Simply providing a quality product or service is no longer sufficient to maintain loyal customers and grow your business. In today’s competitive landscape, you must provide a great customer experience throughout every point in an individual’s journey with your business. According to Salesforce, 80% of individuals view customer experience as a key differentiator when choosing between two different companies. In addition, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for an exceptional experience, and 64% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand if it provides a great experience.
With such high stakes associated with the customer experience you provide, it’s critical to get this aspect of your operations right. To address this pressing need, an increasing number of businesses have been leveraging AI technology to improve their customer experience. Over the past year, AI has made a tremendous impact on how businesses operate, and this is one of the many ways you can integrate AI with your business to achieve better results.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience refers to the relationship you build with an individual over time through every interaction they have with your brand across all channels and departments. When a person’s perception of how these interactions are conducted is positive, you’ve delivered a good customer experience.
Every touchpoint – from the customer’s first introduction to your business to the customer support you provide – creates an opportunity to deliver an exceptional experience and cultivate a great impression of your brand. Providing a great customer experience is one of the key ways you can differentiate your company from your competitors and maintain a loyal customer base.
What Is AI Customer Experience?
AI customer experience involves the use of AI-powered technology, such as chatbots, machine learning and conversational UX applications, to improve the efficiency of every touchpoint you have with your customers. Keep in mind that you’re not replacing your human support agents with AI technology. AI is simply serving as a tool to streamline these processes. By automating simple customer inquiries with AI technology, your employees will have more time to spend addressing the complex issues that are critical to providing the great experience your customers expect.
In addition, AI technology has the ability to process and analyze large amounts of data rapidly, providing your business with important intelligence information that can help you enhance the overall customer experience you provide.
10 Ways AI Can Improve Your Customer Experience
AI technology is a true game changer for your ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience. The AI-powered tools available to businesses continue to expand at a rapid pace, creating new opportunities to use this technology to enhance the experience you provide. Some of the most powerful ways you can use AI to improve your customer experience include:
- Deliver personalized recommendations
- Offer 24/7 customer support
- Resolve customer issues faster
- Anticipate customer needs
- Route incoming messages and calls to the right agents
- Reduce errors
- Analyze customer data to better anticipate future behavior
- Ensure consistency across all channels
- Reduce employee burnout
- Boost sales
Deliver Personalized Recommendations
Providing personalized recommendations helps customers access the products and services they’re looking for much faster, delivering a better experience. Instead of spending a long time browsing all of your offerings, customers can more easily find the ones that are most relevant to them when they receive personalized recommendations.
AI facilitates this process by allowing you to compile, organize and analyze large quantities of customer data in order to provide them with personalized recommendations that will cater to their unique preferences and buying habits. Some of the customer data used to create these personalized suggestions include:
- Browsing habits
- Purchasing history
- Demographic information
By making it easier for customers to find the most relevant products and services for their needs, you’ll be able to cultivate a loyal customer base that keeps coming back to you for future purchases. In fact, 60% of consumers state they’re more likely to be a repeat buyer when they receive a personalized shopping experience.
Offer 24/7 Customer Support
AI-powered chatbots are an effective way to provide your customers with the support they need, when they need it. These chatbots can answer a wide range of customer questions, allowing you to offer 24/7 support without having to increase your customer service staff. You’ll be able to maximize your support offerings while minimizing your costs for this important service.
Using chatbots offers a variety of additional benefits:
- Empowers customers to solve problems independently – Chatbots can provide links to related content such as instructions, guides and articles that can help your customers solve their problems without the need to interact with a live agent. This results in faster resolutions to customer problems and improves their experience while freeing up your agents to focus on more complex issues.
- Improves your customer journeys – AI-powered chatbots can provide important information regarding the specific areas customers are getting stuck along your journeys. This allows you to improve these points on your journey to make it easier for customers to find the information they need.
- Analyzes the effectiveness of your support content – You can generate data regarding which pieces of your support content generate the most views and the best engagement. This can help you to improve your support content to better respond to the needs of your customers.
Resolve Customer Issues Faster
AI-powered chatbots not only improve your ability to deliver customer support, but they also allow you to provide faster response times to inquiries. This is accomplished in several ways:
- Chatbots can pull up relevant answers and content from your help center faster than human agents can
- Chatbots can filter spam, helping your support agents avoid wasting their time on ingenuine help tickets or answering basic questions covered in your customer support content
- Chatbots help customers get answers to quick questions without waiting for a support agent to be available to assist them
- Chatbots can implement callback queues, allowing customers to hang up and receive a call back when a live agent is available
Anticipate Customer Needs
You can implement AI tools that analyze customer behavior in order to identify what they’ll want or need in the future. This is especially effective for subscription businesses. AI can evaluate a customer’s historical purchase data to predict when they’ll need to reorder, allowing you to send your customers an automated reorder message at the right time.
This improves your customer experience by making the recurring purchase process easier and more streamlined. Customers will be able to make their next order by clicking a button on an email instead of having to browse for what they need from scratch and go through the entire checkout process again.
AI technology can also leverage your customer data to more effectively:
- Engage in forecasting
- Identify emerging growth opportunities
- Adapt your marketing strategies to align with shifts in consumer preferences
Route Incoming Messages and Calls to the Right Agents
Very few things are more irritating to your customers than getting routed to the wrong support or service agent. When they must get redirected multiple times, this frustration grows exponentially. AI technology allows you to route customers to the right agent the first time, providing a better overall experience.
You can use AI chatbots to evaluate the nature of an issue based on a set of predetermined keywords. Then, the ticket is automatically assigned to the appropriate agent to help that specific customer. By performing an initial screening of each inquiry, AI technology can help your customers get the assistance they need much faster.
The likelihood of errors is much greater when your data is processed manually by your team. AI technology can process data much faster and find errors before they negatively impact the credibility of your data. In addition, the ability to analyze large quantities of data enables AI solutions to provide context for the data-driven decisions you make. By viewing data holistically and providing greater contextual information, AI algorithms are able to reduce errors even further.
Leveraging AI technology to reduce errors not only provides a better customer experience, but it also saves you money. It takes time for customer support agents to fix errors. If each agent spends 30 minutes every day correcting errors, it will equate to a significant amount of wasted time over the course of an entire month. By eliminating this time spent correcting errors, AI technology can give your live agents more time to devote to helping your customers.
Analyze Customer Data to Better Anticipate Future Behavior
AI technology has significantly expanded the ways in which you can leverage customer data to better understand your audience and anticipate their future behavior. By predicting the context of user interactions, AI technology enables you to more effectively curate these upcoming interactions in a manner that will provide a better experience during the later stages of the customer journey.
You can also leverage customer data to proactively predict and prevent customer attrition. You can analyze customer sentiments from various interactions along their journey to identify situations where people are experiencing frustration with your company. This allows you to reach out to them to apologize, take steps to alleviate their frustration, offer incentives for them to remain a customer, and take any other action necessary to repair the relationship.
Ensure Consistency Across All Channels
Many individuals will engage with your business on multiple channels before making a purchase. Therefore, it’s important to track all interactions with a person across every channel to ensure no information gets lost and you provide a consistent experience at every touch point.
AI technology provides you with robust capabilities to track interactions across channels. Some examples include:
- Using AI to automatically load information provided by an individual on a prior interaction, making it easier for them to pick up where they left off in a sign-up or purchase process and increasing the likelihood that they complete the process
- Using AI to send automated reminders to customers who abandon their shopping carts, offering a small perk or discount that incentivizes them to complete their purchase
- Using AI to retarget to customers who engage with your business but don’t complete a purchase, increasing the likelihood that they’ll choose your business once they’re ready to make a buying decision
Reduce Employee Burnout
The high workload and abundance of mundane, repetitive tasks creates high levels of burnout among customer support employees. When these employees are overwhelmed, stressed or burnt out, they’re more likely to make mistakes or to snap at customers. This can result in a poor experience that increases the likelihood of customer attrition.
AI technology can provide important support to your live agents by handling many of the mundane, repetitive tasks that can bog down their day. By automating these tasks using AI, you can reduce the workload of your support team, giving them more time to spend on the complex issues that require their attention. It also reduces the likelihood of burnout, which will improve the experience they provide to your customers.
AI technology can help boost your sales in several different ways. It can be used to detect sticking points in your customer journey, allowing you to address these issues and provide a more seamless buying process that reduces the likelihood that customers won’t finalize purchases. In the event that a purchasing issue does arise, chatbots can help resolve the problem right away to keep the purchase moving forward.
You can also use chatbots to let customers know about new products, special discount codes and other promotions you’re running. Many AI-powered chatbots also have the ability to make customized product recommendations for your customers. These capabilities can help increase your average order value.
You can also have chatbots automatically alert your sales team to follow up with customers who express interest in a specific product or service. This allows your sales team to jump right in and try to complete the sale. Since these alerts will let your sales team know which product or service an individual is interested in, they will be able to more effectively cross-sell or upsell products that might align with the customer’s needs.
Get Started Elevating Your Customer Experience with AI
AI provides you with a powerful tool to improve your customer experience at every point along their journey with your business. However, in order to leverage these benefits, you will need a CX platform that is able to integrate the latest AI technologies. If your current CX platform lacks these capabilities, you may need to upgrade to a CX system that can work with the AI tools you’re using. Making sure you implement the right systems is a critical first step to crafting the exceptional customer experience necessary for your business to grow and thrive.