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Building Customer Trust in AI: A 4-Step Guide For Your Business

Businesses can address customer concerns about AI in business with ethical data collection practices and responsible use of AI in business.

The current digital-first landscape makes the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) crucial for businesses. Globally, four out of five companies are gearing up to integrate AI within their business operations. In India too, AI adoption is expected to contribute a projected 10% to the country’s USD 5 trillion GDP target by 2025.

Customers are increasingly aware of the pervasive role of AI in various aspects of their lives, particularly in business. The fifth edition of Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report highlights this increasing customer awareness about AI, its value in daily life, and its possible risks.

As the use of generative AI becomes more prevalent, it is crucial for businesses to understand and address customer concerns surrounding this new technology.

What are some customer concerns regarding the use of AI in business?

1. Apprehensions about data privacy risks

Customers are rightfully concerned about rampant data breaches. This has resulted in privacy concerns about the use of AI in business, such as:  

  • Indefinitely storing data that outlasts its creator and collectors. This increases the risk of misuse, abuse, and downright exploitation
  • Using data for purposes other than those originally intended
  • Targeting individuals who are not the subject of the original data collection exercise

2. Confusion around ethical data collection practices

Data fuels AI. As businesses collect more and more customer data, customers worry about confidentiality, consent, compensation, bias, and the responsible use of AI.  

With increased AI adoption, many devices, apps, and platforms may have built-in data collection features. This leaves customers with limited options about what data to share.

3. Lack of consensus and regulatory framework

Policymakers worldwide are still grappling with the best way to handle AI and customer data. This lack of consensus creates a challenge for customers who want to compare how businesses are using AI. 

However, it is not all gloom and doom. Despite concerns, customers are hopeful about AI having a positive impact on their overall purchase experience.

81% of Indian respondents are open to the use of AI to improve their experience.

The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report

4 ways businesses can help build customers’ trust in AI

When it comes to handling sensitive customer data, regulatory compliance, ethical data collection practices and transparency in data usage can increase customer trust. 

Here are some steps that can help you assuage customer concerns about the use of AI in business.

1. Consult experts and explore independent reviewing

59% of customers were more likely to trust AI solutions that were developed in collaboration with human rights experts. 
42% of customers were more likely to be comfortable with AI solutions launched post an ethics.

The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report

Customers look to non-biased entities to safeguard their rights related to their personal data. By basing your decision-making on inputs from such entities for the development and deployment of AI systems, you can gain customer trust.  

For example, incorporating inputs from human rights experts into AI-powered social media content moderation can help ensure that users’ freedom of expression is protected and that marginalised voices are not disproportionately silenced. 

Secondly, undergoing an ethics audit by a neutral third party can help you identify and resolve any gaps in your AI ethical policies.

2. Make sure your underlying research is publicly available

51% of customers will trust AI in business when supported by transparent, public information about the research and methods involved.

The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report

When it comes to dealing with sensitive information and collecting data from your customers, transparency plays a crucial role. In a digital-first business environment, customers increasingly seek human attributes such as transparency or operations and integrity in research methodolgies. When you exhibit such values through your business practices, especially in the context of your AI usage, you can build long-term relationships with customers.

3. Offer customers greater visibility on how you use AI

71% of customers prefer more say in how a business could use AI at a customer level.

The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report

Explicit consent involves providing concise information on AI use, data collection, storage duration, and access. Obtaining explicit consent is crucial to address customer scepticism about AI ethics. It demonstrates the ethical use of AI and builds trust by ensuring that customers are fully informed about how their data will be used and have given clear agreement to its use.

4. Actively solicit feedback from your customers

56% of customers said they were likely to trust AI in businesses that solicited feedback for improvements.

The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report

To build trust in the use of AI for business gains, actively seek customer feedback through surveys or social media. Use the feedback to identify areas where the AI systems need improvement and take steps to address concerns, such as expanding datasets to reduce bias. For example, an AI-powered recruitment tool can be made more ethical by using feedback to identify and address specific areas of bias.

Communicate these changes to your customer through emails, social media posts, or in-app notifications. This helps demonstrate your commitment to ethical and responsible AI use, which increases the customer’s trust.

Ensuring the ethical use of AI in business with Salesforce

Value-driven businesses focused on a culture of ethics are better positioned to develop and use AI safely, accurately, and ethically. Salesforce’s AI solution, Einstein GPT integrates with the entire Salesforce suite to create technology solutions that use  trusted AI and follow ethical guiding principles around privacy, safety, honesty, human rights, and inclusivity. Equipped with Einstein GPT, the world’s first generative AI for CRM, Einstein helps you use AI to deliver personalised experiences and get work done faster while following ethical guiding principles around privacy, safety, honesty, human rights, and inclusivity.  

It ensures: 

  • Secure data handling via data masking and data anonymisation. 
  • Predictive modeling without using personally identifiable information (PII), which helps protect individual privacy while still providing useful insights for businesses. 
  • Transparency and visibility into how data is being used, making it easier to win customer trust. 
  • AI usage in compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.

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