How companies are using AI to enhance customer experience strategies
Business leaders believe AI is going to be fundamental in the future. In fact, 72% termed it a “business advantage.” (Source)
There is no doubt that the coming decade is going to be the golden era of AI or Artificial Intelligence.This technology has been present since 1956 and in recent years has grown leaps and bounds.
Big brands like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. have jumped on the AI bandwagon and are extensively investing in the technology and have rolled out their very own AI programs.
For instance, Google’s voice recognition program has achieved 98% accuracy whereas Facebook’s DeepFace has achieved 97% accuracy rate with facial recognition.
Undoubtedly, the relationship between man and machine is evolving and the days are not far when AI will become a necessity, integrated into our daily lives.
At present, many organisations are still driving their sales and customer service decisions by relying on conventional and gut feel approach.
Such outdated approaches don’t have the capacity to enable automated decision-making or present employees involved in customer interaction, with actionable information to direct their complicated decisions.
Since organisations and individuals make decisions every other day, artificial intelligence integrated consumer experience solutions which involve decision making elements can completely influence why, how and when, consumers fully engage.
1. Change in Customer Self-Service
A Swedish retail bank known as Swedbank has integrated a tool called ‘Nina’ in its customer service model. With the objective of diminishing the number of calls received by bank’s call centres, this smart virtual assistant gives an automated response to customers through the bank’s website in a colloquial way.
This facilitates self-service capabilities with fast and simple access to data for the bank’s customers.
For instance, if a customer visits the website and wants to issue a new card, Nina would accept the request and will dig down further, by questioning the customer to know the reason behind such a request.
Depending on the reply received from the customer, Nina will accordingly come back with another response or even guide the customer to another channel.
Bank’s Head of Channel Management, Martin Kedback explained that with the integration of Nina into the system, it now reduces about 80% of the banks 30,000 monthly enquiries.
The bank is continuously working on Nina, making it smarter by updating its database with new questions and answers given on the customer’s end.
2. Integrating AI and Customer Data
If an organization chooses to implant AI in the framework of its main data it will be able to access rich data.
Although, this kind of advancement poses problems regarding what the organisation is going to do with such personal data of the customers. However, if they are successful in striking a balance between respecting customer’s privacy and at the same time granting AI access to appropriate data, it can be quite profitable as it is economical and can give customer-specific personalisation which may not be possible through a human being.
But, a recent research conducted by Accenture revealed that customers want human interaction when they want to complain or require guidance in complex matters.
One such example of a company integrating AI and customer data is IBM with its travel application WayBlazer which works on company’s artificial technology to deliver personalised suggestions.
The B2B firm works with companies which merchandise cruises, hotels, tours and activities. Applying Watson’s NLP skills, it gives a system which delivers personalised suggestions for travel, which includes local sightseeing and other places of interest for customers.
3. Real time Response
Delivering a smooth, real-time customer experience means eliminating road bumps, and enhancing the services.
Any roadblock which a business adds to the customer’s journey is only going to bother them and will make their customer experience quite tough, leaving a bad impression somewhat immediately.
The rise of automated chatbots, natural language translators, AI backed telecom services, speech interfaces, etc., all of these can present your organisation’s data and services at the click of a button and deliver a frictionless customer experience.
For instance, sports clothing brand Under Armour has integrated AI in its fitness app to know more about the user’s lifestyle and accordingly give them personalised suggestions.
The application monitors sleep duration, exercise routine and food intake in association with data collected from other users of the app, giving suitable feedback and motivation.
AI is steadily finding its roots in each and every organisation. Although, neither it is going to sell your poor product nor it is going to save a doomed business from failing.
Only those organisations which will allow more options to eliminate friction are going to be heroes of the tomorrow.
One cannot hire an army of employees which will perform follow-ups with each and every customer but with AI finding wider acceptance in the society, it isn’t impossible anymore.
But, it is going to be a great influence when it comes to brands building relationships with their customers and a crucial element which gives them more assistance.