If you keep up with recent trends in technology, then you’ve probably been hearing a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) lately. Artificial intelligence has many uses and is already seeing multiple cases of real-world applications. But that doesn’t tell you much about how your business can use it, or if it’s going to be something you need to adapt in the coming years. For instance, can it help you deliver a great customer experience? Depending on your needs, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.”
So in this article, I want to briefly cover some impactful ways that AI can use data to improve your overall customer experience. I’ll also try to provide some actionable ways for you to start implementing AI in the coming months.
Use #1: AI Lets You Meet Customer Needs and Expectations Better
Customer expectations are seeing a fairly meteoric rise these days, and that can be a scary trend. Recent studies have shown that almost one-fourth of consumers say their expectations are higher than they were a year ago, and more than two-thirds want faster service with more convenient shopping options.
This can be both good and bad. The upside is that you have more potential than ever to impress your customers. The downside is that you need to stretch your resources if you want to truly stand out. But when you consider how complex customer service is to begin with, the problems just seem to keep piling up.
This points to a growing problem of scale. You only have a finite pool of resources to work with to meet these expectations, and you probably can’t just hire more staff or outsource your increasing workload. And the sheer amount of data that you need to analyze and draw conclusions from makes the task seem impossible.
That’s where AI can help.
When employed correctly, AI can allow you to uncover patterns and identify the customers who need your help the most. This lets you focus your attention on what matters most and match your customers’ expectations.
For example, consider how AI can help with a call center. Studies have shown that most callers expect you to be able to solve their problem in 10 minutes or less. If you don’t hit that window, you risk losing your customer altogether.
In these instances, AI can help your agents process incoming calls and find out which employees or service professionals will be able to respond appropriately. Instead of placing customers on hold and transferring them, your calls can directly be routed to the right party, without any time wasted. This lets you make the most of AI’s data collection and automation.
And these types of applications are already starting to become available. For instance, our Social Signals AI here at Freshdesk can already help you find the most important questions and problems, and solve them first:
With this type of tool at your disposal, you can better understand the intent of your customer and provide an appropriate response. This elevates your customer experience to match their rising expectations and grows your brand in the long run.
Use #2: It Helps Provide a Personalized Customer Experience
Each customer is going to be different, and that poses a fairly significant problem. How do you ensure a high-quality customer experience that appeals to a wide audience? If you want to take care of your customers, you need to be able to make sure that you’ve got optimized data and a good way to implement your findings.
Until now, evaluating data for personalization efforts has taken time. Humans can only process so much information in a given day, and considering the sheer scale that some operations face, the problem just gets worse. One of the major benefits of AI is personalization. Artificial intelligence is simply more efficient and effective at processing data and providing a path forward for your customers.
In other words, you can also use data from AI to implement highly personalized content delivery. A great example of this, is Netflix’s personalized picks for their customers. This type of personalization helps them stand out from their competitors, and also keeps users coming back to their platform to find new entertainment options.
Using this curated AI algorithm allows them to discover new shows and then deliver the options that resonate with each unique user. These recommendations make the product feel more user-friendly, and only get more accurate as time goes on. This lets you create a top-notch experience for your customers that leads to better conversions and more revenue.
Brands are already seeing this type of technique as a game changer. The combination of AI and big data seems like a match made in heaven.
Retailers are already using AI to help provide better customer service, and the numbers are only poised to grow in the coming years. Plus, personalization is just one of many options that allows you to create a top-notch customer experience using data from AI.
Use #3: With AI, You Can Automate Without Sacrifice
When business owners hear something about AI, one of the common fears is that using it for their business will in some way damage the human element of their brand. To a certain degree, this makes sense. If a program is responding to a difficult question, it’s not going to have the same level of thoroughness or attention to detail that a service rep would.
But it’s still possible to automate your customer service using AI in a way that doesn’t sacrifice personalization or put you at risk of losing customers. The fact of the matter is that your customers are going to engage your brand across a wide variety of platforms, and you may not have the workforce to keep up.
Outsourcing to an automated AI service actually helps in these cases, increasing your ability to provide quick answers when and where they’re needed. It also provides another avenue to repurpose old content and re-engage with your audience. One way you can accomplish this is through the use of chatbots. This allows a company to provide a “live” presence on a wide variety of platforms, that can address pain points and provide recommendations. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a different time zone or if it’s a public holiday. Your customers can get personalized and curated answers 24/7.
Another avenue for automation via AI is the use of virtual assistants. Virtual assistants allow you to outsource basic tasks like administrative tasks, data entry, and other technical work. Essentially, the idea is to save time by eliminating repetitive and time-intensive tasks.
Here are a few ways you can outsource and automate tasks with a virtual assistant.
The key takeaway here, is to start looking at using chatbot or virtual assistants to help reduce helpdesk tickets and improve customer support.
Use #4: It Supports Future Customer Discovery Processes
As technology advances, the way we search for and find things on the Internet is changing as well. A prime example of this is the emerging world of visual search. This process uses images, photographs and screenshots, as the input for online searches. So instead of ranking for a word or phrase, you’ll soon be trying to rank for an image.
This process relies on artificial intelligence. To understand the content of the image, you have to use a very sophisticated algorithm that discerns the full meaning of the image and then provides appropriate search options. Almost two-thirds of millennials have expressed an interest in this over other tech.
Plus, AI is already helping companies optimize their businesses to provide better visual search capabilities. They expect that by 2021, these early adopters will increase their revenue by at least 30%. In the next 12 months, at least 24% of brands plan to start using AI to help implement a visual search strategy.
So if you haven’t already, start optimizing your content, resources, and help articles for visual search with AI. It’s the future of search engines, and a big part of the future of your customer service.
Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and it can have a profound impact on your customer experience in the coming years. With the ability to process more customer data, you can meet your customers rising expectations in a way that keeps them loyal to your brand. Since AI helps brands provide a personalized experience, you can take your customer experience to the next level.
With new automation techniques like chatbots and virtual assistants already creating an impact, you can save time and money by outsourcing mundane, routine tasks.
AI is beginning to change the way search engines work through visual search, and adopting AI is one of the best ways to cement the success of your customer experiences in the future. With all of these potential use cases, it’s clear to see that using data-backed AI is a solid move for your brand’s future.