What is AI Customer Experience (CX)?
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.
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 (or AI CX) as a concept and practice.
So what exactly is AI CX? And how can AI really impact CX in a meaningful way?
First, it helps to agree on what exactly the customer experience 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. And 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.
Successful companies seek to maximize customer growth and retention. One of the secrets is to provide a seamless experience every step of the way. So how can AI help?
Seamless engagement from the start
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 into actionable insights. For example, AI can suggest personalized product or service recommendations directly to the customer or to marketing for follow-up.
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-sells.
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 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.
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 pipeline, close deals faster, increase sales with existing customers, and provide superior 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 AI CX can take it to the next level.