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Human-Centered AI

Using AI to Enable and Empower Customer Service Agents

Shep Hyken interviews Deon Nicholas, CEO and Co-Founder of Forethought, a company that builds human-centered AI to transform the customer service experience. He shares how companies can use AI and technology to help customer support agents and customers find the best resolution.

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Top Takeaways:

  • A lot of people think that AI is all about deflecting customers away from support agents. However, AI is about solving the customer’s problem by providing a self-service option, interacting with a bot, or getting that customer to a human.
  • Human-centered AI is not just about resolving the issue. It is also about being able to recognize when the best thing to do is to get out of the way. Certain problems require human judgment and empathy. Human-centered AI is all about connecting and getting the customer to an agent in the right channel at the right time.
  • If you can take historical data, such as questions customers have asked in the past and issues they have called about, then you can build a knowledge base around this data that agents can use to help customers.
  • Customers want speed and an easy experience, but that doesn’t matter if they don’t get the answer to their question or their problem resolved.
  • Deon Nicholas also talks about the three elements that organizations must have to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Tune in!


“The three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. The three most important factors in business are people, people, people.”

“Never sacrifice ease and getting a correct resolution in the name of efficiency.”

“In amazing businesses, the most important thing to think about is our people. Everything that we have ever done in humanity has been about building technology by people, for people. Double down on your people, and you will see the dividends and the returns.”


Deon Nicholas is the CEO and Co-Founder of Forethought, the AI company whose mission is to transform customer experiences with human-centered AI. Before starting Forethought, Deon built products and infrastructure at Facebook, Palantir, Dropbox, and Pure Storage.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:

  1. What is human-centered AI?
  2. Why is human-centered AI important?
  3. Will AI take over customer service?
  4. How is AI enhancing the customer service experience?
  5. How can AI enable and empower agents?

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