AI and Customer Experience

Posted / 22 February, 2019

Author / Enginess

Ai and Customer Experience

In this article, we’re going to look at a tiny sliver of the AI world, and how you can use AI today to enhance your customer experience through personalization.

Artificial intelligence (AI) permeates everything we do. And customer experience is no exception. Whether it’s a chatbot that can automatically recognize what questions are being asked to in-home assistants, one thing is for sure — this is just the beginning. 

Healthcare, manufacturing, sales and marketing, financial services, consumer goods — there’s hardly a product or service that won’t be impacted by AI in the next ten years. 

Today, we’re going to look at a tiny sliver of the AI world, and how you can use AI today to enhance your customer experience through personalization.


1. Shift data to ever-smaller increments

The trifecta of big data lakes, data scientists, and dynamic content and automation has made it possible to customize and tailor the messaging to the audience more effectively than ever before. 

Of course, this concept isn’t new. People have been doing things like putting umbrellas outside their store on rainy days for eons. The tracking cookie was invented in 1996. So this is nothing new. 

However, the granularity of segmentation has become finer and finer, to the point that an individual can be targeted now across a broad spectrum of channels. For instance, the complexity of how segmentation and targeting work has become ever-finer, to the point that a “segment” is actually only one person.

And AI makes this evermore dynamic and profitable. One tool, Magnetic, according to Mar Tech Series:

... gives advertisers custom campaign audiences that are continuously refreshed based on new data, campaign performance, and machine learning.

Basically, it’s constantly optimizing based on new data at a speed and responsiveness that humans just can’t match. And since this kind of targeting means a 500-800% uplift in marketing spend efficiency, we can expect to see the level of segmentation only intensify.


2. Chatbots. Get one.

We mentioned Chatbots at the top of the piece, but it’s worth diving a little more into how they can personalize the customer experience.

Here’s how.

First, let’s look at an age-old problem: the homepage. Every website needs one. It’s like a front door — everyone’s got to knock. The problem is, everyone comes to your website for a different reason.

So, how do you create a customized experience for your users, as soon as they get in the door?

One possible answer is chatbots. Chatbots can be pre-programmed with a range of responses (not very “A” of the “AI”). However, they can then recall the right content or response based on what people type. 

And that’s very AI. It’s like having an usher at your front door, to get people where they need to go, rather than leaving them to wander around on their own.

When it comes to voice chatbots, it’s a similar story. By having phone bots that triage customer service cases to the right person, customers can get a personalized experience to solve their problem, without endlessly waiting on hold as they’re transferred to the right department.

And of course, there’s an economic argument here as well. By directing people quickly and getting them processed faster, organizations can lower their phone and call-center costs — something they've been trying to do ever since the first offshoring all those years ago.

AI and Data

3. Drive products with data in addition to insight

Qualitative insight is the bedrock of new product development. It’s an instinct (backed by some data) that yes, someone will pay for this.

This is an especially large leap for startups. But one area where companies can improve their product roadmap with AI is with new product features or lines. For software companies in particular and IoT enabled devices in general, there’s a wealth of how the user actually uses the product. 

With some simple data collection/analysis tools, organizations can get a deep understanding of who is using their product and what they’re doing with it to drill into what people like and what they don’t. The natural extension of this is to serve a customized product to a specific person, a level of detail not currently widely seen in the market — but definitely where things are going.

AI can augment qualitative research and market/product knowledge and experience to ultimately drive product-market fit faster.


Summary

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of AI and assume that it’s all about self-driving cars and robots taking over the world, a la Black Mirror.

However, you don’t have to be Google to take advantage of AI to personalize your customer experience. Using some basic tools like chatbots, data segmentation tools, and product usage tools, you can automatically build and inform the personalized experience your customers want. 

And with personalization rapidly moving from a differentiator to table stakes, now’s the time to leverage AI and see what it can do.

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