Roboboogie’s Chief Experience Officer John Gentle has spent most of his adult life in web consultancy and iterative, data-backed design. With that kind of experience, one tends to get really excited about topics that others don’t tend to think about as much—but with that excitement comes passion and knowledge. We decided to kick off a new series, John Talks, to get his years of experiences and insights on the various subjects we handle on a daily basis.

Hanging out in the serene vibes of Martha’s, our local coffee shop located 23 feet from the Roboboogie headquarters, John shared his thoughts on artificial intelligence, how we use it, and the roles it will play in the future of CX, UX, and UI.

What do you find so exciting about AI?

Beyond the fact that we’re literally building robots who can learn, AI helps us deliver a more complete online experience. We build machines that can instantly identify anything from customer pain-points, to bounce locations, down to the color of a button on a screen to make selection and purchase easier.

Interesting. So where do you see AI fitting into the future of CX?

Well, it helps streamline so much of the development process, especially iterative design. The more sophisticated these systems get to understand the relational components, the more you can automate and take the pressure off of people.

What sort of benefits do businesses have by leveraging AI?

Oh, tons. With AI, we have more success with CX journey mapping, which is an important step to understanding someone’s experience from end-to-end. After that, we can develop multiple touch points, create a more meaningful relationship between the customer and the brand, and open up more opportunities for revenue.

And that’s part of the whole thing, right? Creating that customer-brand relationship?

For sure. In terms of AI, we can automate how we manage relationships, especially through things like targeted messages and eliminating barriers to engagement. In the world of eCommerce, we can integrate it into services. That helps better predict the customers needs, create better post-sale relationships, and develop a more meaningful connection to the brand. And that’s just eCommerce. We could potentially apply these same sort of principles to something like healthcare—maybe start seeing more people getting the care they need before something happens.

What potential pitfalls could you see regarding this form of AI?

Any kind of software or digital experience adoption has to make life better or easier or people won’t adopt it. A lot of AI and retargeting is happening in the background, so people are right to be suspicious. When it’s done right and brands are being transparent, it makes life easier. When brands get too “creepy” with it, that’s when people drop off.

For example, think of going into a store or restaurant where they’re familiar with you. They know your order or what you like to wear. You’ll like that place more. However, if they suddenly popped up and were offering you things outside of those stores, you might not like them as much.

If you get a similar experience on a brand webpage and they reach out in a more meaningful way, it makes decision making easier. It’s more effective and creates a better connection to the brand and the customer. However, if you’re not respecting the customers, you can alienate them and they’ll reject you. People don’t have a relationship with the AI, they do with the brand. That’s where we can step in and help.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Timing and context is everything. Be empathetic to customer needs and be empathetic towards where they are at that place and time and the rest will fall into place.

Check out more interviews with the Roboboogie team. We’ll see you again next month for the next installment of John Talks!