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Forethought AI in CX Benchmark Report Finds Rapid Adoption of Generative AI Reduces Costs and Increases Efficiency and Quality for Support Teams

Forethought, the most advanced generative AI agent for customer support, released its first-ever AI in CX Benchmark Report, highlighting the various ways companies leverage AI for customer service—also known as customer experience or CX—and the results they’re achieving. The report found that 54% of businesses surveyed—including both public and private B2B and B2C companies—have adopted AI in some way, with more planning to do so, signaling that AI is not only here to stay but also being adopted at a rapid pace.

“Customer experience will likely be the single biggest application for Generative AI in business and one of the most common ways consumers interact with the technology”

The report surveyed more than 500 mid-market and enterprise, U.S.-based companies and found that the businesses that have adopted AI for CX in the most advanced and effective way have nearly doubled their ticket deflection rate and are three times more likely to report lower costs compared to companies not using AI at all.

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Generative AI has the power to radically transform the way humans interact with each other and with businesses—and one of the first places many people will experience that impact is in CX. In fact, many companies are already experimenting widely with AI in the hopes of increasing speed, efficiency, and reducing costs while still improving the quality of experience. Forethought commissioned this survey in order to provide actionable data and insights on the AI trends, strategies, and practices that matter most to businesses and their customers.

“Customer experience will likely be the single biggest application for Generative AI in business and one of the most common ways consumers interact with the technology,” said Deon Nicholas, CEO and Co-Founder of Forethought. “With our first-ever AI in CX Benchmark Report, we’re hoping to help make every interaction between humans and businesses delightful and effortless. When it’s done right, everybody wins. We want to help make sure it gets done right.”

Not All AI is Created Equal

The report found that AI trained on company-specific data is more effective than any other form of AI model training. In fact, organizations that train AI on their own historic data are nearly 3.5x more likely to lower cost per resolution.

Meanwhile, dedicated solutions are more effective than help desk add-ons—the report found that the highest overall average deflection rate was nearly double (38%) for companies using a dedicated AI point solution for CX compared to companies using a help desk add-on.

Respondents also found that a dedicated vendor is more effective than an in-house build: the companies reporting the lowest overall average deflection rate of 14% were using in-house built AI, and companies using in-house built solutions reported the lowest average CSAT score at 77%.

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Risks of Doing AI Wrong

The report found that building solutions in-house leads to an overall lower net promoter score (NPS), less ticket deflection, and higher costs. In fact, in-house built platforms led to the highest average cost of $16 per resolution Additionally, while using help desk add-ons may reduce costs, they can also lead to lower ticket deflection and NPS–companies using an add-on from a help desk vendor saw a negative trend, with 33% reporting that deflections were down, (including 7% who said they were way down) and an NPS of -37.

Today, businesses that implement AI the right way see immediate results and value for their customers. Chatbots using AI and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) trained only on help center or public data perform worse than AI trained on a companies’ own deep data: AI solutions trained on a company’s own historic data posted an NPS of 29 while AI solutions trained on other types of data earned an NPS of -18.

AI is already making an important difference for companies using it to support their customers. While tools and practices vary, the role of AI in CX is critical to increasing speed, efficiency, and quality while providing the best customer experience possible.

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