One technology trend that has caught everyone’s attention in recent years is the way artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving. Its disrupting nature has given it an enormous potential with countless applications. Among the many possibilities that AI promises, customer experience (CX) seems to be completely overhauled.
Businesses today are fully aware of the value of great customer experience for their success. This is the reason why they looking toward incorporating AI to provide an intelligent, convenient and informed CX at any point along the customer journey.
As per a prediction made by IDC (International Data Corporation), by 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by some sort of cognitive computing or AI effort. Another study by Gartner says by 2020, 85% of customer interaction will be managed without a human.
This great potential of AI is because of the fact that AI has the power to analyze and process huge amounts of data from different sources, including human behaviors and emotions, thereby helping create more meaningful CX.
We are already witnessing the inroads AI is making into various industries and fields. Tesla’s autonomous cars, Google’s personal digital assistant “Siri” and Amazon Alexa/Echo are examples showing how AI can disrupt every aspect of our modern lifestyle.
Now, for the successful incorporation of AI in customer experience, businesses need three fundamental capabilities – data unification, real-time insights, and business interaction.
Here is how AI can transform customer experience for better:
Improved CX with chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants
The biggest impact AI can have on customer experience is by making it automated, fast and hassle-free. Chatbots, for example, are AI-based virtual conversation tools being used in various customer-engagement scenarios. They are specifically programmed to simulate human interactions and provide immediate, personalized responses.
This will effectively eliminate unnecessary delays and errors in customer service, especially while handling customer complaints. By automating responses to customer queries, companies will be able to reduce training time for service representatives and save the revenue in handling highly repetitive service queries.
Also with the help of AI-powered virtual assistants, businesses can distribute content more effectively in various channels in order to cater it to the right audience.
For example, Facebook’s Messenger Bot helps shoppers find what they are looking for by engaging them in simple conversations. Coupled with machine learning, AI isn’t just about facilitating client chats but can also help incorporate lead generating marketing to increase profitability.
It can point out positive leads to sales by making sure that potential customers are targeted for the correct platforms.
Predictive personalization is the effort and ability to predict the actions of users, based on their previous behaviors. Today, AI is effectively using predictive personalization to improve CX by naturally integrating it with consumers’ everyday lives. This AI-powered personalization will make customers feel as if every product or brand experience was tailored just for them.
Predictive personalization will particularly come handy for online shopping, where data collected from consumer behavior exhibited in online sessions is analyzed. It includes the amount of time spent on sites, pages, items, purchases, form filled, searches made etc.
By observing and processing this data, businesses will be able to assess individual shopper needs, suggesting the right items and delivering them to their homes. Thus, AI-infused procedures will make customer experience interactions smoother and streamlined across various channels.
AI-enabled analytics for crucial customer insights
AI can play a critical role in providing companies with actionable insights by feeding intelligence into CRM, marketing automation, and other key operational tools. They can incorporate proven insights to improve customer engagement and empower employees by helping them in making informed decisions.
Tools such as facial recognition software, text analytics, and machine learning can be used by companies to know what their customers see, identify the right messaging and convey it in real time. AI-enabled customer journey analytics can sift through a much, much larger and more complex data space and thereby uncover many more business opportunities.
Visual, voice and text engagements
Visual engagement along with voice and text sentiment analysis will help companies gauge emotions and sentiments in different types of communications. The AI-powered visual engagement technology analyzes facial expressions in face-to-face and video chat conversations.
This augmented processing will use voice biometrics and nuances found in voice chords and modulations in phone calls in order to understand emotions. With the help of these AI-based algorithms, companies can determine how to route communications and identify satisfaction. This will help them deliver positive sentiments to increase lifetime values so that repeat business and more profitability could be achieved.
Dramatic shift in decision making
The success of AI will be measured in more practical ways like return on investment, new market opportunities, diseases cured, etc. These all achievements will be made through a paradigm shift in terms of decision making.
The power of big data, AI and machine learning has paved way for a decision making metric. It is already being felt that decision cannot be made entirely on guts and intuition. Rather, decisions should be backed by data. So, whether is product review or customer service processes, AI enables businesses to make informed decisions. Health, financial services and automotive sectors are witnessing a sea change in their decision-making strategies.
Recently, PwC, a renowned audit and tax consulting company, put together massive amounts of data from the US Census Bureau, US financial data, and other public licensed sources to create a large-scale model for financial decision making of 320 million US consumers.
The automotive industry, on the other hand, has developed several AI applications, from vehicle design to marketing and sales decision-making support. The fact is AI modeling and simulation provide a good grasp of changing consumer behavior, which is crucial to making the best marketing decisions, in the short and long run.
Artificial Intelligence is here to stay as its future possibilities are insurmountable. Businesses have understood that AI-driven customer journey analytics will be their most fundamental requirement to deliver high-impact customer experience rapidly and effectively.