Lack Of Customer Data Is A Major Barrier To Reaping The Benefits Of AI.

Lack Of Customer Data Is A Major Barrier To Reaping The Benefits Of AI.

Research from customer engagement platform Twilio has found that businesses are making significant strides in implementing artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer interactions. This progress, however, is not without its challenges, particularly in the areas of customer data and transparency in its use.

Twilio’s fifth annual State of Customer Engagement Report underscores the increasing significance of brands openly sharing how they utilize customer data to deliver AI-powered experiences. Yet, there seems to be a disconnect between brands and their customers on this issue. While 93% of UK brands claim transparency, only 40% of customers agree.

The report, based on a global survey across 18 countries of more than 4,750 B2C executives and 6,300 consumers, explores how brands are implementing AI to build better relationships with their customers, where AI is yielding the most return on investment for brands, and what engagement trends are most important to consumers. Additional UK consumer insights include:

  • Trust is most effectively maintained by balancing security and customer experience. This year’s report has found that 64% of UK consumers think protecting their data is the top way for brands to earn their trust. Almost half (49%) of consumers globally say they would trust a brand more if it disclosed how customer data is used in AI-powered interactions. 40% of businesses, meanwhile, think finding this balance between security and customer experience is one of their most pressing challenges this year.
  • AI is helping close the customer experience gap, but businesses still struggle need help to have the correct data in place. 27% of UK businesses say they provide ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ customer engagement, yet only 9% of UK consumers agree. AI is helping, with almost seven in 10 UK companies already using it to personalize customer experiences – but 69% of UK brands say inaccurate data or a lack of first-party data are significant challenges to their ability to understand their customers. Just 19% of businesses globally strongly agree they have a comprehensive profile of their customers. 

Customers are more likely to spend more if they have a personalized experience and are also more likely to switch brands if this is not offered. 47% of UK consumers are inclined to spend more with a brand that personalizes engagement than those who do not. 45% say they’ve made a repeat purchase from a company based on the level of personalization they’ve received, with 78% abandoning a brand entirely if their experiences aren’t personalized. Kathryn Murphy, SVP Product at Twilio, said: “Customers today expect personalized experiences and want to understand how businesses use their data to shape those experiences.

“It’s imperative that brands be clear about how they use AI, ensuring that they balance how they deploy it with equally robust measures to protect customer privacy. Transparency is not optional — it’s critical to building and maintaining customer trust and loyalty.”

Twilio’s State of Customer Engagement Report is based on a survey of more than 4,750 B2C executives in critical sectors and a parallel study of over 6,300 consumers in 18 different countries. It also incorporates data from Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform.

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