Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. From Google’s Arts & Culture App—which uses facial recognition technology to match selfies to thousands of artworks—to Pizza Hut’s plans for driverless pizza delivery.
The application of Artificial Intelligence to improve the customer experience is on the rise. In fact, this year the Consumer Electronic Show featured its first ever Artificial Intelligence Marketplace to showcase the latest innovations designed to perform human tasks. Products ranged from big data analytics to speech recognition to advanced decision-making to predictive technology. Many of these solutions are already being leveraged by great companies to add a magic touch to their services.
Are you taking advantage? If not, here are three ways you can apply Artificial Intelligence to improve your customer experience.
1. Automate Simple Customer Interactions
There’s nothing less efficient than bogging down highly-skilled, highly-paid employees with basic tasks. Emerging technology in artificial intelligence can automate simple interactions, allowing your people to focus on more complex and nuanced customer interactions. Gartner predicts that 95 percent of customer interactions will be driven by Artificial Intelligence by 2025, leveraging chatbots and mobile messaging to complete simple tasks (e.g., the reminder call from your doctor’s office or paying your tab using Ziosk, a pay-at-the-table tablet for restaurants).
Recently, Kroger announced its new Kroger Edge technology, which, among other things, will enable the grocer to instantly change prices and activate promotions on digital displays, freeing up employees who would otherwise change prices by hand. This sort of automation can deliver a more a consistent experience and a huge financial impact according to Juniper Research, who estimates cost savings of more than $8 billion annually by 2022, up from $20 million in 2017.
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2. Augment Your Service Employees
Another powerful application of AI is within your own organization. By leveraging solutions that enable you to proactively anticipate customer needs and engage on an emotional level, customer experiences will shift from mundane to exceptional.
Recently, TD Bank acquired artificial intelligence startup, Layer 6. While it’s still uncertain exactly how the technology will be applied, Michael Rhodes, group head of innovation, technology, and shared services for TD Bank said the company would be able to do things such as detect spending patterns that indicate a customer may be looking to purchase a home, and then offer that customer a mortgage. This type of intelligence enables you to be proactive, engaging, and in-tune with your customers’ needs.
3. Enrich the Data You Already Have
Finally, you can take all the data you have and put it to new use. As Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, notes, “There are a lot of places where AI simply lets companies use their data better, and AI usage is largely invisible to the customer. Retail sites, for instance, can observe the products people are viewing, and use that data to begin suggesting other, more relevant products to them than was previously possible.” Recently, in addition to making targeted content suggestions, Netflix began tailoring the “cover art” associated with a recommended movie or TV show, based on the user’s viewing history.
For example: the image displayed for a romantic comedy (I’m partial to The Truth About Cats and Dogs), will either play to the “romance” or the “comedy” of the film. Or, it may feature the image of an actor who starred in other movies you’ve watched. For what it’s worth, Stranger Things has nine different cover art options (check to see which one appears on your stream!).
There’s more need—and competition—than ever to deliver meaningful and powerful customer experiences. Fortunately, technology like artificial intelligence is helping bridge the gap, creating more value for both companies and customers, and allowing brands the opportunity to truly differentiate on customer experience.