Insight by Verizon

CX Exchange 2024: Verizon’s David Werner on infusing AI into digital experiences

Agencies need to strike the right balance between new technology and human interaction to make their services more efficient.

The journey to reach customer experience excellence is a matter of constants. Agencies need constant feedback from customers. They need constant input from employees. And all of this is leading to constant change.

“It’s having that strategy that you’re constantly monitoring, measuring and acting on — being able to continually do that,” said David Werner, senior client partner for Verizon’s connected experience solutions, during the Federal News Network’s 2024 CX Exchange.

“You want to make sure you have high-quality, diverse, well-labeled datasets so that whatever models we’re building within artificial intelligence can truly improve its accuracy and reliability. It’s just really knowing what those models are and what the limitations of AI are, so that you can address everything proactively to be effective.”

Technology like cloud services, AI and automation — combined with new and improved processes — help agencies make it easier on their employees to understand customer needs.

Balancing AI use and workflow changes

Werner said many agencies are still figuring out the right balance between technologies like AI and the ever-changing role of employees in driving better customer experience.

“With both AI and the people working together, they are actually smarter and more efficient. Then, the whole key, I think, is really to figure out how AI can augment the human interactions and roles, versus replace, which I think some people were concerned about,” he said.

“With AI, there’s so many different ways that it can enhance the interactions with customers. It can increase personalization to make sure people are getting the content that they want, when they want it, and providing real-time insights and recommendations to customers as they’re asking you for information. All of that enhances the whole human interaction in that it helps the agencies to better understand the customer feedback.”

Agencies then can rely more on using sentiment analysis and using AI to more quickly figure out what is impacting interactions between a citizen and the government. By understanding the data in real time, Werner said, agencies can “break free” from those predefined journeys based on an old set of rules and understandings.

“Being able to access large language models, customers are able to ask open-ended questions that define the experience in their own way. It really improves their whole experience and makes them happier,” he said. “Then, from the employee side, AI, at its core, is an assistive technology. It really helps to enable digital assistants, which we’re seeing that already. But beyond that, it actually enhances and enriches the employees’ experience. Employees basically are able to leverage better training, which gets to shorter onboarding time.”

And, perhaps most important, Werner noted, “It leads to better outcomes.”

Tapping AI to help speed customer responses

Another big benefit for employees is they can more quickly find the answers to citizens’ questions, which improves the satisfaction of agency services.

For instance, one large Verizon customer is taking advantage of these tools in its contact center through different platforms and services as part of it efforts to develop a successful CX and AI strategy.

“We are helping government agencies figure out where they can create a sandbox, start to evaluate their data, how their data can be manipulated in a better way. We are working with customers to create what we call a center of excellence, which they can actually transform from a technical emphasis of the information to more operations focused to better support their business objectives,” Werner said.

“The key is helping to establish that data modernization journey. What’s the data? How did they gain the most from it? And then, constantly monitor, measure and act on that. The key is helping them from that sandbox, being able to create those evaluation processes. Then, once you deploy, you’re continually in that process to learn, grow, change and learn again — so that you’re evolving constantly.”

Discover more customer experience tactics and takeaways from Federal News Network’s CX Exchange 2024 now.

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