A lot of customer experience professionals are new to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and may be unclear on how it can help them improve the customer experience. Below we explore some ways that AI can be used to enhance customer experience, and how these applications may differ across different industries.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience is the sum total of how a customer views your company, its services, and the service provided. While customer experience has existed for quite some time, customer experience professionals have begun to see their jobs change due to a wide array of disruptions in the market. An upsurge in competition due to new technology has increased consumer spending power across many industries, which is prompting companies to optimize their business processes to keep up with the rapidly changing customer experience landscape. A significant number of companies are investing in AI for the purposes of customer experience optimization, and AI can be used to help companies create better customer experiences.
The types of AI that can enhance customer experience
AI applications within customer experience can be broken down into broad categories such as:
- Custom-made suggestions Custom-made recommendations: AI-powered applications that, when used in conjunction with various user profiles, send different information at the right time based on what customers are interested in. These AI-powered solutions have already been implemented by companies such as Amazon, Quora, Uber, Snapchat, Netflix, and Netflix’s competitor Redbox. They will allow customers to customize how they interact with a company and receive customized and timely recommendations, answers, and content based on their preferences. Examples of AI-powered suggestion applications include Google Now and Facebook’s M.
- Content marketing. Digital marketing content is changing and improving at a rapid pace, which may be confusing for customers. For example, a website may rank low in a customer’s preferred search engine. AI helps optimize digital content, allowing customer experience professionals to better target specific audiences in specific contexts.
AI in customer experience in the B2C space
We live in an era of increased connectivity. Everything is linked and integrated, leading to innovations that impact lives in various ways. One example is the smartphone we carry with us everywhere. It is able to detect what we are doing, what we are saying, and where we are. This capability can be used for customer service purposes to provide real-time updates on the response status of service requests. Such data could help in enhancing customer experience across multiple touchpoints, by getting real-time information on what customers need. Another example is that of customer support through a chatbot. AI applications for customer support can provide proactive and continuous answers to questions.
AI in customer experience in the B2B space
In the B2B space, AI has been used to create virtual versions of brands and human agents to perform various tasks. Facebook has started using AI to create a 'genius' digital human for customer service. This is a virtual customer assistant that can be used to improve the experience that a customer may have, and to connect human and AI interactions and work together. AI in customer experience in the B2C space While AI has mostly been used for customer support in the B2C space, it can be used to enhance customer experience by providing real-time customer insights and a better understanding of your customer's mind space.
AI in customer experience in the Non-Profit space
Customer service in nonprofits can be tricky. The lines between the organizational mission and doing the job well are often blurred. Since nonprofits often receive less funding than larger businesses, there’s little overhead to dedicate to customer service. When employee turnover is high, the line between “whom you are serving” and “who you are” becomes blurry. Within nonprofits, customer service is often provided by a small handful of employees spread across multiple time zones. Additionally, non-profits often offer programs to students and other underserved communities. These programs require human-to-human interactions, which are very important for establishing a positive customer experience.
The customer experience landscape is evolving rapidly, and new opportunities and technologies are helping companies understand their customers better than ever before. If you're looking to harness the power of customer data to improve the customer experience, then AI is a great place to start.