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Technology is moving fast, and so are consumers. The digital landscape is continuously evolving and creating new tools to enhance our digital experience.
In this scenario, providing a comprehensive experience that understands customers’ needs and preferences has become vital for any business to succeed today.
That’s why we recently joined Jeanne Bliss, CX expert and founder of CustomerBliss, in our first webinar “How to use AI and automation to deliver superior Customer Experience”.
Next, we share the main takeaways from the webinar. Insights we believe every business should take into account when building a customer-centric strategy.
What do customers expect today?
Tech has expanded our horizons and provided us with new possibilities. But in doing so, it has also been an active source of change in the way we communicate.
Digital tools have presented new manners in which people can engage with each other, but also in the way they interact with brands.
In less than a decade, customer preferences and behaviours have shifted dramatically. Gone are the days when phone calls were the main contact channel. And remember when social media was the next big thing? Yup, gone are those days too. Now there’s a new channel in town that is taking over. We’re talking about instant messaging.
Today, consumers value immediacy, 24/7 availability, having information right when they need it, personalization, and a unified experience.
This is especially true for new generations such as millennials and centennials. According to ICMI, 71% of millennials report that the most important thing a business can do is value their time, while 68% demand an integrated, seamless experience.
So how can businesses adjust their strategy to these priorities?
Putting the customer first
In the webinar, as also stated in her latest book Would You Do That To Your Mother?, Jeanne Bliss explained that companies should treat their customers the way they treat their own mother, creating a close, respectful, and genuine relationship.
“What we’re seeing around the world is that we’re making choices, not only around experience but around the behaviours that companies are showing as to who they are as people, what their values are and what’s important to them. So customer experience at its core is about leadership and it’s about improving lives”, explained Jeanne Bliss in the webinar.
She pinpoints a few main considerations for companies to take into account when developing a customer centric strategy.
- Allowing people to thrive
Companies should enable people to thrive by making it easy for employees to provide a superior experience. This means removing all the barriers that would stop customers from getting what they need, such as policies that don’t make sense or not trusting employees to make decisions.
- Respecting your customers' goals (and helping them achieve them!)
She suggests shifting the strategy’s KPIs to be what customers care about versus a company’s own internal goals. Operational metrics in Customer Experience should reflect how a company respects customers’ time, how it is transparent with the information regarding their services and products, and how it personalizes the experience based on their preferences and needs.
Do you know your customer? Are you communicating with them on the channels they prefer? Are you available when they are?
Go through your processes and review if your operational metrics are really showing respect in your actions. “Look at your mission statement, is it about becoming number one or about making customers’ lives easier?”, asks Jeanne.
With the help of technology, this becomes so much easier. AI allows companies to research customers’ lifestyles and their everyday needs to deliver exactly what fits them best. But don't worry about this yet, we’re almost there.
- Practice leadership bravery
This is about strategically choosing not to get addicted to the bad habits of the industry.
Instead, earn the right to grow based on the service and experience you give your customers. For instance, instead of charging for wifi like most hotels do, stand out from the competition by considering it a right and give it for free.
In short, personalization, respect, availability, and human touch are some of the main ideas.
But how can companies ensure these key components of a CX strategy, while reducing costs, optimizing time, automating tasks and keeping employees happy? That’s were Artificial Intelligence comes into play.
Taking you Customer Experience to the next level with Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is a set of solutions that can perform functions similar to those performed by humans. Almost anything a typical human being can do with less than one second of mental processing can be automated with AI.
As a result, it is becoming more and more appealing for brands to implement this technology to innovate and boost their performance. In fact, a research conducted by Adobe found that, today, 47% of digitally enterprises have a defined AI strategy in their business.
Companies are looking towards incorporating AI to provide an intelligent, convenient and informed CX in all stages along the customer journey. This is because AI is capable of analyzing and processing huge amounts of data from different sources, helping create more meaningful CX.
Because of its conversational capabilities, it is estimated that by 2020, 85% of customer interaction will be managed without a human and that in 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by some sort of cognitive computing or AI effort.
Related Article: Artificial Intelligence: What is it and how does it work
So how does Artificial Intelligence improve your Customer Experience exactly?
First of all, AI understands customers, which is the first step towards and excellent customer experience. It does so by understanding natural language, colloquial expressions and misspellings, in both the written and spoken word.
It also categorizes, organizes and analyzes customer data in real time, helping businesses obtain valuable information about potential and current clients.
Second, it makes processes so much easier for both companies and their clients by automating the most frequent tasks, questions and transactions. This ultimately results in reducing operating costs, optimizing time, and increasing sales and productivity.
More importantly, it does so while delivering experiences tailored made for each customer.
It provides personalized content and recommendations by predicting future customer needs before they happen. It also stores valuable information to interact with each customer based upon past behaviour and preferences.
All in all, it empowers self-service, eliminating the need to wait “on hold” for the next available agent to help.
AI has changed all of that by allowing companies to use chatbots and virtual assistants to take care of common customer service queries. With them, customers can solve common questions and issues by themselves, on their time.
At the end of the day, this makes processes more efficient for customers while human agents can focus on more complex tasks.
Related article: 5 reasons why automatic Customer Service is here to stay
For instance, implementing a chatbot in a financial institution allows customers to solve their queries and manage tasks related to their account, cards, loans, and investments, just by chatting. Banco Bolivariano, one of our clients, went from having 14K monthly conversations to 50K in just six months.
On the other hand, online shops can increase sales by applying upselling and cross-selling techniques with a chatbot. General Motors now even sells cars online! I bet you never thought the day would come when somebody would buy a car via chat? Well, it did.
Even telcos can significantly improve their customer experience with an AI powered chatbot. Movistar reduced their Customer Service costs by more than 30%, increased self-service KPIs and gained customers in digital support working towards a fully omnichannel experience.
Ready to kick off your AI powered strategy?
You’ve already seen how much AI can do for your customer experience strategy. Now, you can experience it for yourself: we invite you to meet Aivo Suite, our comprehensive and integrated Customer Service package. Request your demo and start making your customers happy.
Also, if you’d like to know more about Jeanne Bliss or her latest book Would You Do That to Your Mother?, visit customerbiss.com.