Here’s how AI Empowers the Customer Experience
By Kamal Jacob
Imagine you had a small issue with your mobile phone plan and hoping to have it resolved pretty quickly, you called the customer service. After waiting endlessly listening to the annoying music (yes, it becomes annoying if the wait time is so long), an agent answers your call only to transfer your call to another one. You explain the entire situation again only to hear that you need to visit their store a few kilometers away from your place.
Effectively, what you thought was a quick fix, has already drained your energy and you have decided to live with the problem.
Now imagine, if there was an instant response from someone (possibly, an AI bot) that spoke in your language, offered resolution to your during the chat and made the changes to fix the issue (if possible) or took a support request, on which you’re being sent continuous updates until it’s resolved.
This is a huge leap in the customer experience led by effective utilization of AI. Before delving into how AI improves customer experience, let us also understand how important it is to have a great customer experience.
How Important is a Great Customer Experience for Your Business?
Importance of great customer experience in the competitive world of today doesn’t require emphasis. Customers demand faster, accurate, and rather proactive solutions to their needs, whether it’s about sales, inquiries, service, support or any other customer-facing aspect of your business. Also, with several digital and non-digital touchpoints they have with your business, the CX should be consistent across channels as well.
If not, you risk losing your customers faster than you think. A question, therefore, arises if it’s worth making an investment in ensuring a great customer experience? The answer is – Absolutely! Indeed, research from PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) indicates that the customers don’t mind paying a premium to receive great customer experience.
Image Source: https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html
How AI Accelerates A Great Customer Experience?
Increasing Your Business’s Availability for Customers
Image result for increased customer experience availability AI
Image source: https://www.pointillist.com/blog/role-of-ai-in-customer-experience/
Artificial intelligence relies on machines that don’t get tired and don’t need weekends or vacations. Clearly, they can stay available for interacting with the customers and prospects at any time of the day all days a week. Not only an extended window of availability but AI also enables you to open more digital channels with your customers, further expanding the availability. Consequently, your customers need not wait until Monday morning to take a look at your products, understand your services, or to raise a support or service request. This may enhance their experience with your business.
Faster, Better Service Than Humans
AI bots deployed for customer service have access to large sets of information ready for being utilized for delivering service. Equipped with the right information and computing speeds, they can simply outperform the human agent in the speed of providing customer service. These bots can handle repetitive tasks and learn based on the patterns to decide the next best action. Also, they can forward the queries they cannot handle to the customer agents with great efficiency as well, resulting in overall improved customer service.
Proactive And Predictive Support
AI customer agents are connected with the data stores consisting of the customers’ historical data. With the AI and machine learning algorithms, they are able to identify patterns, relate them to individual customer situations and predict the personalized need for support for them. This helps you solve customers’ issues proactively in real-time and sometimes, even before they occur.
Proactive support and service instills trust among your customers in your brand and helps you go a long way in improving retention and increasing the customer lifetime value (LTV).
Personalized Sales Experience for Your Customers
Image result for personalized sales experience promises
Image source: https://optinmonster.com/ecommerce-personalization-examples/
Web analytics, campaign analysis, mobile analytics and analytics of other touch points with your target segments help you understand the motivations of specific customer personas and segments. Utilizing the following data points (and more), you can tailor your sales process and offer a personalized experience to every customer persona:
1. Campaign target segments
2. Marketing communication
3. Geography-specific events
5. Customer purchase behaviours and patterns
6. Website/ mobile/ in-store interactions
7. Referral sources
8. Psychographic factors
Needless to say, personalized sales experience promises a much better conversion than a generic sales experience.
Building Better, Most Customer-Centric Products Understanding Marketing Demands
With the right data capturing and processing infrastructure in place, you have the ability to generate actionable insights. Insights obtained from the data is evidence-based and thus, has high accuracy and can help you with understanding the market demands. For instance, this article from Forbes discusses location intelligence combined with AI can help you understand the market demand.
Understanding the pulse of the market is a first step towards building products that are beneficial for your business but also, are appreciated and received very well by the customers.
Ability to Offer Omni-Channel Connected Experience to Users
Most customers interact with businesses over more than one touchpoint. For example, while at work, a person uses a desktop to search for products, while on the go, they use a mobile phone and end up making a purchase on an iPad. For this kind of continuous experience, AI can come in real handy.
Identification of anonymous customers across channels is a challenge in ensuring a seamless omnichannel experience. However, artificial intelligence algorithms can help you accurately identify a customer across channels despite having no access to their email address, phone number, name or any other PII (personally identifiable information.)
Numerous noteworthy global brands, such as Disney, Virgin Atlantic, Bank of America, Oasis, REI, Starbucks and many more have already started using artificial intelligence for building delightful, omnichannel experiences to their users.
CX Success Stories led by Artificial Intelligence:
Early adopters of AI to improve customer experience have demonstrated great success and are continuing to invest bullishly. Here are few examples of frontrunners that leveraged AI to deliver great experiences and thus, built a better brand:
RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) Drives Personalization Using AI
Image result for RBS customer experience
Image source: https://www.pega.com/customers/rbs
RBS being in a highly competitive market believed that their success was intrinsic to their ability to harness data to build differentiative customer experience. RBS used the Pega platform to integrate personalized next best action-based recommendations into all their customer touchpoints, including Web, bank branches, call center and all the outbound marketing channels. They developed more than 100 unique journeys to improve the customer experience relying on the customer data. These journeys were integrated to become part of the personalized messaging to the customers as well as the personalized offers during each of over two billion interactions they had with their customers annually.
As a result, their mortgage retention has increased by 20% while there has been an increase of 40% in the adoption of their digital channels for appointments.
To learn more, watch the video:
Freshly Increases Retention Using AI:
Image source: https://www.freshly.com/
Freshly, a rapidly growing startup in the food delivery industry in the United States serves over 28 states. However, with rapid growth, they experienced efficiency related challenges in their customer support. They realized that reporting and prioritization of the support tickets were becoming a challenge for their customer service agents. To address this, they needed a better, faster and reliable way of reporting their customer issues.
They relied on the power of AI to categorize all the customer interactions and thus, could have visibility to follow and track customer issues. In addition, they could completely eliminate the need for manually tagging of customer feedback by the customer service agents. Utilizing the CxMoments platform they could have access to a granular analysis of all their customer conversation. Also, they integrated it with Zendesk to dynamically create a target segment for their next outbound marketing campaigns.
Today, they are one of the leaders in providing personalized customer experience and offering proactive issue resolution, which fuels their growth further up.
And that’s a wrap! Hope this blog post proves to be insightful for you! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section! Also, if you seek to upskill your Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning skills, feel free to check out our AI & Machine Learning Courses here.