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Australian SMEs seek AI to combat customer churn


Concerns about diminishing customer loyalty are prevalent among Australian businesses, with 78% expressing apprehension, according to a survey. This issue is one that many hope to tackle with AI, despite lingering apprehensions about the technology.

Commissioned by Genesys and conducted by industry research firm YouGov, the study revealed that two-thirds (66%) of respondents identified customer churn as their primary business concern. Of these, 40% were worried about customers shifting to cheaper competitors, while 29% cited concerns about churn due to poor experiences or customer service.

To address these concerns, a significant majority (97%) of surveyed organizations stated they have already adopted or planned to adopt AI to enhance customer experience. However, senior business decision-makers remain cautious, with 95% expressing some level of concern about implementing AI in their companies.

Among their top concerns were cybersecurity risks associated with AI programs (46%), legal and regulatory issues (42%), internal lack of AI skills among employees (40%), and the cost of investing in and implementing AI (40%).

Despite these apprehensions, 91% of senior business decision-makers reported that their companies had seen or expected to see increased customer satisfaction from AI implementation. Additionally, 94% of businesses actively using or considering AI for customer experience enhancements anticipated improvements in first contact resolution, campaign ROI, and cost reduction.

The study forecasts a rise in AI investment among Australian businesses, with anticipated spending set to reach 15.1% of annual budgets in the next financial year, up from 11.1% in the current year. Moreover, 90% of respondents expect their companies to invest in AI in the upcoming financial year, compared to 88% in the current year.

Drivers for AI implementation include automation and streamlining of repetitive processes (32%), improvement of quality and consistency across the customer journey (28%), and enhancement of personalization (27%). As a result, 31% of organizations are applying or planning to apply AI to conversational chatbots, while another 31% are leveraging it for predictive analytics and digital engagement.

Here are some ways SMEs can use AI to get customers:

Targeted Advertising and Marketing

AI helps small businesses aim their ads better. By studying customer info, it can make ads for social media, search engines, and emails that match what potential customers like. 

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

AI-powered chatbots can answer questions any time, sort potential customers, and set up appointments. This lets human staff focus on harder jobs and makes customer service faster. 

Content Creation and Optimization

AI can suggest ideas for content, headlines, and even write blog posts or product descriptions that work well on search engines. This brings more people to the site and attracts possible customers. 

Social Media Listening and Engagement

AI keeps an ear on social media, spotting when people mention a brand and how they feel about it. This helps small businesses find leads, deal with customer worries fast, and join relevant online chats. 

Recommendation Engines and Personalized Offers

Just like big online shops, AI looks at what people bought before and what they look at online to suggest things they might like. This can boost sales and keep customers happy.

Mark Buckley, Vice President of Genesys Australia and New Zealand, emphasized the transformative potential of AI in customer experience and engagement. “The business benefits of AI technology are clear, and the latest research from Genesys showcases just how AI can change the face of customer experience and engagement,” said Mark Buckley, Vice President, Australia and New Zealand, Genesys. “While some concerns remain about implementing AI technology, the opportunity is ripe for businesses to tap AI and the solutions that draw upon its power to transform customer experience for the better.”

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