Artificial Intelligence has been in use as early as in the 1950s but it is gaining popularity in recent times for accelerating core consumer services. Some of the forward-thinking enterprises are already making significant progress with Artificial Intelligence for improving their customer relationships. Instead of using traditional call centers to manage customer support, these enterprises are using chatbots and virtual assistants to fulfill the functions of customer support and online sales.
In fact, according to research conducted by American Express, it was found that enterprises that invested their time and effort to improve their customer experience strategy achieved an upper edge over the competition in terms of higher customer satisfaction rates and increased revenues. Furthermore, the research revealed that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
There is definitely no doubt that a superior customer experience will ensure brand survival. AI and analytics are being increasingly deployed to support customer experience, as well reduce human customer service costs. For example, Google’s machine learning-backed voice recognition technology now claims 95% accuracy, Facebook’s image recognition tool DeepFace is said to recognise faces with a 97% success rate, and IBM’s Watson, which uses artificial intelligence, is way smarter today than when it was a few years ago.
The hospitality industry, banks, airlines, food companies, insurance companies, fitness, and other industries have already deployed AI and virtual assistants for augmenting messaging, organising email queries, expanding IT service desk offerings, and so on.
But what are the ways to enhance customer experience? Some of the key elements are trust, personalisation, and transparency. Some of the forward-thinking enterprises have realised that personalisation does not mean collecting more of the customer’s personal information; rather it implies ways of knowing and meeting the customer’s needs, making interactions with the customer smoother thereby increasing customer satisfaction, which automatically brings repeat business.
So, how are enterprises augmenting AI and analytics with their marketing strategy? Here are some of the ways in which enterprises are using AI to give personalised recommendations to their customers.
Boost Customer Service
Swedish retail bank Swedbank has integrated a virtual assistant Nina into their customer service platform to reduce the number of calls coming to its call centers. Developed by Nuance Communications, Nina answers customers’ preliminary banking questions and also helps its customer service agents quickly find the information that they are looking for. According to the bank, Nina handles over 30,000 conversations in a month and successfully answers eight of every ten questions. With Nina’s help, the bank has been able to boost the self-service capabilities for its customers.
Improve Operations and Reduce Wastage
UK-based airline EasyJet has implemented artificial intelligence (AI) technology to gain actionable insights into its data and streamline its business, such as predicting its catering requirements, stocking food in planes, and trying to minimise wastage.
Make Vacation Planning Easier
WayBlazer is an online travel application that uses the IBM Cloud platform to give personalised recommendations to its customers when they plan their vacations. This app is powered by the IBM Watson AI technology and helps travelers with their flight bookings, hotel bookings, restaurants, food, weather, traffic, sight-seeing, and many other types of information.
Connie is a virtual assistant developed by IBM for the hospitality industry and is powered by Watson intelligence. Connie can guide guests with directions to the hotel rooms or assist with queries about nearby restaurants and tourist attractions. In the coming years, more robots will be deployed in hotels for cleaning, preparing food, at the reception for greeting guests, and for quality checking.
Order Food Online
Food chains, such as Dominos, Pizza Hut, Wingstop, and Burger King are using AI-enabled chatbots to help customers place their orders faster, customise the food, and get good deals with an aim to make customers’ ordering easier. These chatbots not only cost these food chains far lesser than phone calls or call centers, but the conversational style of ordering gives a human touch and makes the ordering experience pleasant and simpler as compared to online ordering.
Sports apparel brand Under Armour’s fitness app UA Record is integrated with IBM Watson’s cognitive technology to provide personal health consultation regarding fitness, diet, exercise, calories burnt, and sleep data by collecting and analysing data from other members of the community and grouping it by age, gender, and activity.
A new era of technological advancement has begun with Artificial Intelligence. Forward-thinking enterprises across the industry are already leveraging this fast-evolving technology to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and above all, enhance customer satisfaction by working on key areas of customer experience. According to Calum Chace, author of the bestseller, Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence, “Artificial intelligence is our most powerful technology, and in the coming decades it will change everything in our lives.” Well, we can’t agree more on this!