Humanoid robot Sophia, Boston Dynamics robots, Siri, Alexa and many other examples… It seems that artificial intelligence, which is one of the most popular subjects of recent years, is going to occupy the agenda for a while. While the studies carried out in this field is gaining a new dimension each passing day, there come some controversial issues with them.
In fact, two names that recently argued against each other on this subject were the internationally famous leaders of technology Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg retorted to Musk when he stated that he was worried about the development in the field of artificial intelligence and found it necessary for the government to introduce some restrictions on this subject. Mark Zuckerberg stated that he watched Musk's interview and was overwhelmed by fearmongering. Zuckerberg then answered to Musk as following: "My view about artificial intelligence is clear. I am optimistic. I can't understand the ones who make up doomsday scenarios." Elon Musk, on the other hand, said "I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited," on Twitter.
While artificial intelligence revolutionizes many areas by influencing the whole world, we can see that customer experience is one of the most affected fields in this wind of change. Some authorities predict that 95% of customer interactions will be supported by artificial intelligence in 2025. We will see if this prediction becomes reality, but even though it does not, it is not hard to predict that artificial intelligence will significantly influence the customer experience field. We have mentioned the influence of artificial intelligence on the field of customer experience in our last article. "Internet of Things, Blockchain and Others: In What Direction Will the Customer Experience Go in 2018?’" Now in this article, we will analyze artificial intelligence's areas of use that will influence the customer experience field in more detail. Let's get started!
Nonstop Customer Support with Chatbots
Whenever they encounter a problem, customers want their problems solved right away, no matter what time it is. It was not possible for brands to provide 24-hour customer support services in previous years because of the operational issues. Nowadays, however, thanks to chatbots, users who encounter a problem can get in contact with brands anytime they want. Furthermore, customers who get in contact with the most advanced chatbot systems could not even tell whether they are talking to a machine or real human-being.
Chatbots that are used nowadays have keyword-based operational systems. However, in some cases, they can't exactly answer the questions of the users. The reason is that even though they can recognize the words, they might not be able to recognize the words when they are used in different contexts. Nevertheless, chatbot technology is improving day by day and trying to provide the best solutions to user needs.
The answer of chatbot services to "Will machines replace human beings?", which is one of the most popular topics of artificial intelligence discussions, is "Not in the near future." Anticipated process for the operational system of chatbots includes answering basic customer complaints and reporting more complicated problems to a person who works at the company's customer support service. We can briefly summarize the advantages of chatbots as follows:
- Customers' waiting time becomes shorter.
- Support services can be provided 24/7.
- It becomes possible to design customized customer experience.
Integration of Omnichannels
In today's conditions, a consumer can reach a brand in countless ways. Customers can reach the brands via social media, phone calls, mobile applications, e-mails and many more different ways. At this point, integrating the data collected from all of these channels is crucial for the brands who want to provide a good experience to their customers.
Imagine that you have encountered a problem with your mobile payment plan and could not solve the problem after a long conversation with customer services. It is not hard to predict that your reaction to the promotion messages you receive from the same company just after such a conversation will not be positive.
Thanks to the developments in artificial intelligence technology, it is easier for institutions to integrate all contact channels comparing to the past. Now customer service employees can see all the operations of a customer who have tried to reach the brand before via e-mail, phone and the mobile application and they can provide more useful solutions.
A Customized Experience
Artificial intelligence offers institutions an opportunity to provide more customized services to their customers. A brand can offer new products and opportunities that are similar to the customer's previous purchases with the help of artificial intelligence. It is a right marketing strategy to inform a customer who have previously bought snow boots about the opportunities and discounts on thermal clothing. Thanks to artificial intelligence, large amounts of data can be analyzed in a short time and customers' sense of belonging towards the institutions can be improved. Benefits of a customized experience for the brand are:
- Customization triggers the urge of purchasing. 49% of consumers purchased the products which they had not considered to buy after they saw a customized suggestion institutions offered.
- Customization improves the income. 40% of consumers purchased a more expensive product than they had planned to buy because of a customized suggestion.
- 44% of consumers told that they would continue to prefer the brands with which they experienced a customized purchase process.
We can summarize artificial intelligence's areas of use in the customer experience field with these 3 main topics. Artificial intelligence, which will gradually increase its influence in the upcoming period, is frequently preferred by institutions and some striking results can be achieved nowadays. Here are some examples:
- Globally-known music platform Spotify has been providing a "Discover Weekly" list to its users every Monday for a long time. The songs in this list consist of some songs similar to the ones that the user has previously listened and the songs their friends have listened. Although customers sometimes criticize the lists that are created by artificial intelligence technology, it is considered as a popular application in general.
- Domino’s Pizza developed a chatbot which enables users to order by sending a message as "Pizza". Users can order swiftly without calling the restaurant thanks to the application that gets the order details on Facebook, too.
- Google Photo tags photos automatically with artificial intelligence technology. For most people, tagging your photographs according to people, time and places is a boring thing. Google Photo does the tagging in the process of photo uploading and saves you from this work-load.
- KFC uses a facial recognition application to predict the customers' orders. KFC, working together with China-based search engine Baidu, evaluates gender, face and other visual properties with artificial intelligence in order to make menu suggestions to the customers. Using this information, they can provide menu suggestions on customers' next visit with respect to their previous choices.
- North Face provides a customized customer experience with Watson. IBM's artificial intelligence technology Watson helps North Face customers with product choice based on customers' answers for a range of questions. The application identifies the best options for a customer who wants to wander around in winter by asking the customer about their current location and preferred activities. So, instead of offering hundred of product choices, customers could be provided with the best fit for their needs and consumer purchase process is accelerated.
Technology and artificial intelligence are expanding their influence area all over the world each passing day. The brands, who want to provide a better experience to their customers, appeal to the systems developed with technology and artificial intelligence. Will machines replace human beings? Or are the developments in this field dangerous for humanity? We have a pretty long time to find out the answers to all these questions. However, it is not hard to see that artificial intelligence will carry the customer experience to a different level and reshape it in present and in the future.