How AI Is Transforming CX Today
The way customers experience and interact with businesses is evolving at lightning pace. With markets becoming ever more competitive, the need for a key differentiator has emerged. According to Gartner, by 2025 customer experience will become a more important decision-making factor for consumers than product and price. Recognising this, CX strategists have endeavoured to find ways to improve CX within their organisations, with AI being identified as a key tool to help them achieve that.
Investments into developing AI capabilities are on the steady rise. Just last month, OpenAI, a San-Francisco based AI Research group founded by the likes of Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, secured a $1 billion investment from Microsoft to develop an AI with equal intelligence to a human. AI already has multiple applications today – from technology to marketing and healthcare, as well as finance and banking.
Consumers have also begun to notice their interactions with AI - a Capgemini study found that nearly 3 in 4 consumers are aware of having had interactions enabled by artificial intelligence, with 69% of those saying they were satisfied with their interaction.
Adding AI into a CX strategy proposes to improve the overall experience a customer has in dealing with a company, leading to higher customer retention, more brand advocates, higher customer satisfaction and therefore impacting the bottom line of a business. But how does a company go about implementing AI into their organisation? Take a look below at some of the ways that AI is being used in industries today.
Chatbots have seen a large increase in their use, especially within the banking, insurance and healthcare industries. It’s estimated that 1.4 billion people interact with a bot some way every day, and 69% of customers do not care if their answer comes from a bot or a human as long as they get an accurate answer fast.
Within healthcare, 'Florence', the personal nurse chatbot, registers a patient's medical data and information and sends the patient a message every time they need to take a pill, or whatever else is required by their doctor. Technology like this could give patients the vital access to information they need in a quick, easy and affordable way, giving them a better overall experience whilst seeking medical care.
Predictive Customer Service
Another major trend in AI and CX is predictive customer service. This is where AI is used to predict issues, problems or queries and then offer the customer a solution before they even know there is a problem.
Volvo, the Swedish car giant uses AI to predict when a car might need servicing. The company has developed an ‘Early Warning System’, whereby 1 million car parts are actively scanned each week. If a part is deemed to be reaching maximum wear and could be prone to a fault or breakdown, the Early Warning System will alert the driver to the issue and give the driver appropriate time to solve the problem. This prevents unexpected future breakdowns (which severely harms a driver’s customer experience) and seamlessly allows for a fault free driving experience.
Similar to predictive customer service, predictive analytics helps business to utilise crucial data to inform their decision-making process with each of their customers. Sprint, the American telecoms giant successfully implemented an AI strategy to boost their customer retention. Previously, customer agents would manually analyse customer service data, and get in contact with any customers who they thought were due a renewal or a retention offer. However, this was often time consuming and ineffective.
By using AI, Sprint were able to assess churn risks and proactively provide retention offers to those customers who were at highest risk of leaving. Before the customers were about to leave, they were given better offers which in turn managed to lower Sprint’s churn rate by 10%. It is said it is often 5x more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep an old one, so strategies like this could be vital to keep customers for longer and save money on customer acquisition.
Lastly, personalised recommendations through AI have become commonplace in 2019, especially for online services. Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, Netflix are all examples of companies which assess user behaviour and provide them with similar content which they might enjoy.
Netflix collects huge amounts of data on each user, such as demographics, watch history, ratings and preferences to predict what viewers would want to watch next. About 80% of content watched on Netflix is through recommendations, so the AI implementation is very effective. To add to that, having an effective system like this in place, which allows customers to have a steady stream of content to watch, saves the company $1 billion a year in customer retention.
To sum, chatbots, predictive customer service and analytics, as well as personalised recommendations are all AI strategies being implemented today to provide a superior experience to customers. Those that adopt these strategies may have a better chance of winning customers over than those who don’t.
NEXT READ: 3 Ways To Win Your Customer's Trust Using CX