- Greg Kihlstrom
Optimizing The Customer Experience With Artificial Intelligence
As data has become more readily available, and the platforms that companies use to store information about prospective and current customers have become more sophisticated, there has been an increased focus on creating, measuring and optimizing the customer experience using the best available tools.
There have also been incredible advances in the ability to train and utilize machine learning (ML) and other types of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist multiple functions within an organization. More specifically, there is an incredible opportunity to optimize and enhance the customer experience by using AI.
In recent years, I’ve seen an increase in both interest and usage of AI in conjunction with marketing and customer experience. I’ve worked with clients to optimize buyers’ journeys with customized AI and ML tools and utilized marketing and advertising platforms that are heavily reliant on these tools as well.
Let’s explore three ways that AI can be used to enhance the customer experience.
1. Getting Better Insights About Customers
While the growth in sophistication of data collection and analytics has enabled companies to get vastly better insights about their audiences, AI can take that much further by analyzing data and finding trends and behaviors that would likely be impossible for humans to find on their own. This can provide organizations with much better and deeper insights about their customers, which can benefit marketers, sales directors, CIOs and other key decision makers.Companies have never before had access to such a great wealth of data. Whether it’s data about operations and finances, marketing and sales or anything in between, companies are sitting on a considerable amount of information. Part of the challenge this provides, however, is that it can become too much for even a large team of humans to pore over, analyze and give recommendations on. This is where AI and ML can play a huge and vital role.
AI can comb through your data and give you detailed information about your customers’ behaviors and find trends that human analysis would likely be unable to uncover. This allows you to create more actionable user segments because consumers’ behavior doesn’t always fit neatly into predetermined demographics. Instead of assuming that everyone of a certain age, gender or economic status will make similar decisions or have the same needs, you’re able to see on a much more granular basis what each individual actually wants and how they behave. This means that AI and ML also support the personalization that customers have come to expect. They want information and actions tailored to their exact needs and desires, not assumptions based on people that might seem similar to them.
2. Providing More Relevant Communications
With customers’ demands for a personalized experience comes an exponential challenge that often requires a solution that can create a vast number of combinations of messaging, offers, timing and sequencing for each individual. The more current and potential customers you have, the greater the challenge. AI can improve the delivery of your messages by tailoring your approach. It helps narrow down the right audience for a message and predict where that audience is looking, and when they’re looking, so that messages are more effective.
For instance, utilizing exponential technologies such as personalization and marketing automation requires understanding an individual customer’s information and their intent and place within the buyer’s journey. Using AI can help you go beyond sending your audience a limited set of customized messages. It can allow you to go beyond simple personas and start customizing messaging, creative and offers on an individual basis.
3. Improving Performance Over Time
With AI and ML, you can use insights from customer data to build better ML models, which improve as more data is added to the system. This means that the more customers the AI reaches, and the more information it gathers about each of them, the better the system performance (the more accurately the system caters to its specified audience). This becomes a continuous cycle of improvement.
In addition to creating better targeting and personalization, you also can use AI to optimize results. By learning about customer behaviors and applying algorithms or ML, you can use AI to optimize steps within the customer journey. That could be anything from tailoring messages to adjusting the sequence of communications to show customers products, offers or incentives that will cause them to act. This improves the performance of your marketing and customer experience channels over time as you learn what individuals are reacting to, and your ML models will adapt your marketing to favor the higher-performing messages, offers and incentives.
In order to more effectively reach audiences and increase marketing performance over time, companies are increasingly augmenting their customer experience with AI. From initial marketing communications through the entire customer life cycle, AI allows you to offer the personalized experience that customers have grown to expect.