There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way companies operate, the way they approach customers, and the way customers shop – both online and offline. With organizations scrambling to get closer to customers and to replicate the in-person experience online, technology is lending a helping hand. In short, more and more businesses are relying on futuristic technologies to drive everyday functions and deliver stellar customer experience all at the same time.
In fact, research by Microsoft indicates that:
“By 2025, as many as 95 percent of all customer interactions will be through channels supported by artificial intelligence (AI) technology.”
Clearly, AI is making inroads into the customer experience sector and delivering powerful results. Let’s understand how.
Top-6 AI-Led CX Benefits That Are Too Good To Ignore
1. Empowers A ‘Self-Service Culture’
AI-enabled chatbots are all the rage now. And for good reason. From answering routine customer queries to offering a rich knowledge base of useful articles, chatbots empower customers to answer concerns themselves. Take, for example, PVR’s chatbot which allows customers to book tickets, check offers, leave feedback, etc. at the click of a button:
Key takeaway: Reactive support is no longer in; proactive support is key. Customers today want instant and proactive service. In fact, as per data, “33% of customers want their issues resolved in a single interaction.” This is where chatbots really shine by empowering customers to (literally) take the matter into their own hands and resolve issues at lightspeed.
2. Improves Personalization Across The Customer Life Cycle
Every customer today is spoilt with personalized choices – from Netflix and Amazon to Spotify and Nike. Brands are truly upping their game with respect to customized CX. Let’s look at Nike’s Facebook Messenger chatbot – Stylebot – which enables users to create custom sneakers or choose from the wide range of styles available:
Key takeaway: Using AI-powered chatbots can allow your brand to engage and interact with customers on a more personalized level. Plus, the chatbots can help store and analyze mountains worth of valuable customer data. Based on the data collected, actionable insights can be extracted and used to create relevant and customized marketing campaigns. The customers will love the detailed personalization, and your brand will benefit from real-time, accurate data.
3. Reduces Operation Costs & Saves Agent’s Time
Did you know that the cost of customers migrating to competitors as a result of poor customer service amounts to a staggering U.S. $1.6 trillion? Here’s where AI can make up for the losses to a great extent.
First, it helps simplify the agent experience, owing to the reduced training time and associated costs (40%). This, as you can imagine, leads to lower absenteeism and agent attrition.
Second, the increasingly sophisticated AI technologies of today can be programmed to imitate top-performing agents and take the load off from your already overwhelmed CX team.
Three, it can help deliver an omnichannel experience and enhance overall customer satisfaction, thereby reducing conversion rates and boosting agent morale.
Key takeaway: Artificial intelligence tools should be used in sync with live agents to maximize cost benefits. The former can tackle everyday issues, whereas the latter can spend their valuable time and effort in resolving complex issues that require a human touch.
4. Maximizes Sales, Product Innovation & Customer Service
If we were to give you real-world examples of how AI drives sales and enhances the user experience simultaneously, we’d talk about Amazon’s ‘Recommended Products’ section or Netflix’ “Because you saw [X]…” feature:
Tying back to the second point, the central idea is to look for ways in which you can wow your customers by making the service more seamless, relevant, and quick. AI tools can ingest gigantic volumes of data at lightspeed and deliver actionable insights that can be used for improving your sales, personalizing your marketing efforts, enhancing your digital presence, and improving the overall customer experience. Plus, it can go the extra mile and offer proactive support to customers (as shown below):
Key takeaway: Though still in its nascent stages, the use of AI in the CX field is catching on. As organizations begin to scale, they’ll need the help of technology to deliver products/services at competitive costs, drive user engagement and boost customer satisfaction like never before.
5. Drives Accurate Customer Analytics
Let’s face it. Your customers no longer shopping from one specific platform. They keep navigating between your website, social media pages, app, among other platforms.
Let’s say a customer logs onto your website and views an offer on something they like which they can avail if they download the app. They immediately download the app and begin browsing the products. They choose an item and send it to the cart, and forget about it. The next day, they receive an email from your brand regarding the abandoned cart and decide to check out the brand’s Instagram page. So they scroll through your Instagram page for more options.
Once all their research is complete, they finally proceed towards checkout after a couple of days. This is how the ‘always-on’ customer of today shops and interacts with your brand. The process is omnichannel, unpredictable, and diverse.
This is why you need the help of AI-led technology to provide customers with a seamless, cohesive, and unified experience.
Key takeaway: Every conversation and interaction that the customer has with your brand – across various touch-points – should be in ‘context’ and should be updated with real-time information as the customers jump from one channel to the next. You can win over your customers with seamless customer service that only enriches their experience, every single time.
6. Assists In Collecting Customer Feedback
The final leg of your CX journey, collecting customer feedback is a vital part of your customer experience. One effective way in which AI can help is by rolling out highly-personalized emails or chatting with customers directly after every interaction so that they can provide their feedback:
Notice how the brand uses warm and friendly language and thanks the users for taking the time to offer feedback. AI also helps analyze customer feedback at scale, without any human bias or errors:
That’s not all. AI can augment your CX efforts by automating your email marketing and sending customized and timely follow-ups:
Key takeaway: AI technology acts as a time-saver by responding to emails, gathering feedback, and following up with harrowed customers to improve the overall customer experience.
On A Final Note
“40% want companies to focus on taking care of their needs quickly; The future of service belongs to those who deliver quick, convenient and personalized service in the customer’s channel of choice.” – American Express
Using artificial intelligence tools to further your customer service efforts was once thought to be futile. But, over time, it can be said that AI can augment your CX efforts and offer true value in terms of cost savings, high agent productivity, increased customer happiness, among others. So try these time-tested strategies and reap the benefits of AI to steer – and stay – ahead of the competition, always. What do you think?