Many would argue that the value of customers outranks everything else in the business. In fact, e-commerce leader Shopify says that customer support is one of the most important aspects of an operations plan.

For this reason, most businesses would go above and beyond to ensure that their customers have a positive experience whenever they interact with their online store. Unfortunately, this poses a challenge in today’s world as customer service also has to keep up with technology.

Why do customers need AI today?

This recent trend in customer experience is best summed up by Pointillist: “Today’s customers live in an omnichannel world. But most companies still force these evolved customers onto engagement paths that are steeped in legacy and instantly feel outdated.”

A sophisticated solution to address this problem is for companies to delve into artificial intelligence or AI. According to AllTopStart Ups, AIs “were designed to improve the consumer experience and help companies have a better hold in the competition.”

It does so by utilization and customization. Instead of bombarding customers with thousands of emails, companies are now able to provide service that is tailored to the specific needs of a customer.

As RedStag Fulfillment points out, AI has changed the e-commerce landscape and has revolutionized the way customer service is practiced.

Creating meaningful customer experience through the use of AI

AI helps you provide topnotch customer service by unifying your data, providing real-time analytics, and customizing customer experience by putting their actions in a business context. Here are a number of ways you can maximize this technology for your brand:

1. Create content that’s relevant to your audience

People subscribe to mailing lists because you have something to offer them. If you keep on giving your customers content that is not relevant to them, then that’s a great incentive for them to click the unsubscribe button.

How do you avoid this? By providing them with customized content that they actually care about.

You have a wealth of data coming through your cloud services, enterprise systems, as well as web and mobile interactions. You can see your customer’s patterns, see what they are interested in, and what they will most likely buy.

Pay attention to the customer journey and use it to create content that is unique, customized, and relevant. Consider your customer’s demographics: age, location, and gender, among others.

By sending targeted newsletters and emails, you increase your chances of getting a customer to purchase again.

A good example of this is by suggesting relevant items. If a customer browsed your e-commerce site for custom printed boxes, then provide suggestions on the latest box designs from your product inventory. If the customer is around a certain age, let’s say millennial, then use that to suggest trending designs.

Don’t bombard this customer with swimming apparel just because they are located in California – if they are interested in swimwear, then they would have searched for it and not for books.

Think of your customers as actual people, and not just their demographics. Oftentimes, their location doesn’t really dictate what kind of things they like. For instance, don’t assume that everyone in Texas would like to know where to get the best tacos.

Instead, rely on your data, go through the customer journey, and give your customers content that would actually be useful to them.

2. Improve your service through automation

One of the ways through which you can maximize AI is by integrating it with your customer interactions. Automating some of your processes would free up your staff, giving them time to provide better, more authentic services to your clients on site.

The good thing about AIs is that the more you use it, the more it learns. Overtime, your AI may develop streamlined processes that produces a leaner way of working. It reduces over-processing and duplication of tasks—such as, when your customer calls and you have to ask them for their information.

Think of how some businesses use AI on self-service options like self-checkout or on contact centers.

If a customer calls, the AI can provide accurate options or redirect the customer to another area that is more relevant. If a customer wants to ask about their account balance, the AI can ask if the customer wants to know their billed statement or their unbilled transactions. Customers will then be able to get the information they need and have a far more pleasant experience than waiting on hold for hours.

3. Provide consistent customer experience

One of the downsides of working with mostly human personnel is that the quality of service varies, depending on the person’s mood on that day. On the flip side of the coin, there is a risk of disconnect when you rely solely on your digital platforms.

The solution to both of these situations is to provide consistent service to strengthen your AI-based customer service solutions.

Think of it this way: if you are a customer, you would want to reach the company through the most accessible channel, which oftentimes translates to social media. If the company didn’t provide help, then the customer may move on to other mediums, such as sending an email. If all else fails, then the customer may call.

If you integrate all your systems through the use of AI tools, you would be able to have a 360-degree view of your customer’s history. You would know that the customer is enlisted to this service for this time. You would also know that this customer has reached out on Facebook but hasn’t received a response yet.

So by the time that you receive a call during business hours and the customer’s voice sounds disgruntled, you now have an idea of what’s going on. You will then be able to personalize your service, so that the customer’s needs would be immediately addressed.

Having consistent service is a failsafe in customer service. Your customers know that whatever the case, they can rely on you to provide them with the service they need.

Takeaway

AI can do wonders for your company if you properly harness it. Look into how companies provide a completely unique service per customer with the help of AI tools. In time, you too will learn to bridge the gap between what your customer wants and how fast you can provide your services.

What have you done today in terms of properly using your AI tools to augment your customer services? Sound off in the comments below.

Aaron Chichioco is a digital PR / business columnist. He has a vast experience in overseeing daily operations of several online businesses since 2011. He is currently employed with grit.ph. You can follow Aaron on twitter at @Aaron_Chichioco

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