Influence of artificial intelligence on the customer experience

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Published on: Dec 15, 2016
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Customer experiences are changing: technology is at the centre

There are many options to focus on when it comes to customer experience. According to Geeta Wilson, Director of Customer Experience at Humana, the company first tries to find out where it can make the biggest impact. This is helped by technology that automates to create a better experience for the customer, leading to stronger sales.

Humana Health Insurance distinguishes between assisted and unassisted customer interactions. Assisted service takes place when a person needs help answering a question or performing a task. This is usually done during a telephone or chat conversation. Unassisted service is when a customer can get the answers they need without being in contact with a customer service representative.

To simplify the process and help customers create a good experience according to their own needs, Humana is harnessing artificial intelligence. The new Ask Humana tool helps customers get answers by using an online tool similar to a live chat. Instead of talking to a human, however, they communicate with a machine that uses trends and prior knowledge to provide the right answers.

How do you construct an emotional bond?

One area where artificial intelligence has been deficient so far is in the development of emotional attachments. Humana is working to build out a better emotional experience by mimicking the bond people have when talking to a real customer service representative. There are still a lot of challenges regarding artificial intelligence in this process. For example, ensuring that information is up to date and accurate, that the contact leads to customer satisfaction and that the programme meets set success criteria.

Humana stands out for its approach to improving the human experience through cutting-edge technology. In finding solutions, the company focuses on testing their hypotheses through rapid experimentation. Once a hypothesis is proven true, they continue to build on it. The company starts broad and then narrows down the problem more and more. It makes sure the team has a broad understanding of the problem and then conducts an experiment to test a solution to the problem. Because artificial intelligence is such an unknown field, the company is in uncharted territory and works to state assumptions and let results speak.

To prove the technology, Humana relies on a variety of metrics, including a unique emotional evaluation score. Because customers make 70% of their decisions with an emotional response, Humana uses a CPS approach to measure emotion in an AI (Artificial Intelligence) interaction. The company found that proportional to the improvement in its emotional metrics, other success metrics such as overall satisfaction or call length also improved.

As technology continues to evolve, so must the customer experience. Geeta predicts that advanced machines will be able to quickly analyse data to enable improved automated processes and personalised interactions with customers. Artificial intelligence is only one way to do this, but it is probably the most important.

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