More than three-quarters (78%) of Australian businesses are concerned about diminishing customer loyalty — a problem most hope to address with AI, despite lingering fears about the technology, according to new research from global cloud leader in AI-powered experience orchestration, Genesys.

The study, commissioned by Genesys and carried out by YouGov, found that two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed cited customer churn as their primary business concern. Two in five (40%) were worried about customers churning for less expensive competitors, and three in ten (29%) were concerned about churn due to poor experience or customer service.

The vast majority (97%) of those surveyed said their organisation had or would adopt AI to enhance customer experience. Despite the cautiousness towards new technology, 95% of senior business decision-makers surveyed expressed some concern about implementing AI.

Nearly half (46%) of those surveyed cited cybersecurity risks from using AI programs as a top concern. Other top concerns included legal and regulatory issues (42%), a lack of AI skills internally among employees (40%) and the cost of investing in and implementing AI (40%).

Regardless of the fears about implementing AI, nine in ten senior business decision-makers surveyed (91%) said their company had seen or expected to see an increase in customer satisfaction as a result of implementing AI technology.

Moreover, 94% of respondents from businesses actively using or considering AI for customer experience enhancements said their organisation had improved or expected to improve on first contact resolution. Likewise, a similar proportion cited an increase in campaign ROI (94%) and a reduction of cost to serve (94%) as anticipated benefits from AI.

The anticipated rise in AI investment showcases the perceived and realised benefits of implementing the technology among local businesses. One-third (32%) of respondents cited the automation and streamlining of repetitive processes to improve business efficiencies as being among their top three drivers for implementing AI to enhance customer experience.

Other customer experience-related drivers of AI uptake included the desire to improve quality and consistency across the end-to-end customer journey, a factor noted by nearly three in ten (28%) of those surveyed. Nearly as many respondents (27%) cited the improvement of personalisation among their top three drivers for implementing AI to enhance customer experience.

“The business benefits of AI technology are clear, and the latest research from Genesys showcases just how AI can change the face of customer experience and engagement,” Genesys vice president for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Buckley said.

“While some concerns remain about implementing AI technology, the opportunity is ripe for businesses to tap AI and the solutions that draw upon its power to transform customer experience for the better.”