Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Why AI is imperative for a successful Customer Experience Strategy
AI can make empirical changes in the way businesses offer digital customer experience to their patrons.
American Economist, Theodore Levitt (March 1, 1925, — June 28, 2006), a professor at the Harvard Business School and also Editor of the Harvard Business Review famously said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
Humans need a customer experience that is smart, integrated, uncomplicated, works across devices, and more importantly the kind that understands them and is personalized. Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest evolving and potent technologies that allows users with the kind of user experience the customer demands.
According to a report by Digital IQ 2020, 82% of the top-performing companies report paying close attention to the digital customer experience.
Businesses, therefore, need to leverage artificial intelligence to provide proactive, smart, integrated omnichannel experience with relevant personalized interactions along the for designing superlative customer experience.
In this blog, I will share with you how AI can make empirical changes in the way businesses offer digital customer experience to their patrons.
1. Enabling searches to move beyond — text!
In this hyper-information seeking world, where most of the things are searched for on mobile devices, on-the-fly, it is only natural for users to need more than one way to search. Artificial intelligence helps businesses to allow their visitors and customers to transcend traditional search maneuvers.
In other words, AI allows people to make smart searches through voice and images rather than just text, drastically increasing their search efficiency and enhancing their shopping experience.
Earlier this year, eCommerce giant eBay, launched a new vision-powered AI platform Krylov for its users to have an enhanced eCommerce customer experience while shopping.
eBay’s vice president Sanjeev Katariya, and director of product management Ashok Ramani stated, “With computer vision powered by eBay’s modern AI platform, the technology helps you find items based on the click of your camera or an image. Users can go onto the eBay app and take a photo of what they are looking for and within milliseconds, the platform surfaces items that match the image.”
Voice searches is another trending method of search. Voice searches have increased more. A Gartner study predicts that 30% of all browsing sessions will include a voice search by 2020.
Additionally with the advent of AI-based assistance tools like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, voice searches have aided to a steep increase in the use of voice searches.
2. Customer service 24/7 (with patience that never runs out)
One of the biggest leverages of Artificial intelligence over human support agents is that it can provide round the clock customer support services. AI-powered, conversational chatbots are allowing businesses to provide real-time customer support to their visitors and customers.
“According to IBM, up to 80% of routine customer service questions could be answered by a chatbot.”
Seamless, and uninterrupted customer service to the users is something all companies need, most companies can’t afford and only a few companies have due to the limitation in manpower. Not even the most loyal customers are willing to wait for businesses to open their doors to answer their queries and questions. Chatbots solve this problem by giving customer’s answers to their questions and queries regardless of the day and time.
Yet another reason that chatbot is an essential aspect of customer experience strategy is that not only do chatbots respond to customer queries round the clock and give them the solutions to their problems but also offer the best customer experience.
Some customers with their pressing and incessant queries may annoy a service agent or make them not as pleasant as they generally would. AI-powered chatbots mitigate such sales disasters.
3. Recommendation Engine: Personal shopper/Cross-sales specialist
A recommendation engine is an AI-driven system that helps online businesses, software websites, eCommerce stores, blogging platforms, etc. in suggesting products, or even services and information to users based on their behavior online. The recommendation can also be derived through the preferences, interests, and history of a user and that of similar users.
These systems put to use machine learning, deep learning algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) to track and analyze bread-crumbs of data and recommend relevant content to the right person in real-time with precision.
For instance, take an example of an eCommerce website. A recommendation engine can help a consumer that has purchased a product or is looking for one in navigating the right path across the eCommerce store. To do this in a way that they would find the alternatives of the product they are looking for, items that would complement their product of interest, similar products, etc.
This makes the consumer’s shopping experience personalized, even though online. Thus recommendation engines not only create a fulfilling digital customer experience for the users but also helps the business with more products being sold.
Another example is Netflix and Youtube, the two most popular entertainment websites to consume content. The recommendations one sees in these sites are curated by recommendation engines based on past behavior of the users, allowing for optimum user experience as well as maximum screen time.
4. Bring back “human touch” in digital customer experience
Many eCommerce business owners say that they lack or they believe that they do in having a strong customer experience strategy simply because they do not have physical stores and they can’t see their customers in flesh and bones.
While this is understandable, it is also important to note that there are smart tools and techniques that can aid business owners in acing their digital customer experience that would match if not exceed in-store customer experience.
For starters, online businesses should not make their website or e-store visitors feel marooned. Assist them throughout their customer journey.
Artificial Intelligence is on the rise, and it has just started. The staggering growth of AI does not mean the redundancy of manual jobs and human labor.
Though how competent this technology is, it will not push us into oblivion but rather do quite the opposite. AI is a tool to allow us to make our jobs better, make us more efficient, and save our time so that we can deal with more complex issues.
This is necessary for us to realize in order to accept and welcome AI easily for the common goal of offering a great customer experience to the users.