NEWS14 June 2024

43% of consumers concerned about ethics of AI, CX Network survey finds

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UK – Consumer concern around how data is used by AI is rising as people hear more about how AI is deployed, according to an international survey of consumer experience (CX) practitioners.


CX Network's Global State of CX 2024 report, based on online interviews with 282 CX professionals across three continents and a range of business sectors, shows 55% of CX professionals agree that data privacy and security is becoming more important to customers. Respondents said that 43% of consumers were worried about the ethics of AI in particular.

“Transparency is crucial,” said Jaakko Lempinen, a contributing analyst to the report, advisory board member to CX Network, and head of customer experience for broadcast media business YLE Finland.

“Companies should be open about how AI technologies are employed in their operations, specifically in how data are collected, analysed and utilised to improve CX. This involves clearly communicating the purposes of data collection and the benefits to the customer, ensuring there is an understanding of the value exchange.

“Organisations should actively involve customers in the development of AI solutions through feedback loops, allowing them to express their concerns and preferences. Engaging in dialogue about AI and its role in CX helps demystify technology for customers and builds a foundation of trust.”

The report covers the CX trends, tech developments and customer behaviour. It found that automation is the top investment priority in CX in 2024, with 42% of professionals listing it as their main focus for the year. Other spending priorities included data insights and analytics (( 38%) and conversational AI chatbots and virtual assistants (( 28%). 

Around 42% of respondents said their biggest challenge was to prove the ROI of investing in AI. 

“CX often adopts technology after other functions such as marketing, where cutting-edge technologies are required to grab the customer’s attention in new and inventive ways,” said Anna Noakes Schulze, head of community experience at The NTWK and a contributing analyst to the report.

“Customer experience is tasked with nurturing and preserving the customer relationship, which naturally lends itself to more conventional, lower-risk approaches that already have a proven track record. These conservative tendencies work against experimentation with cutting-edge tech, except in a few rare cases like generative AI where the efficiency gains all but guarantee a positive return on investment.

“If these technologies are not yet important to your customers, then pay attention to what the more future-forward brands are doing and see what you can learn from their initiatives.”