Why Your Business Needs to Embrace AI and Improve the Customer Experience

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​Technology has now engrained itself into almost every aspect of our lives. As a result, we are now living in an on-demand economy where all our needs are met within a few swipes of our smartphone. These changes in consumer behaviour are prompting the world’s most prominent brands to focus on the digital transformation of the customer experience.

The downside of these continuously rising expectation levels is that when a consumer is now faced with a pain point, they naturally turn to your competitor. The only way to capture a customer’s attention and loyalty is by providing a seamless experience and eradicating all friction points within your industry.

A perfect example is the profoundly flawed ticketing business that favors bot using stouts over hardcore music fans. Ticketmaster is attempting to address this with their Verified Fan program using "Ticketmaster uses “proprietary data science technology.”

By asking fans to register their interest before an on-sale, Ticketmaster can take a step back and slow the sale process down. The algorithm will only allow real fans access the sale and deny entry to anyone that has a history of using bots to purchase tickets. The service is still in its infancy, but it highlights the importance of using technology to remove your customer’s biggest frustrations rather than adding new features that they didn't want or ask for.

The Coca-Cola Company has built a reputation on surprising people through experience. The brand uses AI technology to tap into its customer's wants and needs. But when data from Coca-Cola Freestyle highlighted that restaurant and retail guests were adding a splash of cherry flavor to Sprite, they acted quickly to launch Sprite Cherry.

However, Coca-Cola has also been working on a new smart vending machine, that will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the customer experience. Next generation vending machines that can collect data on customer behaviour, monitor demand and adjust future products or services, is only the beginning.

The soft drinks behemoth also has its sights on delivering a digital user experience to its vending machines with chatbots. This evolving strategy transforms the aging and strictly transactional vending machine by adding personalized conversations to add a little personal touch and even empathy.

Thankfully, there is no separate app to download, and customers will be able to use Facebook Messenger to locate their nearest vending machine. Pockets full of loose change are disappearing in an increasingly cashless world. But, purchasing a drink from a vending machine by pushing a button on your phone will solve one of many emerging first world problems.

Iconic brands are now looking to increase sales or profits by using technology to unlock so-called “micro-moments.” When dashing to the office, people are increasingly turning to their phone to locate the nearest coffee shop or cafe. The ability to search for nearby outlets and understand wait times in real-time within a few swipes is another emerging expectation. If your business is invisible to the digital on the go mobile-first customer, it's already losing money.

Customer-centric improvements are becoming crucial to capturing the attention of consumers that see convenience as king. For these reasons alone, it's easy to see why the customer experience industry will naturally sign up to play its part in the AI revolution of everything.

The increasing thirst for automated communication and emergence of virtual assistants is becoming a significant game changer for multiple industries. The value unlocked by big data analytics is also helping brands engage with their customers at every step of the elusive customer journey.

Rather than observing on the sidelines, you should not be debating if you should introduce AI into your organization, but when. However, before you start throwing technology or providing solutions to problems that don't exist, identify your customers biggest pain points.

The reality for many companies is that they do not share consumer insights across their entire ecosystem. A fragmented view of your audience will only ever tell half the story. A universal view across all channels and a plethora of devices is no longer a nice to have, it’s a necessity.

Experience management requires attentive listening of your customers. The creation and delivery of valuable customer experiences need a vision beyond adding a chatbot. However, by listening, thinking bigger and using AI technology as a tool to fix remove friction points, your company could soon be labelled a digital disrupter too.

How are you using AI technology to remove your customer’s biggest frustrations? Please get in touch and share your thoughts, opinions, and insights.

Author: Marcus Lambert Date Posted: 06/11/2017