The Customer Experience industry has seen a notable shift in the year-over-year application of AI technologies. From 2019 to 2020, there has been a rise of 28% in the adoption of AI in customer experience.
Companies are shifting their focus to the best possible customer experience and automating interactions at a steady pace. The reason is due to the following reasons:
- Using data intelligently during customer interactions.
- Improving Customer Experience using actionable insights.
- Automate repetitive tasks and reduce customer support costs.
- Reduce errors caused by manual processes.
- Have a cutting edge through excellent customer experience.
Brands are trying to use the vast amount of data and draw some realistic information. They want to use this information and work in a positive direction. AI in customer experience have built a course of action towards a data-driven automated future for customers and brands in regards to Customer Experience.
50% of companies, surveyed by IBM, are already shifting to automation and planning to deploy artificial intelligence. The other half is getting ready with the resources and data required for the AI/CX match. This implies the utility and escalation of the power of AI and automation in customer experience and the extent to which it is accepted by businesses.
What is customer experience?
As the name suggests, customer experience is the total of customers’ perceptions and feelings about the brand. It is the aggregate of all the interactions customers have during the relationship with the organization.
Today, more than ever, businesses need to have a good customer experience strategy. Businesses are prioritizing Customer Experience and automation because they know for the fact that it has proven to be very beneficial.
A good Customer Experience helps in improving customer retention and loyalty towards the brand boosts Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and gives the brand a competitive advantage.
Role of AI in customer experience
Leveraging AI capabilities for a good customer experience has given magical results to companies. It has saved a lot of operational cost and time for the companies, giving them a feature for self-serve queries, improved CSAT score, and a multiplied revenue.
Here are some statistics for an overview of what AI and automation in customer experience can do.
5 important AI and automation statistics for customer experience:
Aberdeen’s research, The CX Executive Agenda 2020 established some crucial insights about AI and automation in the CX industry. Some of the astonishing figures that drew the attention of businesses are:
- 78% of the businesses surveyed are unhappy with their ability to use data during customer interactions. Companies are willing to shift to technologies like machine learning (ML) to drive their data management functions smoothly.
- AI capabilities are among the top 10 technologies for adoption by businesses by the end of 2021.
- Employee empowerment using automation of repetitive low-value tasks that suppress employees’ creativity and human empathy. Conversational AI and chatbots/voice bots can help release over-burdened employees. They can help in making space for some valuable tasks in their calendars.
- Businesses using AI capabilities have a 2.3x increase in first contact resolution rates (annually).
- Firms leveraging AI possess superior CX with better customer retention, customer satisfaction (3.5x), and improved customer effort score (8x).
With these facts and figures, brands are increasingly falling in love with the concept of AI and automation in Customer Experience. They are now focusing on filling the gap between the use of technology and company resources.
Businesses from all industries understand that the future of Customer Experience is AI-powered. Along with the figures mentioned above, there are many other reasons for this acceptance and shift in technology.
6 features of AI in Customer Experience (AI/CX)
1. Prompt and precise actions
The rate of repartee obtained by automation is humanly impossible. With AI-embedded virtual assistants, companies can make sure that all the customer requirements are met and queries are resolved even before they sense the gap.
Virtual assistants can monitor the website and in-app activities of the customers and help companies identify the customer touchpoints.
With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI Chatbots can resolve customer queries and help them interact with the brand as if they were talking to humans. And the speed and accuracy of this conversation will definitely improve the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score for the brand.
In case of complex queries, virtual assistants help customer support agents by a seamless admission. They provide all the required data churning and a suitable response suggestion for the customers. This saves a lot of time and effort and the response generated is definitely prompt and precise.
2. Convenient mode of communication
Messaging has overtaken all other modes of communication. Beyond friends and family, customers now expect businesses to communicate via messages over any and every channel.
Automation in customer experience can help brands build an omnichannel presence. Also, they can provide a facility for automated and personalized interaction on every channel. Convenience in communication improves customer satisfaction many fold and helps companies improve their brand value.
Managing omni channel communication comes with a responsibility. Brands need to interact with customers on every channel with the same frequency.
However, automation of business communication is now possible for all channels, be it websites, app, or social media.
Brands must focus on future-proofing their business communication with a customer experience strategy that is convenient and helps customers in real-time. AI chatbots usually come with a dashboard to analyze and overlook all the engagements and tickets.
3. Training and automation
Hiring and training customer support employees can be a challenge. As it becomes an iterative process, it consumes a lot of time and has a low return on investment.
With automation, the cost of training carried by the company reduces significantly. Once an AI-powered application is installed on the company’s website, the employees can start using it without any delay.
Automated chatbots upgrade themselves with every conversation. Machine learning (ML) helps virtual assistants learn with every session and thus need less human intervention day by day.
With AI, the cycle of training and re-training customer support employees discontinues. The conversational AI platform installed by the company already automates a lot of processes involved with customer experience needs.
This reduces the hiring challenge and the costs involved. Also, it creates an opportunity for the existing employees to use their precious time on tasks that need human attention.
4. Best customer experience all day, every day
AI in Customer Experience helps businesses interact with customers 24/7. Supporting them with their queries, helping them place an order, booking a ticket, or even receiving feedback, is now possible any time of the day.
Nothing can hinder the customer support- not a public holiday, or an altogether different time zone. Customers don’t have to wait for hours for getting the answers they deserve. This feature can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and reduce churn.
For companies, this feature can prove to be an asset for improving brand reputation and trustworthiness. With AI, brands can justify their willingness to serve their customers at any given moment with their full potential.
A well defined conversational chatbot can take your brand loyalty and customer satisfaction to a whole new level.
5. Unbiased customer experience
A chatbot or a virtual assistant has no afflictions or frustrations that could affect their interactions. Unlike human agents, they will not react to an angry customer or a frustrated team. Instead, a chatbot would learn about their issues and try to resolve them without any biases.
Virtual assistants can assist the customer service agents in case of complex queries. These assistants provide the agents with response suggestions by following companies' protocols and churning all the available data. This leaves the customer support team happy and the customers happier.
Speaking about biases, automated customer experience has no language barriers. Chatbots can interact in 100+ languages without any translator or interpreter. With AI in Customer Experience, global interactions can become as light as a feather.
With the help of multilingual chatbots, brands can interact with the customers in their regional languages, reduce customer efforts and create a customer-friendly environment.
6. Self-serve query resolution
Millennials are self-reliant. They need to solve queries on their own by browsing, scrolling through FAQs, or interacting with a chatbot. Businesses need to understand this pattern.
Query resolution with human interaction over phone calls used to work very well a decade ago, but not today. Customers want businesses to help them self-serve their queries. This can be done by educating and nurturing them about how to use their product/service.
AI and automation help customers solve their queries. There is no need to wait for the customer support agent to connect with the customer and solve their problems.
However, in the case of complex queries, human interaction becomes necessary. And at that moment AI helps in seamlessly including an agent for problem-solving.
If you are a business who hasn't leveraged the power of AI powered virtual agents for improving your Customer Experience journey then this is high time to do so.