Use AI to Engage and Retain your Most Valuable Customers

Dave Waters said, “Artificial Intelligence is the future and the future is here”! 

According to reports, almost 85% of customers’ relationship with a brand will be carried out without human interaction in the next 5 years, which is why companies across the world are fast leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to significantly enhance engagement and customer experience. 

How can you retain customers in a hyper-connected world where competition is fierce and customers are fatigued by so many different product options to choose from. The answer is usually through smart customer engagement.  Brands are fast realizing that traditional methods don’t work anymore and that they have to better understand their current customer needs and focus the majority of their marketing energy on retention through AI. Artificial intelligence is very useful in providing intelligent, intuitive and convenient customer experience at any point in the customer journey. With Google and Microsoft already investing heavily into new AI initiatives, it is expected to go into turbo mode in the near future. Google recently purchased DeepMind for £400m, the artificial intelligence company that specializes in algorithms and machine learning for positive impact. It is just one of many expected acquisitions that proves AI will continue to be a major factor with brands, retailers and manufacturers for years to come.   

According to a Teradata study, 80% of enterprises report that their organization already has some form of AI in production. The study also revealed that one of the top planned areas for AI investment for brands was customer experience. In another study by Gartner, Enterprise use of AI has grown 270% over the past 4 years.

So how can AI improve customer experience? 

Customer experience is a competitive driver of growth and leveraging AI can accelerate good understanding of customer behavior.  AI tools offer fraud detection, white-space analysis and brand recommendations to increase sales. In marketing, AI-powered solutions enable brands to optimize prices and generate highly personalized messages at scale that cannot be achieved with humans alone. Also, chatbots powered by AI can be used to enhance the customer experience by reducing response time. In 2014, Airbnb built an AI model that provides daily suggestions on price optimization, considering multiple indicators like location, seasonality, amenities, prices of similar lodgings, current listing prices, and availability. Paypal merged AI with their security system to identify any unusual transaction activity.

You can drive customer loyalty with AI by:

  • Listening to dissatisfied customers and addressing their concerns
  • Building long lasting relationships by making your customers’ lives easier
  • Analyzing customer data and iterating and improving your products and offerings
  • Improving your customer self-service strategy
  • Handling large volumes of data

To understand your customers better, this is your guide to use AI in the best possible manner: 

  • Even before you identify what AI can do for you, it’s important to understand what your customer wants. Formulate a customer experience strategy and vision to retain your most valuable and profitable customers and take your loyalty game to the next level. 
  • Map and analyze customer journeys to understand how your customer perceives your brand and their various touchpoints. Better and fair understanding of your customer lays the foundation for how AI can be used for improving customer journeys. 
  • Understand the AI tools so that you can use them effectively to analyze, categorize and organize your customer data in real time. Often, the wealth of data that your business has from various CX tools like social media, NPS, sales reps, etc. fail to provide real time data insights. By using AI technologies, it’s possible to understand customer sentiment more efficiently. 
  • You must understand and then decide whether you need to buy or build an AI solution. Determine if your brand has the skills and budget to create an AI solution in-house or if you must buy one. When buying a solution, focus on how well the vendor prioritizes and how well they handle critical facing issues and concerns. 
  • It’s very important to identify key metrics to measure the success of an AI initiative. Aim for initiatives that can be monitored easily and have the ability to show success (or failure) quickly and efficiently. This helps in building momentum for future initiatives. 

The better AI gets (and it will), the more personalized your marketing approach will get. AI powered tools are shaping the way brands and customers interact with each other both now and in the future.  If you’re seeking to invest in AI, it is very important to gauge key metrics, including customer retention and revenue growth, and working backwards to see which AI is apt for achieving that goal.

 
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