AI systems are, by their nature, clever. Or, perhaps it’s the developers who are clever in the way they program the machines to learn things. Then, of course, the AI takes on a life of its own and learns as it goes along.
This is precisely why AI is revolutionizing the world of customer service and experience.
Interacting with customers is central to many, many websites that offer different services or products to the public. If AI is used cleverly, it can revolutionize the way your business interacts with your customers.
What, exactly, is AI?
The easiest way to understand AI is to begin with a machine. This would be a computer, or what you may think of as a robot, although what you see in the movies is not exactly the same as in real life. However, perhaps a little like the robots in the movies, this machine can be taught to recognize a range of human behaviors, languages and responses. It can also be taught to look for and find particular information.
Then, things get interesting: AI systems don’t stop there – they learn as they go along. It’s as though they start to think. Eventually, they can provide insights, attitudes and interpretations. All of this is based on their ongoing exposure to many different types of input, that they put together as they work, which is what is meant by ongoing learning.
What is customer experience?
This is a very simple idea to understand: every time someone visits a website and wants to ask a question, buy something or be given a service, they need to be helped. How they are received and how they are given the help they need is their customer experience.
How can AI revolutionize the customer experience?
Response to queries
People like to be acknowledged and they want to be helped as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is, of course, possible for you to do this on your website, either yourself or through one of your employees.
What happens, though, if someone accesses your website at three o’clock in the morning in your time zone? If they don’t get the service they need, they’ll just go somewhere else.
You have the option to run shifts with your staff, where there is a person on duty to answer queries and help customers 24 hours a day. Or you could use AI.
With an AI chatbot (or similar feature), your potential customers will receive help at any time of any day. Imagine what it must feel like for someone to be helped so quickly. That is a really great customer experience.
Okay, so now your customers are happy they are being acknowledged immediately when they visit the site. Do they want to be talking to a ‘robot’, though? Wouldn’t they get better and more friendly service from a human?
This is where natural language comes in: part of AI learning is that it can learn to imitate the idiosyncrasies of a whole lot of different human speech. It then translates this into the way it interacts with your customers and they feel that your site is speaking to them on the same terms.
Again, this is a good customer experience.
Part of learning is to be able to take on board the knowledge and process it. Sometimes, this results simply in knowing a lot of information; at others, the result is about making connections, drawing conclusions and developing some kind of insight into ideas and aspects of the world.
This is what AI can do.
Imagine being a customer who has more than one question, or really needs advice or an opinion on a product available on your website, or a service you offer. They may ask your customer helper (chatbot) for advice on the product, or to compare your service to that of another provider.
If the customer interface on your site can’t answer their queries or give them the service they need, they are highly likely to leave the site and seek help elsewhere.
As AI learns, it can offer the specific input the customers want and will prevent them from leaving unsatisfied with their experience on your site.
Now, your customer has been acknowledged immediately, spoken to in a tone and patterns they recognize and offered some kind of insight.
The next step must surely be that they actually receive the product or service they want as quickly as possible.
Again, this is what AI can do.
The effect here of AI is that it can learn the workflow processes of your business and expedite them, so the customer receives their goods or service as quickly as possible.
The Role of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing, which is the cornerstone of online business promotion, relies heavily on understanding customer behavior, segmenting audiences, and personalizing interactions. AI's prowess in data analysis, pattern recognition, and predictive analytics has made it a game-changer in this domain.
Digital marketing initiatives often involve various touch points – from social media interactions to email campaigns and search engine optimization efforts. AI helps marketers optimize these efforts by analyzing vast amounts of data to predict what content will resonate best with which segment of the audience.
Moreover, in the context of customer service, AI-powered tools backed by solid digital marketing strategies can provide tailored product recommendations, personalized content, and timely responses based on a user's past behaviors and preferences. Essentially, AI bridges the gap between digital marketing's objective of reaching the right audience with the right message and customer service's goal of providing timely and relevant support.
By integrating AI into digital marketing efforts, businesses can ensure that the customer journey – from awareness to conversion and post-purchase support – is cohesive, personalized, and efficient. This seamless integration ensures that customers not only receive what they are looking for but are also presented with options and solutions they didn't know they needed, enhancing their overall experience.
Now, as we've seen, the role of AI extends far beyond just marketing. And their customer experience is, once again, great.
This blog was written in collaboration with Lucille Adams