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USING AI to IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMERS' EXPERIENCE

09 December 2019 by Michael Giffney 0 Comments

With market saturation at an all-time high, customers are most definitely king. So why not use the wonders of AI to do the hard work for you? With the right insights, planning and implementation, AI can transform your customer experience from start to finish. 

AI can help your business excel in marketing effectiveness, sales empathy, and even refine your customer service excellence. A simple example is: through the use of machine learning, natural-language understanding and natural-language processing, AI can analyse customer sentiment and feedback at scale, speed and precision that humans could never achieve. A few other examples of how AI can be applied are:

Sales

● AI can recommend immediate action on sales opportunities.

● Prioritise leads most likely to be converted. 

● Give valuable account insights. 

● Generate sales forecasts. 

● Create instant sales presentations. 

Marketing

● AI can generate highly-personalised messages at a scale that is unachievable to humans. 

● Optimisation and generation of content. 

● Generate articles at mass scale.

● Reduce the need for writers. 

Customer Service

● Virtual customer assistants can help reduce response time and allows users to interact with your business 24/365. 

● Moves engagement to less-expensive channels. 

● Helps to scale customer service/contact centre engagements. 

Before you dive in!

It's important to note that while AI can be very successful in what it does, there are many things to consider before it works for you and your business. A few of the most important are: 

● You and your stakeholders must have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of AI and its capabilities. 

● You understand where to start the AI journey to enhance your customer experience. 

● You pinpoint the core business issues that you want to solve with AI.

● You get to know Gartner's 'Sense, Think, Do' framework. 

● You acknowledge that although many are successfully rolling out AI applications to their business, it may not be correct for you right now. You mustn't use AI just for the sake of using AI. 

Once there is an understanding of the above, you should look to undertake the following five steps towards successfully implementing AI into your business:

Step 1) Getting started.

It's essential to start with the basics. Document the strongest and weakest points of your customer experience, find out what your customers are saying about you, and what is their current journey. Then explore how AI can enhance these using the 'Sense, Think and Do' framework. 

Step 2) Explore Sense; Use AI to deepen your customer understanding.

This step is about using AI technologies to reach out and find meaning in words, speech, images and context in customer-related data. Where this was once a large and arduous task, AI makes it relatively simple to find what you are looking for. 

An excellent example of this is analysing customer feedback. Any unstructured data such as this would be almost impossible to break down, as the working hours required would be just too high. These days, AI can do it in no time at all, and non-stop, so you're always being provided with an up-to-date and holistic view of your customers. 

In a sales environment, AI can be used to analyse all the calls sales reps make. It can then break down what was discussed and find hidden insights and offer recommended actions. It can also be used for training, as the quality of the data on hand will allow new sales reps to quickly and easily understand what does and doesn't work. 

Some examples of AI that can be used to do this are:

● Deep learning

● Machine learning

● Natural- language processing

● Natural-language understanding

● Computer vision

● Pattern recognition

And while each of these is powerful tools on their own, a lot of AI implementations will incorporate several of these to offer you a precise solution. 

Step 3) Think; Use AI to explain, guide and recommend. 

This step is about using the data your AI collects to explain, guide and even recommend what actions to take. For instance, AI can provide sales forecasts, predict outcomes and the next best steps to take. It can also easily explain what the data you have collected means and provide dashboards to enlighten business leadership. 

By utilising AI methods such as predictive and prescriptive analytics, deep learning and machine learning, AI will offer white space analysis and recommend immediate action on opportunities, and even inform you which leads are most likely to be converted. By providing instant, in-depth knowledge on prospective clients, AI allows your sales team to take a more empathetic approach to leads, as they will know who they are, what they have and what they may want. 

Step 4) Do; Evaluate opportunities around leveraging AI for content creation.

When it comes to 'do' it's about utilising AI to start creating content for you. Through the use of natural-language generation, AI can create personalised marketing messages on a massive scale - which can vastly improve your CX journey and help reduce churn. This AI can also be used to create and write longer content, such as marketing materials, press releases, advertisements, as well as earnings reports and more.

An example of this would be a hotel chain choosing to create personalised messages to guests. By creating personas that the guests fit into, the AI to generate content that would be most attractive to each. Allowing the hotel to target individuals directly and no doubt see an increase in conversions. 

Step 5) Sense, Think and Do - Evaluate the rise of conversational platforms.

By using a piece of AI technology that users can interact with, such as a virtual customer assistant, you can apply 'Sense, Think and Do' at the same time. By allowing customers to communicate with you 24/365, they get results faster, while you get to gather data at the same time. Plus, having a virtual assistant frees up customer support staff for more critical or complex issues. 

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