Artificial intelligence (AI), once a term often only used in science fiction, is now a daily reality.
AI has been extensively used by businesses to automate tasks, understand customers, and even optimize processes. This article aims to review the uses of AI and discusses how you can use AI technology to create worthwhile experiences for your customers.
How is Artificial Intelligence Used in Business?
AI is being used in all fields as it has grown as a technology, but here are the main uses it has in business:
- Data mining
- Operational automation
- Personalized shopping
- Automated customer interactions
- Real-time assistance
- Outcome predictions
- Optimized recruitment processes
AI has been used for a long time to improve operational processes. Paired with a strong business plan, AI can automate and calculate supply and production processes to lower costs, improve delivery times1, and increase productivity. With the rise of social media and online shopping, AI has branched out into customer experience.
Overall, AI is used to make processes faster and more efficient, and improve employee and customer experience.
According to a report by Forbes Insights2, while only around 37% of companies are using AI, 47% believe that those who do not invest in this technology are bound to be outpaced by competitors.
Any business that wants to stay ahead with the current trends and technology available should use AI — not only for processes but also for customers.
How Can You Make Your Customer’s Experience Worthwhile?
As mentioned earlier, one of the major uses now for AI is to improve customer experience. Even though AI has grown in popularity, many companies still use outdated processes and systems that are not only inefficient, but are too slow for the expectations and lifestyles of the modern-day consumer.
Here are ways you can use AI to make your customer’s experience with your business or brand worthwhile:
#1 Understand Your Customer Through Personas And AI
The first thing you need to do when building customer experience through AI is to understand your customers. You can use AI to easily create and understand personas that represent them. When you understand your customer, you can personalize their experience better.
According to RedStagFulfillment3, AI and technology can be used to analyze customer behavior. Collect information like online comments, purchases, and demographics to create comprehensive personas to represent your customers.
With this data, you can create personalized messages per customer, and also predict what they will do. This information can let you create targeted, and thus meaningful experiences.
Last May, Google started rolling out Smart Compose4—a feature that will let its users draft an email quickly via the use of suggestive text. All you need to do is to hit tab once the suggested word or phrase is in line with what you want to say. Apart from saving time, it also decreases the chances of grammar and spelling errors.
#2 Optimize the Data You Have Using AI
Information is key. As a business, you should be collecting as much data as you can about anything and everything relevant to your business. This includes, but isn’t limited to, your customers, your profits, and trends.
Not only can this be difficult to do, but this data is daunting to go through and analyze. This is where AI can help you work efficiently.
You can use AI to automatically collect and organize data through every interaction your customer has with your business or brand through your website, social media, or email.
This would take too much effort and time if done by a person. With AI, you not only save time and money, but you also free up your human resources so that they can work on more creative or human-centered work.
Look at Spotify. The streaming service personalizes the experience for their users through AI and machine learning. These technologies accumulate user data on song preference, geography, keyword use, and devices, among others.
All this information help modify algorithms to provide the most relevant content to the music service’s 83 million subscribers5. The “Discover Weekly” feature is one of the best applications of big data and AI, wherein users get a list of 30 songs every Monday based on their previous behaviors. It was so successful that it gained 40 million unique users6 within its first year of launch.
#3 Use Predictive Personalization as a Marketing Strategy
As mentioned previously, customer data can be used to predict customer behavior7. It’s important that you use these predictions to personalize your customer’s experience.
For example, you can use predictive personalization to make their experience with your brand seamless with their daily lives. That way, your customers feel like your product was made specifically for them. This also lowers any barriers they might usually encounter to them using your service or product often.
Using personalization is important even for retaining customers. Accenture found that roughly 41% of US customers left brands they felt lacked personalization8.
Another way to use predictive personalization can be seen in online shopping, such as suggesting other products based on previous purchases. This not only keeps your customers engaged, but also markets any other products or services you offer.
Amazon is one of the best examples of this. The e-commerce juggernaut is well known for its product suggestions based on previous purchasing behavior.
If a consumer likes hip hop, they will find hip hop albums, merchandise, and books on their Amazon homepage, depending on their keywords search. On the other side of the coin, personalization also helps Amazon’s sellers. The site can keep recommending related items that users may not have looked at in the beginning, thereby giving exposure to other products.
#4 Make the Experience Consistent Across Platforms
Customers now interact with brands and businesses across different platforms, like service centers, social media, mobile apps, and websites. With these different avenues for contact, businesses need to be consistent across all the support platforms. Using AI, you can connect these avenues.
This means, for instance, that even a call center agent will have the same information that a customer input through a mobile app. When this happens, customer history can be put together in one place, making all interactions informed, personalized, and serviceable.
AI can also be used to collect and organize information in the cloud, so that information can sync across platforms that your customers use. For example, updates customers made through your website will reflect on the mobile app.
Insurer and finance company USAA used AI technology built by Intel division Saffron. By analyzing a multitude of factors to predict patterns of customer behavior, they could predict how a customer will contact them and for what reason. After using the AI tech, USAA’s guess rate improved from 50% to 88%9.
#5 Use Chatbots and Real-time Conversations
Many businesses are now using intelligent chatbots and real-time conversations to attend to their customers faster. This lets businesses address customer concerns with human-level interactions without tying up human resources.
You can use chatbots and real-time conversations in partnership with your customer support team. This setup allows customers with basic or easily remedied issues to find solutions through AI while keeping your customer support staff free to help other customers with more complex concerns.
However, when using chatbots, be sure to inform your customers. It’s never a good idea to trick your customers into thinking they’re talking to a real person when they aren’t. Majority of customers will see through this.
Instead, be upfront about the use of AI, but emphasize that this will speed up their concern and can lead to speaking to customer support agent.
Global fashion company H&M launched their own chatbot10 on messaging app Kik. This AI helps users by providing style tips and guiding them through their online store. By collecting specific information about users via a series of questions, the chatbot can then recommend a full outfit that users can then purchase or share on their social media.
AI used to be a thing of science fiction, but businesses that want to stay relevant now have to embrace it.
With the information we gave you in this article, you should be able to see how you can use AI. Are you using this technology with your business? Or have you used any of the methods we listed here in our article? How has it been working out? Let us know by dropping us a line in the comments below.
1 — https://refinepackaging.com/blog/shipping-and-fulfillment/
2 — https://www.forbes.com/forbes-insights/our-work/industry-leading-customer-experiences/
3 — https://redstagfulfillment.com/growth-of-artificial-intelligence-in-e-commerce/
4 — https://www.blog.google/products/gmail/subject-write-emails-faster-smart-compose-gmail/
5 — https://www.statista.com/statistics/244995/number-of-paying-spotify-subscribers/
6 — https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/25/playlists-not-blogs/
7 — https://www.shopify.com/guides/businessplan/the-marketing-plan
8 — https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/us-consumers-turn-off-personal-data-tap-as-companies-struggle-to-deliver-the-experiences-they-crave-accenture-study-finds.htm
9 — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600986/ai-hits-the-mainstream/
10 — https://www.adweek.com/digital/kik-now-letting-users-bring-fashion-chatbots-conversation-other-bots-173788/