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UK falling behind Europe in using AI for customer engagement

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Montri Nipitvittaya)

The UK may be the world's third biggest investor in artificial intelligence (AI) but that investment doesn't seem to be rubbing off customer service

According to a new report by Freshworks, European countries such as France, Germany or The Netherlands are far ahead when it comes to using AI for things like chatbots, virtual assistants, natural language processing (NLP) or facial recognition.

How is that possible? Well, UK businesses seem to be investing in different AI fields. A quarter (20 per cent) invested more than $320,000 in AI for customer services in the last 12 months. Germany (46 per cent), France (41 per cent) and The Netherlands (35 per cent) have all invested more.

Looking at AI for customer services specifically, chatbots, NLP and robotic process automation are the most popular AI technologies.

As to why UK businesses are deciding to look elsewhere when it comes to implementing AI – the report says nobody wants to take that burden of responsibility. More than a quarter of senior decision makers in the UK say no one is driving AI deployment within their customer service department.

This is another major difference between the UK and other European countries, as C-Suite executives do lead the integration of AI in the vast majority of Dutch, French and German companies.

“Our research shows that British brands’ deep distrust in AI risks leaving them lagging behind Europe in their approach to customer service,” said Simon Johnson, UK General Manager, Freshworks.

“It’s incredibly difficult for brands to keep up with consumers’ expectations, but it’s non-negotiable that they constantly evolve their technology to include AI and Machine Learning (ML) and approach to keep their customers engaged and happy. For those who get it right, it can be a game changer that distances them from the competition.”

Freshworks' full report, which also tackles the perception gap between businesses and their customers, as well as all the scepticism surrounding the usefulness of AI, can be found on this link.