In this rapidly changing world, with most enterprises competing against each other for finite customer bases, customer-centricity has become a key differentiator in the digital age.
Businesses now more than ever need to build with the intent of providing what the customer is looking for, to make it easier for customers to immediately see value in the services being provided. The first step towards ensuring an excellent customer experience is understanding the customers. With customers now interacting across multiple channels and brands simultaneously, several enterprises are leveraging emerging technologies such as AI and ML to keep up with the changing dynamics and innovations that customers look for.
Olive Huang, research vice president at Gartner says that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400% from what it was in 2017.
Some of the ways in which businesses across the globe are leveraging AI to drive a seamless customer experience are:
Conversational AI (Virtual Assistants & Chatbots):
AI-powered conversation agents: Chatbots and Virtual Agents have increasingly become popular inclusions for interacting with customers across various digital touchpoints. They simulate human interactions while providing immediate and personalized responses.
Originally viewed as features that simply saved on time and money by automating conversations with customers, chatbots and virtual assistants are now being extensively implemented to drive frictionless customer engagement and loyalty. However, generating diverse and yet relevant responses and conducting sensible conversations is a challenge for many a chatbot. As chatbot algorithms and underlying technologies become more fine-tuned with evolving use cases, the bots and their capabilities will evolve too.
A significant application of AI has been in the automation of existing standard processes. Implementing AI-driven tools giving enterprises the key advantage of automating standard customer-centric tasks and thus enable faster communication between the company and the customer while also increasing productivity and enhancing experience
In a time where algorithms keep on improving with increased availability of data, compounded with advancements in hardware, there is incredible scope for growth in AI-led automation of processes.
Predictive Analytics and Personalization
Personalization has changed the course of delivering customer experience, both for customers as well as businesses. With the increased availability of data, AI-based algorithms are helping enterprises to cut through the noise and deliver tailored, relevant messages and content. This customization is amplifying the customer experience and helping drive engagement at the right place, at the right time.
With the inclusion of AI-enabled visual, speech and text engagements, companies are able to effectively route communications and make customer interactions streamlined across channels.
AI-Enabled Customer Insights
With the ever-increasing availability of data and touch-points with customers, AI is being leveraged to derive customer insights that are helping drive a continuously improving customer experience tailored to the customers’ needs.
A key advantage is that businesses are now able to identify which customers are more receptive and which aren’t, where to direct time and marketing resources, enabling targeted approaches for each kind. Service leaders are now able to obtain a comprehensive picture of the customer journey across various channels and devices, through integrated analysis of customer interaction, sentiment, and engagement, and thus make better business decisions.
Forrester writes, “Strong CX will depend on getting machines and humans to work collaboratively.”
An engaging customer experience is paramount to driving customer satisfaction and profitability for organizations, and those that leverage and harness this power of emerging technology stand well positioned for success in the years to come.