Two-thirds (66%) of senior IT decision-makers believe failure to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to a loss of competitiveness, research by global reviews and customer insights company Feefo has found.

96% also say that AI will have a positive effect on customer-engagement in their organisation, while 45% believe that personalisation is where the biggest gains will be made.

The findings were revealed in a survey of 100 senior IT decision-makers in the UK, covering their attitudes towards AI and its adoption in their respective organisations. 61% of respondents said they are using, or will use AI for customer-service analysis and intervention.

Almost half (46%) said their organisation is using or plans to use AI to provide personalised summaries of online reviews, with 100% in the accommodation and food sectors saying they will use AI in this way.

“If you are serious about personalising customer-engagement you’ve got to use AI,” said Matt West, CMO, Feefo. “It’s encouraging that this message is getting through, but we need to see a lot more businesses actually using AI to transform the way they personalise their interactions with customers.”

The survey found that while 42% of IT chiefs selected chatbots as the AI technology they are using or will use, 53% want to use AI’s predictive capabilities to engage with customers by anticipating their requirements.

In other findings, the survey revealed considerable diversity between sectors in how IT decision-makers will measure the success of AI in customer-engagement.  Half of those in wholesale and retail (50%) are seeking greater customer-retention, compared with a cross-industry average of 31%.  Some 67% in the professional, scientific and technical sector, on the other hand want to see increased rates of customer-satisfaction.

“Businesses can use AI for different objectives in customer-engagement,” said West. “But the time for talk is over. Let’s see some real investment in AI to improve what UK businesses do for their customers.”

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