Build a 5-Star Customer Experience With Artificial Intelligence
By Alston Ghafourifar and Michael Evans
Rapid technological advances have created opportunities for smaller companies to serve customers around the world and effectively compete with larger companies for new customers. These smaller companies are rapidly going global, deploying a variety of technology-enabled solutions such as automated call centers, customer service bots, and digital marketing intelligence.
But these advances, designed to facilitate customer interaction and service in new ways, can present a danger. Companies that embrace the various forms of new customer-focused technology risk losing a personal connection with their customers and a nuanced understanding of their needs. When it comes to understanding how your company can better serve customers, email surveys are no substitute for real human contact.
As small companies scale their operations, they can lose touch with their customers. Often, it takes the loss of a major client or some other client crisis to sound the alarm. Sometimes a chain reaction ensues: consultants are brought in; people are replaced; costs are cut. This may lead to further distraction from the root of the problem: a lack of clear understanding of customer needs, what to do to satisfy them, and failure to effectively enhance the customer experience (CX for short). CX broadly defines the quality of all the interactions that take place between companies and their customers. It’s a critical factor in building trust, loyalty, and repeat business.
So anyone interested in CX trends should pay close attention to the latest Customer Experience Index report from Forrester Research. The annual survey asks nearly 120,000 U.S. consumers to rank 287 brands across 19 industries, focusing on how their company-specific experiences impact brand loyalty. The alarming surprise was that the aggregate measurement of customer experiences failed to improve, with more brands than ever ranked “mediocre.” Just 37 brands rose in the rankings; the remaining 250 stagnated or declined.
A key insight from the report is that it is harder than ever to achieve truly memorable customer interactions, the types that turn customers into vocal advocates. But there is a silver lining. Successfully creating seamless experiences can be a significant competitive advantage, especially in industries where product or service differentiation is narrow.
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AI integration and the customer experience
With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), companies can now improve CX by learning more about the customer and anticipating their needs. Many CX-focused brands are deploying artificial intelligence technologies strategically at key customer touch points. To illustrate what that looks like in practice, we’ve assembled five examples of AI-powered CX from five different industries—showing that 5-star customer experiences can be just an algorithm away for forward-thinking companies:
1. In retail, AI-enabled personalization unlocks access to the 1% customer.
Data shows thatthe top 1% of a retailer’s customers are worth 18x more than its average customer. The most effective tool for …read more
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