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Balanced IT: Humanizing AI in Client Experience 

By: Tigran Safari, Client Experience Manager, Secured Managed Services

How can we clear our minds of preconceived notions about Artificial Intelligence? How can we approach this ongoing technological revolution without apprehension?

AI has integrated into our lives more swiftly than a lawyer’s “Objection, Your Honor!” in a surprise courtroom confession. We ask AI to do a multitude of things: write email responses, research our homework, inquire about recipes, complain about our tough days, compose school papers, and create art. Through this myriad of requests, we continually drive AI’s capabilities to new heights with our lack of time, limited knowledge, and, sometimes, laziness.

Balanced IT: Humanizing AI in Client Experience, Tigran Safari

In the evolving landscape of client experience management, AI emerges not as a replacement for human interaction but as a powerful tool. When used ethically and creatively, we can significantly enhance personalization, efficiency, and innovation, and by leveraging AI’s capabilities alongside human empathy and understanding, we can transcend traditional limitations, offering unparalleled client experiences that blend technology and personal touch. 

Stay Positive by Keeping a Charged Attitude 

I was recently asked about the number of clients I can truly support, providing the valuable, top-tier cybersecurity client experience I strive for. Considering the time restraints — there are only 24 hours in a day and even the finest client experience managers need to rest — there’s a cap to what I can achieve, as my “computing” powers and capacities sometimes brush against the limits of humankind (my daily coffee intake tries boldly to expand those limits, but even caffeine has its boundaries). 

I thought about how, in 1771, as the Industrial Revolution rolled in, our civilization feared machines would replace us. In 1829, we were frightened of being steamrolled by the Steam and Railways Revolution. Steel, Electricity, and Heavy Engineering terrified us into submission in 1875, and we became anxious about losing all our ponies to the Automobile and Mass Production Revolution of 1908. But when the Information and Telecommunication Revolution knocked on our doors in 1971, we quietly submitted to the robots marching in to take all our jobs. 

Yet, remarkably, the United States employment rate remained steady at about 60% from 1948 until 2024. 

Fear AI. Not! 

AI has one of the greatest potentials of all human inventions (unless, by the time you read this article, there’s a breakthrough in cold fusion). It offers unparalleled efficiency and automation, enhanced quality of service, and creative inspiration to us all, not just creative geniuses like Salvador Dalí or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. AI’s unparalleled processing power, knowledge access, and deep-dive analytics showcase its vast potential. Let’s examine the AI’s aptitude to enhance, not replace, human capabilities in client experience management.

I use AI. It is one of many tools available in my arsenal. I’m able to make it as useful as all other tools by researching its capabilities and features and then tailoring its use to what I need. AI is akin to tools like MS Excel or Adobe Illustrator—valuable in its own right. I’ve even used AI to understand my strengths and weaknesses in client interactions by asking AI to analyze and provide feedback on active listening and empathy. This mind-opening experience improved my approach, demonstrating that AI’s impact extends beyond client management to personal development and effectiveness. 

While AI excels in analytics, building relationships is paramount and often requires a human touch. Take advantage of AI! Make a habit of offering to sit down with clients and discuss their challenges and achievements. Offer to share a meal and crack a joke or two (make sure your jokes outdo the standard “Why did the AI cross the road?” variety). Use AI to understand your client’s industry as well as current trends in their business. ChatGPT, for example, offers many custom responses that you can adapt to the meeting by researching metrics and providing reports with relative data. 

My team and I recently provided a tour of our CISO Global Security Operations Center (SOC) in Tulsa, OK. We shouldn’t have been surprised by how many clients wanted to visit and discuss our capabilities. But still, we were. The personalization of our services, multiplied by our technical prowess, made the interactions genuine, not artificial (pun intended). I imagine the experience would have been even more notable if we had invited our AI-driven Client Success Manager solution and its holographic option to the SOC tours. That would have certainly piqued our clients’ interest, but we do not use one. There’s no timetable for its arrival, and clients didn’t ask for it. 

The Future of AI Is Your Future 

We just entered the Weak or Narrow AI world, driven by ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini, and Amazon’s Alexa. The evolution from Narrow AI to the theoretical realm of Strong or General AI is the next projected step (though AlphaGo has already produced stunning wins against the best chess computer engines while making moves beyond human expectations). Not surprisingly, Artificial Superintelligence only exists as a figment of our imagination. 

Integrate AI ethically into your practice and routine— this is crucial. Use AI to complement your capabilities, especially when you are at capacity. (Beware! Though AI isn’t human, it behaves like one. It cheats, it lies, and it overheats.)  

Actual screen image from a recent AI session.

(Beware! Though AI isn’t human, it behaves like one. It cheats, it lies, and it overheats.)

I could have written this article using AI, but I did not. And it made me happy to realize that I have not yet reached my potential. I used research tools to share my view with the audience; I used my recent experiences to navigate the labyrinths of this topic; and, of course, I used the spell-checker to spell the word “labyrinths.” 

When using AI in service delivery, clearly explain to the client whether they are communicating with humans or AI. Also, notice that AI algorithms use inherent biases, (I noticed that ChatGPT delivers much better results in English). Remember, in ChatGPT, you can create your own GPT and configure its instructions, conversation starters, knowledge, capabilities, and actions. By designing these aspects, you can help counteract biases, ensuring all clients are treated fairly through AI-driven customer service. 

The End (Is It?) 

I love working with people, so the Client Experience and Client Success roles are near and dear to my heart. I apply personalization and empathy to my work, making it as rewarding to my clients and teammates as humanly(!) possible. I strive to create “Uncopyable” experiences and make each of my client interactions memorable. Thus, I challenge current and future Artificial Intelligence models to match or exceed our human potential in crafting genuine encounters with the potential to replicate, improve, or even supersede us. This won’t happen…unless we become idle and uninterested, or worse, stop caring about each other. But even if that does happen, in the distant future, it will be the end of AI and the end of humanity. So, regardless of how you slice or dice it, AI will never replace you. But we, the humans, will always march on. 

About the Author 

Tigran Safari is a highly accomplished IT and Client Experience Leader with a profound track record in driving organizations toward exceptional B2B client service and satisfaction. Boasting an extensive background in information security and IT management, backed by several patents in virtualization and storage, he has demonstrated remarkable skill in blending technical expertise with a client-centric focus. This unique combination has enabled him to deliver innovative solutions that meet client needs effectively. Tigran is recognized for his visionary leadership, startup experience, and adeptness at conceptualizing and executing strategies that enhance client experience, drive business growth, and forward continuous improvement. 

Throughout his career, Tigran has shown an exceptional ability to build and lead high-performing teams, foster cross-departmental collaboration, and advocate for customer-centric initiatives at an executive level. His approach to leadership is informed by data analytics, which he leverages to make informed decisions and drive client engagement strategies. As a committed professional to transforming client experience, Tigran integrates cutting-edge technology, personalized service, and strategic leadership to meet the industry’s evolving demands. 

Tigran’s professional journey includes pivotal roles at CISO Global, Atlantic Technology Systems, DeskCenter USA, Kubisys, Syncsort, and cfX, where he has left a significant impact in areas ranging from client experience management and solutions architecture to regulatory compliance and risk management. Beyond his professional achievements, he is an active community member, serving as head coach for the local soccer High School varsity team. He is also a former chess master and is fluent in three languages.