Thinking

Why AI is the Future of Customer Experiences

October 10, 2018

By Shan Khan

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way customers engage with brands. Businesses leveraging AI are setting a new bar in customer experience– and being part of this movement is essential for brands to thrive.

In fact, Servion predicts that artificial intelligence will power 95 percent of all customer interactions by 2025. That’s quite an evaluation, and it begs the question, what is artificial intelligence and how can we leverage its infinite possibilities?

Put simply, artificial intelligence is the term used for simulated intelligence in machines. These machines are programmed to ‘think’ like a human and draw rational conclusions from provided datasets. It’s essential because a task that could take days, months or even years of human effort can be done in mere seconds using AI.

Today’s customers live in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world. They expect a seamless, unified brand experience and get frustrated and vocal when businesses fail to deliver. Brands can leverage the ability of AI to create intelligent, convenient and informed customer experiences through every stage of the customer journey. Successfully employed, it can make a customer’s interaction with a brand more personal, memorable and efficient.

Companies are also using AI to achieve a range of business goals such as generating relevant insights, driving customer engagement, boosting operations and most importantly, influencing sales. Read on to find out why artificial intelligence is a game changer in customer experience as we delve into how leading-edge companies are already reaping the benefits of AI in customer experience.

Generating Relevant Content

AI can find trends, generate insights, and make accurate predictions based on the large amount of data available on customers today. Spotify used data from its more than 100 million customers to create a clever and engaging global campaign. They sorted through their user data and highlighted unique customer trends on billboards, including “Dear person in LA who listened to the ‘Forever Alone’ playlist 42 times on Valentine’s Day, you OK?” and “Dear 3,749 people who streamed ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’ the day of the Brexit vote, hang in there.” The campaign humanized customer data and leveraged AI solutions that enabled them to engage on an emotional level, shifting their customer experience from mundane to unforgettable.

Optimizing Content

Netflix determined that a typical user spent 60-90 seconds picking what to watch before they gave up. That’s why Netflix leveraged AI to make things easier for its users by providing recommendations based on what they had previously watched. The recommendations engine saves Netflix $1 billion per year in customer retention.

Recently, in addition to making targeted content suggestions, Netflix began tailoring the images displayed with a recommended movie or TV show. For example, the image displayed for a romantic comedy, will either use the “romance” or the “comedy” of the film, or it may even feature an image of an actor who starred in previously watched movies or shows. For some perspective on how personalised these get, a single TV show could have up to 10 potential images based on user preference.

This type of intelligence enables brands to be proactive, purposeful and in-tune with their customers’ needs.

Improving Customer Service

Large banks are faced with millions of customer interactions every day and are expected to effectively manage thousands of customer touchpoints–which can be challenging, to say the least. Nordea, a Stockholm based bank, embraces the power of AI to simplify and optimize all aspects of its customer journey.

Their virtual employees (Roberta in Norway, Sirius in Finland, and so on) perform millions of repetitive customer interactions daily– and do so faster and more efficiently than ever before. Their machines are also empowered to immediately analyse hundreds of inbound customer communications and intelligently forward them to the relevant business unit. This eliminates agent-based sorting and allows Nordea employees to focus on providing enhanced customer experiences and deliver far beyond was expected, or possible, before the use of AI.

Enhancing Online Shopping Experiences

Sephora recognized that their customers were more likely to purchase a product once they had tried it on, but this proved to be a challenge in online retail. They were one of the first beauty brands to use AI to their advantage and not only boost sales, but also provide exceptional and disruptive customer experiences.

Through their Visual Artist website and app, their customers can get insightful product recommendations and virtually try on a range of Sephora’s products, without ever having to enter a store. Using AI, the tool can map and identify facial features and intelligently apply the product to the user’s face. For an accurate portrayal, the technology even adapts product colours to the user’s individual skin tone and accounts for ambience and lighting. Sephora leveraged AI to bridge the gap between physical and online retail.

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly essential for brands to meet expectations when it comes to customer experience. As we’ve seen in the cases above, companies that have successfully employed AI make sure to recognize pain-points along their customer journey. They prioritize their customer’s needs as they march towards the AI revolution.

Read similar articles on: landor.com/thinking

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