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How AI and Machine Learning Can Improve Customer Experience

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere! It is the evolving world where programs and algorithms are helping transform almost every aspect of business. From data capturing, filtering, labeling in an ecommerce store to onboarding talent in a company. Every industry segment is leveraging the technology to cut down operational costs and save time internally.

However, there is world where the technology holds great power and returns: customer experience.

Customer experience has emerged as a new brand identity. Today, companies across the globe are experimenting with latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to not only improve the customer experience but to own it and stand out from the competition.

Consider the statistics.

  • Gartner forecasts that 70% of customer engagements will be done through AI modes including Virtual Assistants, Chatbots, and Instant Messaging by 2022.

  • 30% of customers will stop continuing with a brand or switch a brand due to an unpleasant experience.

  • 27% companies say improving their customer intelligence and data optimization are their topmost priorities, when it is about customer experience.

That said, intelligent technologies will be more useful in uplifting customer interactions and will be able to deliver transformational customer experiences.


Rise of AI & ML to back new brand – Customer Experience

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been used widely in bringing exceptional results to online shopping. According to a survey conducted by National Retail Federation, about 40% of retailers are focusing on the implementation of intelligent automation software or programs and more than 80% plan to do so by 2021.

Supporting the statistics, Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) like Sitecore have also surfaced to offer tailored and connected experiences. The platform combines content and commerce to ramp up conversion rate through personalization and focus on customer.

Online customers cannot use Amazon or Alibaba without getting personalized recommendations related to their purchasing history, browsing history, etc.

This is not limited to online retailers. Many big players including:

  • Amdocs, a leading software company, uses Machine Learning and Personalization EngineAmdocs Academy, which is a personalized suite of tools, specifically designed and developed to help its large clientele upskill their entire employee-base. It comes with Immersive Learning & Language Understanding features to identify training flow using agent response. It also gives agent score based on the conversation and then suggests suitable learning material.

  • Swedish Bank SEB uses a virtual assistant to manage natural language conversations. It assists customers on how to open an account and how to make cross-border payments.

  • MetLife also uses an AI-enabled voice analytics software application, which helps call center agents in understanding the mood of callers.

As many companies have already set up AI-enabled programs to keep up with the customer expectations, it is certain that AI and ML will continue to play a key role to back this new brand identity, in the years to come.


Data is the key to bring exceptional CX

In the big realm of Customer Experience, everything begins with data - Who are your customers? Do they really matter to your business? What are their unique traits? What sort of behavior are you getting from them?

Obtaining a complete picture about customers’ activities is essential in understanding their needs. What sort of data you have about them, and how is it useful and relevant? Algorithms based on AI and ML are increasingly being used as tools in data gathering, processing the fragmented data streams drawn from sensors, apps, and other sources and cleaning them against the live data.


ML Chatbots – Promising Greater Customer Engagements

Machine Learning based chatbots are gaining  traction among businesses to enable greater engagement and interaction with customers. Such bots utilize conversational based algorithms to serve effective, personalized services to their customers.     

For example, Opun Limited, Home Improvement Experts, has built a chatbot system that handles a variety of customer service requests – Bathroom designing queries, Appointment tracking, Issue raising and tracking, Confirm (un)availability and free time, Schedule calendar, do survey and NPS scores, and more -- just like human does. By leveraging Machine Learning Intelligence (based on Microsoft bot framework and LUIS), the bot can handle many different variations of the same questions.

So, in the snippet below, if you ask the bot, “I need my loft covered,” it will identify the requirement and post that will create the order.

 

 

Mednections, a doctor referral platform, works on a secured web-based platform for the primary care. The portal uses Machine Learning based service (Amazon Polly), Artificial Intelligence and Voice Response as the primary technologies to replace human interaction of calling the patients and specialists, and then scheduling appointments.

 


How AI is Improving the Customer Experience

Analysts say that in the coming time, customers will no longer base their loyalty on the price or product. Customer experience will act as the key brand differentiator. That said, nine out of ten organizations expect to stand out from their counterparts primarily based on Customer Experience.

If customer experience is the new brand identify that companies are fighting for, then customer service is the greatest defense. And when businesses take a leap to satisfy their customer needs or requests on an immediate basis, the trends show businesses are no longer fighting the conventional odds, but a digital one. That is what the Gartner predicted right, enterprise use of AI grew 270% over the past 4 years, and 37 percent in the past year alone.

So, how is AI being applied to Improve Customer Experience?


Automated Customer Service

Automated, or you can say, contactless personalized customer care is considered as one of the key areas where AI contributes significantly to improve customer experiences. It includes chatbots and virtual assistants, which are being deployed in different customer engagement events to provide quick, personalized responses round the clock. Companies are going digital and adopting such intelligent AI setups to make their customers’ journey hassle free.


Predictive Trends and Personalization

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the customer experience by anticipating and making predictions on customers’ preferences of where, what and when they will buy. Intelligent recommendation systems make sure that customers feel as if the product or service was customized just for them. Such models can predict future behaviors of customers with high accuracy, while simultaneously keeping a track on underlying factors of achieving great customer satisfaction. Using Augmented AI Analytics, businesses can develop customer profiles, generate real-time insights, and customize the marketing-mix strategy for individual customers to improve their sales funnel.


Targeted Marketing

Every customer wants to feel valued. In fact, a study states that 80% of marketers feel that personalized content is more effective in outreaching customers. Using ML algorithms, companies can analyze their customer behavior, so that they can strategize a campaign targeting the right message to the right audience. Many digital touchpoints including social media channels, mobile apps, and website visits, all can be injected as data sets of ML algorithms to learn more about customer interactions and past activities. This will help companies in predicting which touch base is most valuable to them and why.


Incremental Increase in Productivity

Companies are adopting AI to automate labor-intensive tasks and thereby reduce operational expenses. AI powered bots can proactively initiate conversations with customers, providing them with quick assistance or guiding them in fixing some issues. As AI can work round the clock without taking any lunch breaks, learn new skills without making human errors, companies can achieve greater productivity and improve customer experience in overall.


Conclusion

Today, customers need experience. Machines simulated with human intelligence promises to deliver highly personalized experiences, while trying to minimize costs. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based solutions are here to help companies to optimize their customer experiences-from data quality to personalized recommendation, to customer acquisition and retention. Way forward, more companies would deploy AI to own the new brand - Customer Experience.

Here at Icreon, we work on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning to build next-gen solutions that match with your customer needs and preferences. Our algorithm experts strategize, identify high-impact areas within an industry and pair that with proven AI successes to create opportunities that matter in your customer experience journey.

 

Questions?