn’t going to destroy humanity in the next 5 to 10 years, like some CEOs think. But it’s not just nervous business leaders that should be cautious about the effects of this technology, especially for your business.

In our first article, we looked at the questions you need to ask to avoid AI disaster. We gave a brief overview of what the technology is and we shared what to watch out for, what to think about, and what to consider when it comes to bringing AI into your business.

Although it’s crucial to proceed with care, it doesn’t mean that generative AI has no place in your business. In fact, there are many Customer Experience (CX) gains to be had and a strong business case to be made. In this article, we’re going to look at how to use AI to accelerate your digital transformation.

Here are the 5 ways that smart companies consider incorporating AI into their CX workflows and how they can use it to put their business ahead of the competition and give customers the experience they expect.

#1 Smart Companies Use AI to Enhance Searching

With AI language models, all the world’s information is not just at your fingertips but delivered in an easily digestible format. That’s a powerful concept. And it’s easy to see how this can boost your business. Detailed or data-heavy jobs? Leave them to AI. By its nature, it will save labor and increase productivity. While, yes, there’s a risk of getting misleading answers, by putting these tasks in the hands of powerful software you’ll have consistent, data-driven results, available at any time.

What does it mean for your Customer Experience (CX)?

For starters, you can open up all of your data—support database, company website, support tickets—to AI search. Typically, the problem isn’t that you don’t have the data; it’s that you need to find and deliver it. That’s the perfect job for an AI chatbot. The key here is that you’re taking the technology of an LLM and narrowing the focus to a limited data set. That way, you don’t have to worry about misleading or inaccurate information that we talked about in our last article, because it’s only pulling from the data you give it. Even so, you don’t want any surprises! That’s why it’s important to test any implementation of this technology extensively and get an expert to help you deploy it.

#2 Smart Companies Allow AI to Open Up New Opportunities

AI is Fast and flexible. It can help you brainstorm, stretch your thinking, and provide a spark. Can’t think of a certain word? Let Bing AI Chat think of it for you. Want some ideas for a catchy title for your blog post (For this article, ChatGPT suggested “Navigating the Promise and Pitfalls of AI Implementation in Business: Key Considerations for Success”)? Ever wondered what Pope Francis would look like in a white puffer jacket? While it can occasionally result in wacky results, AI can also be a powerful sounding board and a great way to expand your thinking.

What does it mean for your Customer Experience (CX)?

The best use of this technology is to make your employees more productive. Donald Norman argues we should seek to work with machines, not against them. He said, “The key to winning the race is not to compete against machines, but to compete with machines.” The example is not to pit computers against humans in chess but to have teams of humans working with computers competing against other teams doing the same.

AI should be sorting through and analyzing your data and bringing up the most important details so that your agents have the information they need and can take action. These technologies are great at finding problems and pushing those to the top—so make use of it! Will there be some false positives along the way? Sure, but that’s not too difficult for your managers to weed out. AI isn’t replacing your employees, it’s just making them better.

According to 8×8, 84% of customers say they are frustrated when an agent doesn’t have their information at hand. Help your agents out with real-time AI guidance and dynamic checklists when they’re live with a customer. This will help them navigate the conversation better, leading to more effective calls. Customers will be happier because they feel listened to and cared for. Agents will be happier because they feel supported and are able to resolve inquiries faster.

Agent Assist from Five9

Five9’s AI call center software can empower your agents to handle customer conversations with real-time intelligence. Guidance cards can increase compliance, script adherence, quality scores, and upsells. Automations like real-time transcription and summaries free agents from taking notes and greatly reduces after-call work. And leaders get instant visibility into the trends, enabling them to optimize performance.

#3 Smart Companies Let AI Take Notes

AI is ideally suited to handle the quick and dirty. It’s the perfect tool for common or simple tasks. So let it. Note-taking? Searching and sorting? Quickly identifying and delivering relevant information? AI is more than up to the job—and will save you tons of time and effort in the process.

Those tasks that require a sensitive touch? That’s where humans shine. AI severely lacks creativity or critical thinking skills. It’s simply not built for that. By design, the responses are mediocre, generic, and unsatisfying. AI results are the culmination of human patterns. And not all of it is going to be brilliant. But other tasks, like taking notes? That’s the arena that AI can really help your customer experience take off.

What does it mean for your Customer Experience (CX)?

Instead of having your agents become distracted by frantically trying to jot down notes about what’s happening on each call, AI can create notes and records of your voice or chat interactions. This can take place for every conversation, in real-time. This goes way beyond transcription, by the way (even though it will make your transcriptions better). For example, 8×8’s new implementation of OpenAI Whisper doesn’t just provide incredibly accurate transcriptions (85%, with support for more than 50 languages), it also summarizes, making sure you’re getting the most important details from every interaction without any of the busy work. Does that mean you can just dump the transcriptions and recording? No, it’s smart to always keep a copy of the raw date in case you need to review something down the line.

Conversation IQ from 8×8

From the front desk to accounting to tech support, Conversation IQ unlocks quality and speech analytics for every interaction in the whole organization. Every call or interaction gets:

  • Emotional Analysis
  • Automatic Keyword Insight
  • Customer Experience Scores

#4 Smart Companies Let AI Handle Mundane Tasks

The purpose of LLMs is to generate content, not provide clarity. Imagine you have an angry customer and a happy customer. Both might ask the same question. Would your human agent answer in the same way to both customers? Without the ability to understand context, there’s an opportunity for misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or misinformation. And when your customers lose trust, it’s nearly impossible to gain it back.

That’s why you don’t want to entrust your entire business process to AI. Over and over again, we see companies trying to implement AI in ways that don’t quite fit where the technology is at. The end result in all these cases? Frustrated customers! Instead, be smart about how you use AI and only bring it in to tackle those mundane tasks that it can handle effectively, consistently, and mistake-free.

What does it mean for your Customer Experience (CX)?

Once you have AI analyzing your data and putting your agents in a place to succeed, you can start looking for ways to let AI handle customer requests. Tread cautiously, though! You don’t want to start replacing agents. RingCentral reports that “one in three consumers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience”.

Start looking at the top reasons your customers reach out—the ones that come up all the time—and determine which ones are easy-to-solve interactions. You will probably find one or two use cases that would be a perfect add for AI. Maybe you’re a bank with frequent calls about balances. Instead of a clunky IVR, you can use an intelligent virtual agent (IVA) to make verification and checking account balances much friendlier and easier, while still freeing up your agents to work on more complicated or high-value questions. Similarly, if you’re a tech company, you can deflect work off agents by having AI automatically assist with password resets in a comfortable, natural way.

Just remember to be surgical and precise with the way you implement AI and keep it to simple tasks, where it’s unlikely that it will make mistakes. And in every case, there should be an opportunity for a human to step in when the context demands it. Your virtual agents should be quick to recognize when they’re out of their league and be able to seamlessly hand it off to your human agents to maintain a great experience for your customers.

Vertical Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA)

IVA is a simple add-on to your existing phone system or contact center. It frees your live agents to focus on high-value customer engagements by handling your straight- forward calls. IVA accelerates first-call resolution and leads to faster service, higher customer satisfaction, and lower cost per call.

#5 Smart Companies Don’t Just Set It and Forget It

This is all about maintaining the work you’ve put in. Don’t think that these AI solutions will run themselves. There’s always a potential for it to drift and lose its effectiveness, or worse, drive inaccuracies. Watch the interactions closely, paying attention to customer responses and reactions. Think of it like auto maintenance. Part of owning a complicated machine is having someone check it out at regular intervals and see what needs to be fixed, adjusted, or replaced. With your AI processes, you’ll want to do the same thing, looking for tweaks, regular maintenance, and ensuring everything is supported.

What does it mean for your Customer Experience (CX)?

Imagine you’re launching a new product. Each time your CSR interacts with a customer, they’re trained to bring it up in the conversation. Well, what you don’t know, is that in a disproportionate number of cases, when the topic comes up you get poor responses—call termination and negative emotional intent. It’s not enough to have AI processing this data—you need to be monitoring it and pivoting when necessary. Maybe there’s a flaw in the new product. Or perhaps you need the way you’re positioning it. No matter what, it’s going to take some adjustments.

Any time you’re implementing AI, you have to watch for out-of-bounds responses, where the customer is showing signs of frustration or confusion in the interaction. And when it happens, take the time and effort to make appropriate changes to your workflows, data sets, and AI implementation. As we looked at in our last article about the real cost of AI, identifying and making these changes is not simple or cheap—we recommend a partner who has the expertise to know what to look for and how to fix it.

AI Maintenance Contracts from Vertical

The only way to make sure your AI is continuing to bring positive experiences to your customers is through regular maintenance and attention. Consider a maintenance package as part of your Vertical experience. We will keep an eye on your technology and how you use it to make sure that it’s on track and working the way it’s supposed to. And if anything starts getting out of alignment, just like routine car maintenance, we’re there to make sure it doesn’t run you off the road. 


As a strategic communications partner, we’re constantly helping businesses insert AI into their everyday customer experience processes. When done thoughtfully, implementing AI is imperative for a modern business to be able to compete today. But it’s not easy to get right.

The first step is to know what it can and cannot do. If you’re reading this article, you’re off to a good start. You don’t have to understand the intricacies of the technology, but you do need to know the basics. Put yourself in the place of the customer or employee on the other end of the technology and ask yourself: does it make for a better experience? Moreover, does it reflect the quality and integrity of your brand? Your customers expect a high ethical standard, which means being transparent with your use of the technology and being sensitive about customer data.

Secondly, find yourself a strategic partner. This is still early technology, and you need someone that’s looking out for your best interest, not someone who’s trying to sell you something. All of these technologies have their benefits and risks—the key is to find what is best for you.

Finally, keep your eyes on the future. This is a rapidly adjusting world and your business needs to remain fluid to adapt. The businesses that win aren’t necessarily the early adopters, but the ones willing to seize the opportunity when the time is right.

Do you need a partner who can help you navigate AI?

The answer is Vertical. We’re unique in the industry because we don’t just sell products; we’re your strategic partner. We’ll provide expert consultation to help you navigate the challenges. Our skilled team will do a smooth and quick implementation with leading technology—so that you can keep pace with competitors. And our support team is second to none when it comes to customer service, knowledgeability, and response time. Our team is constantly exploring and training in the newest AI applications and we’ll make sure you have the tools and information to keep up. We’re always by your side. That’s the Vertical difference.