How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Customer Experience
For some, artificial intelligence (AI) can seem like a mysterious entity. In this blog we’ll be looking at exactly what AI is (in layman terms), and more importantly how we can use it for customer experience (CX).
What is AI (Artificial Intelligence):
AI is a huge subject matter right now, but to keep it simple, artificial intelligence is a computer system able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. Tutorialspoint offers a very easy to understand overview of AI for those wanting to know more.
Now, onto ways companies are currently using artificial intelligence to improve their customer experience:
- What is it? A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users.
- Where can it be used? To provide customer service, recommend products, engage fans, offer a ‘triage’ for medical issues. There are a number of chatbots already on Facebook messenger accounts, dating websites, banks and tech support companies.
- How can it improve customer experience? By having a chatbot deal with less complex or easily solvable issues, time is freed up for customer service agents to deal with higher level queries. Chatbots also decrease the time a customer waits for a response, resulting in an overall more positive experience with the brand. Additionally, chatbots can increase engagement by being used as a marketing tool by sending subscribers interesting content. Be aware though, that chatbots that send “thank you for following” emails aren’t often received that well.
- How are companies using it? For customer service: The China merchant bank has a bot on the popular Chinese messaging platform WeChat. It handles 1.5- 2 million customer conversations a day usually relating to balances and payments, both of which can easily be resolved by a bot. This has reduced the volume of human to human enquiries which would usually require thousands of employees.
As a service: Babylon estimates 85% of medical consultations don’t need to be made in person. Babylon’s artificial intelligence software is designed to decrease the need to speak to a doctor by triaging medical symptoms and escalating them where necessary. In the future, Babylon is hoping to take some of the strain off the NHS and increase access to healthcare.
- What is it? Executive Alerts is a tool that delivers critical real-time insights about brands, their competitors and their industry. It uses artificial intelligence to detect anomalies across data types such as social media, advertising spend, search engine marketing. The anomalies can alert us to important changes outside of our company.
- Where can it be used? – Executive Alerts is the personal assistant in your pocket. Users get alerts straight to their phone as a push notification, without having to login to a platform. It is aimed at anyone wants to know immediately of any relevant changes within their brand or company.
- How can it improve customer experience? Executive Alerts can be used to proactively engage with customers. In our last blog, we discussed how customers don’t always directly mention a brand’s name when they complain. Since the tool can detect anomalies across various data types, it makes for the perfect solution to help defend our brand from threats and take advantage of opportunities- even when we aren’t directly mentioned. Spot a problem before the customer complains or churns.
- How are companies using it? Senior execs are using Executive Alerts to join the dots between data types. A football stadium for example, can track all the social coverage within the geo-location of the match, even if the fans don’t mention the stadium or club name. The fans just need to be located within the geo-fenced area set. Users of the solution will be alerted if any influencers within the geo-fence are tweeting. Crisis keywords such as ‘fight’, ‘violence’, ‘brawl’ can also be used and alerts set up to trigger if unusual buzz within the location surrounding starts to develop mentioning those keywords. These features allow companies to prevent crisis’ occurring and know immediately if anyone is complaining or advocating our your brands, while not necessarily mentioning the brand name.
- What is it? Product suggestions are nothing new, however, artificial intelligence is changing the game by offering more specific product recommendations based on consumer behaviour. Any business offering a large range of products, whether that be clothes or films, are likely to use product recommendations.
- Where can it be used? Any company offering a product e.g. clothes retailers, bookstores, music and video streaming services etc are using customer experience orientated AI bots.
- How can it improve customer experience? If our brand has a lot of products or diverse product range, customers can get lost or overwhelmed in their search for their perfect item, leading them to ‘give up’ or churn from being clients. By showing customers content that appeals to them, the message is much more likely to resonate, and therefore they are much more likely to continue to use the service and buy additional products. We can also increase customer retention and customer loyalty using such bots, again adding to an overall more positive and improved customer experience.
- How are companies using it? Netflix the online video streaming service, has thousands of titles. Netflix uses artificial intelligence to provide strong film recommendations, ensuring viewers spend more time watching content.
- What is it? The versatile properties of artificial intelligence have led the technology to also be used to moderate content across the web. This means offensive content can be pulled much quicker than if a human is having to trawl across thousands of potentially upsetting or disturbing images, articles and videos. AI has the ability to moderate massive amounts of data. Right now it’s used alongside human moderation, but in the future, it may be capable of doing it alone.
- Where can it be used? Any company that allows external content contributions. Social media platforms, forums etc.
- How can it improve customer experience? We’ve all seen the headlines, live streams of crimes or offensive content not been taken down until it’s already caused damage. The manpower required to find this content is infeasible. Some companies have closed down comment sections of news articles due to it becoming impossible to moderate the quantity of comments. More proficient moderation improves customer experience by not exposing users/customers to offensive or upsetting content that may cause them to stop using a platform.
- How are companies using it? Facebook is developing an AI system to quarantine obscene content before it comes into the public domain. ‘Today we have more offensive photos being reported by AI algorithms than people’ says Facebook’s director of engineering for machine learning- Joaquin Candela.
Who know’s what’s in the future for artificial intelligence? One things for sure, it’s already being used to improve customer experience.