Why AI Makes Human Relationships Matter Even More

Stephen Hawking quote future possibilities

Jeff Bezos said in an interview years ago, “I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one.

I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.”

This is the Right Time for Bezos' Second Question

AI has been with us for years.  It has listened, learned, and quietly steered us in directions we didn’t see coming. But when ChatGPT made its way to everyone's browser, the conversation changed. 

If you’ve spent more than a minute on LinkedIn lately, you’ve seen the endless posts and pitches from newly hatched ChatGPT experts.

Meanwhile, content creators are fretting about their future. After all, if ChatGPT can deliver a grammatically correct, sometimes accurate post from your prompt in seconds, why invest your human hours?

In all of the speculation about whatever comes next, what I haven’t heard is this one simple question – “How will AI change the relationship that we have with our customers?” 

Technology Doesn’t Understand You Like Humans Do

As fast as AI is in responding to your prompt, it lacks an essential skill: the ability to understand why you asked the question. AI currently doesn’t know the context in which your request is being framed. And that's where your customer relationships shine.

woman thinking about all of the online tools and decisions she can make

An article about Microsoft’s upcoming Bing+OpenAI+chat gives us a glimpse into the future of more contextual search.

Before stepping down from his leadership at Microsoft, Bill Gates envisioned “context computing.” Years ago he saw the future with a more personalized understanding beyond SEO of information searches.

To be relevant and actionable, the information you’re searching for needs to solve an immediate problem. The best award-winning chocolate cake recipe is useful when you’re ready to bake a cake. It’s not particularly helpful when you’re stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire.

Your Customers Trust You More Than a Shiny New AI Tool

Let’s come back to Jeff Bezos’ observation.

Ask yourself, “What about our customers isn’t going to change today or 10 years from now?”  Hint: no one is going to say, “I don’t need the right information to solve this problem right now.” 

The reality is your customers want the easiest, fastest solution to their problems. Now more than ever being their go-to resource for trustworthy knowledge is essential.

Here are 6 ways you can do better than a maybe relevant AI answer.

  • Don’t wait to be asked: Your customers will measure the value of your products, services, and expertise against the nearly instant answer from an AI prompt.

    Regularly share actionable, personalized knowledge through emails, blogs, social media posts, wherever your customers are actively getting their information. 

  • Boost your daily learning:  The human relationship that you and your customers have built needs to become even stronger. Continually grow your skills, knowledge, and expertise. After all, that’s what AI is doing.

  • Ask your customers:  Now more than ever we all need to feel listened to, understood, and served the right answers to our real questions.

    AI, no matter how responsive, won’t replace the one-to-one connection that is built around understanding human context. When AI doesn’t quite deliver, who will your customers turn to?

  • Show don’t tell: Your customers can mistake the speed of an AI answer for accuracy. ChatGPT openly states that the information delivered might not be correct. (I’ll share some true examples in an upcoming email.)

    We already live in a world of misinformation and a rush to accept the easy answer. Show your customers how to think through the information they’ve been handed. 

  • Show your customers how to get better answers: Your value goes beyond simply answering your customers’ questions. Give them the knowledge they need to ask better questions.

    ChatGPT delivers more specific information when the prompts are iterative. You start with a broad question and then continue to refine and narrow the focus. 

  • Think like your customers: As search becomes more contextual, your human connections will become even more important. Discover what questions your customers are asking. Do the searches yourself. Use these questions and answers to start a conversation with your customers.  

  • In the End

    The most sophisticated technologies can’t replace the human connection we all need. How will this impact the products, services, and relationships you deliver to your customers every day?  

    When You're Ready to Put Your Knowledge-Sharing into Action

    They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. This is a practical, actionable guide to discovering and sharing the knowledge your customers really care about. The possibilities for more personalized search make this book even more relevant today. 

    If you make a purchase from this link, we might make a few cents toward a cup of coffee. There is no cost to you.

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    . . .

    Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner who believes a knowledge-first approach builds valuable client relationships. She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner.

    Linda believes that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely, and delivering more than their clients even know they need. As the CIO of their first startup client said, "The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop."

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