How to Harness AI to Enhance Customer Experience

Over the past few years, machine learning and artificial intelligence have become omnipresent in the business world. What once sounded futuristic is now commonplace.

But often, the concepts still sound abstract and their applications hardly concrete. With the recent volley of innovations, it is often complicated to winnow the broad technological offering down to what can be useful for your business, or for one specific goal.

This article takes a closer at the concrete applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in customer relations. Keep reading to find out how you can harness the power of AI to enhance customer experience, and boost your conversion rate.

Chatbots and AI-Powered Virtual Assistants

One major application of AI in customer relations is as virtual assistants such as chatbots. Generally, live chats are amongst the most popular of customer service channels - they are fast, personalized, and have high rates of customer satisfaction. AI saves you from having to hire a dedicated live chat team to deal with the more mundane issues.

Using natural language processing and analyses of standardized responses to common questions, chatbots can respond to the needs of visitors to businesses’ websites. AI can give information on products, prices, or answers to questions that normally a human customer service agent would have to take care of.

But what are the big advantages of using this technology?

Well, for one - chatbots are available 24/7. That means that your customers can have personalized interactions no matter at which time - or from which time zone - they contact you. 64% of internet users value the full-time availability of chatbots, with the speed they can get simple responses or resolve complaints close behind.

What’s more, having chatbots take care of routine customer service inquiries also allows you to streamline your customer service department. So that your human agents only have to take care of the truly complex queries. Estimates say that by 2022, chatbots will help businesses save a whopping $8 billion.

The increasing interest in chatbots is also reflected in financial figures. Recent reports project that the chatbot market will grow to a stunning $9.4 billion until 2024 - up from $2.6 billion in 2019.

With recent advances, chatbots and virtual assistants are relatively easy to integrate into business websites, with a huge array of companies offering plugins, or more extensive services.

AI Analytics

Artificial intelligence can be used to process large amounts of data and to automatically recognize patterns in that data.

Using AI and machine learning to do your data analysis for you is hugely advantageous.

First off, it’s a major time-saver. No more hunkering down in front of a screen and crunching numbers yourself. Instead, once your AI is set up, it will automatically deliver reports at intervals - about the impact of your most recent blog post, or the typical behavior of visitors to your website.

But that’s just the beginning. The insights that can be gained with machine learning and neural networks uncover many more layers than even a whole analytics team could manually. This can help you gain vital insights into the behavior of your target groups, the performance of certain products, or areas for improvement.

AI learns from every bit of data it is fed. The more data it has to analyze, the better it performs. The results can be transformed into actionable insights and fed into CRMs or other marketing automation tools to streamline your sales funnel.

Analyzable data ranges from plain text and social media metrics to information provided by facial recognition software.

While this may all sound very complex, there is no need for you to know any advanced statistics or code to take advantage of AI for analytics. While there is a whole range of companies offering either services in AI analytics or easy-to-use platforms, even Google got in on the game and is offering AI tools to make AI accessible for everyone.

Content Curation and Predictive Personalization

As mentioned above, AI is top-notch at uncovering patterns in data.

This allows you to construct a profile for every member of your target audience, and to adjust the content they are provided with accordingly. Whether it’s in the newsletters they receive, or during visits to your website, AI can ensure that your potential customers see what is most relevant to them.

Based on data such as previous communications, geographical location, psychographic factors like habits or attitudes, referral sources, search behaviors, and on-page interactions, AI can construct a profile for each potential customer and match them to known customer personas. Such a profile might include age group, sex, geographic location, socioeconomic background, and their main interests related to your products and services.

Based on this data, AI can curate the content and tailor it to each potential customer’s needs, and even go as far as to predict their likely future behavior to make further adjustments down the line.

In today’s business environment, this is crucial. 74% of internet users say they quickly get frustrated with websites if the content they are shown isn’t tailored to their needs and interests. And 91% of customers say that they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are directly relevant to them.

Unsurprisingly, 88% of marketers who have implemented content personalization report measurable improvements and significantly increased ROI.

Implementing AI personalization for your business can take a wide array of forms. It can be as simple as installing AI and machine-learning enabled WordPress Plugins for your website. Or it can go as far as investing in holistic marketing tools that integrate AI, such as HubSpot.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to realize that artificial intelligence and machine learning have long since become part of our daily lives - and an integral part of business and marketing strategies.

Investing time and resources in harnessing the power of AI to optimize your customers’ experiences will return massive benefits both in the short and long term. It will help you earn your customers’ trust, satisfaction, and loyalty, thus boosting your conversion rate and profit. AI is an invaluable ally in keeping up with your competition, and even outpacing them.

Illustration: Upklyak / Freepik
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