How Can Artificial Intelligence Enhance the Customer Experience?

Nowhere is the importance of data truer than in the world of attracting, winning, and retaining customers. Data not only helps understand a customer’s perspective but can also frame when and in what manner a company should interact with them. The importance of getting this interaction right has led to the rise of AI Customer Experience (AI for CX) as a concept and practice.

So what exactly is AI-driven CX? And how can AI really impact customer experience in a meaningful way?

Customer Experience (CX) Definition

First, it helps to agree on what exactly the customer experience (CX) is. The simplest way to define it is every interaction a customer has with an organization throughout what’s commonly referred to as the customer journey.

That customer journey covers everything from pre-purchase (or information gathering and comparing options across competitors) and purchase to use, then through to post-purchase stages. These interactions might be on a website, by phone or email, chatting with a customer service representative or chatbot, or using an app.

Customer experience is a crucial factor that should be monitored and measured using customer service metrics. Successful companies seek to maximize customer growth and retention. One of the secrets is to provide a seamless Customer Experience every step of the way.

By merging AI Technology with Customer Experience, businesses can deliver efficient, personalized service, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction by leveraging AI CX. So, let’s discover how AI helps to enhance Customer Experience.

AI Customer Experience and Pre-Purchase Phase

Data has been called “the new oil.” Granted, the world is in the process of transitioning its way to other energy sources. Even so, the idea is clear: information is power.

During the pre-purchase phase, potential or existing customers are “window shopping.” These activities create a lot of unstructured customer interaction data that can be difficult to decipher. AI can analyze this information and turn it into actionable insights. For example, AI can suggest personalized product or service recommendations directly to the customer or to marketing for follow-up.

AI CX impacts customer satisfaction

How does this affect this early stage of the journey? Customers are more likely to find what they’re looking for. Lead qualification and generation are improved. This means marketing efforts are reduced, with higher quality leads generated (and a greater likelihood of converting these prospects to customers).

Behavior and Intelligence Provide Insights

As the customer journey moves into the purchase phase, sales teams are more successful because they are armed with better customer intelligence. Thanks to AI, customers’ interests are clear from the start. AI can also share behaviors from similar customers, which salespeople can leverage. In turn, customers respond better to more catered sales offers, such as discounts and cross-sell.

This has a positive impact on sales. Opportunities and shopping carts don’t get stalled or abandoned. Cross-selling can result in larger deals.

Service is Smarter and Faster

Now a customer, AI and automation come together to ensure the customer experience remains seamless. Subscription and billing processes are streamlined and use workflow to eliminate payment issues. Lookalike customer information and behaviors are mined to help create targeted offers, expanding product and service use with existing customers.

Algorithms constantly analyze individual customer sentiment to predict CSATs and minimize churn potential. Conversational AI and robotic process automation (RPA) allow customers to resolve problems quickly in their channel of choice. As new issues arise, AI analyzes cases and other sources, helping customer service agents quickly address them until an automated solution is available.

This is the type of service customers expect. It’s faster, it’s more accurate, and it allows them to get back to their day and return to using the product or service. In fact, when delivered in this manner, it’s memorable and–despite there being a problem that necessitated contacting customer service–it can leave them with a more favorable view, which leads to greater loyalty.

Customer Experience Benefits: The Role of CX Chatbots

With cutting-edge apps like Alexa, Uber, and Siri, consumers have become accustomed to intelligent, personalized, and engaging experiences. This means that companies have little choice but to adopt their own innovative digital systems in order to avoid losing customers. It really is existential. In light of this, it should be no surprise that technologies like CX chatbots are experiencing substantial growth in improving AI Customer Experience.

They allow companies to leverage sophisticated AI that can greatly improve the customer experience. In fact, according to the MIT Technology Review Insights survey of over 1,000 business leaders, the respondents indicated that customer service was the area with the highest interest in AI deployments.

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated this trend. Companies have had to scramble to rethink their core business models and strategies.

Granted, there continues to be lots of hype about AI. It seems like most tech companies make claims that they are using this technology. So yes, the marketplace has become confusing.

But when it comes to chatbots, AI has a long history. Keep in mind that NLP (Natural Language Processing) systems were developed back in the 1960s! In other words, there has been extensive development – and there continues to be robust innovation.

McAfee's Customer Experience Story

Cybersecurity giant McAfee is an example of a company that has been seeing strong ROI from its investments in chatbots. The company, which has been around since the late 1980s, manages one of the world’s largest subscription businesses. Consider that its systems cover over 600 million devices. In terms of customer service, McAfee must handle interactions with large numbers of consumers, small-to-medium-size businesses, and large enterprises.

The evaluation process for a chatbot system was intensive. But in the end, the company selected the offering from Aisera. The timing of the implementation also proved critical. “With Covid-19, we would not have survived without these investments,” said Aneel Jaeel, who is the Senior Vice President of Customer Success at McAfee.

At the heart of the evaluation process was a focus on the business outcomes. “In my department, the questions were: How is this going to help our customers reduce their effort? How is it going to increase the productivity of my employees? How is it going to enhance the customer experience for McAfee products? And how is the technology going to impact my bottom line in terms of cost? Basically, if the solution does not address at least one or more of these segments, then I question its validity.”

As for Aisera, Jaeel had a pilot program to test its capabilities. He also placed a time limit on this. After all, technology and AI Customer Experience should get to value quickly.

“We started with a set of use cases and saw that Conversational AI was really good,” said Jaeel. “Over time, we would go on to expand the scope of the software into other areas.”

In the early stages, the deflection rate was 40% to 45%. But as the AI learned more from the data, this metric climbed to over 70% (note currently that the deployment of Aisera covers about 1,000 agents).

There was also strong performance with other key metrics, such as the following:

  • Auto-resolution rate: 74%
  • Improved agent productivity: 75%
  • Increased CSAT:  5 points

There is even an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) part of this journey. That is, the technology essentially automates tedious and repetitive processes – all in the background.

For example, suppose a customer has a question about adding new devices to the McAfee subscription. The chatbot can present the right instructions. But the RPA will then take care of the process of making the change to the system. The result is that the staff will have more time to devote to value-added activities.

“When it comes to the customer experience, I see it in two parts,” said Jaeel.  “There is the issue resolution, and then there is the issue of remediation.  Both AI and RPA can be essential for both.”

Differentiated CX is Possible

AI CX holds the secret for rapid and game-changing improvements to the customer experience. It helps companies effortlessly grow high-quality pipelines, close deals faster, increase sales with existing customers, and provide superior AI-powered customer service. Simultaneously, the risk of customer churn is lowered, and marketing, sales, and customer service costs are reduced.

CX is top-of-mind for today’s customers. At any point in the journey, enough friction will cause them to seek another option. Organizations without an AI CX strategy will quickly lose out to competitors. The time is now to take a closer look at the CX you offer and how utilizing AI in CX can take it to the next level.

Aisera offers the most feature-comprehensive and technology-advanced self-service automation solution in the market, which blends AI Virtual Assistant technology, conversational AI platform, Conversational AI for CX, and Conversational Automation into one SaaS cloud offer for IT Service Desks and Customer Service. Book a free AI demo today!

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