As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, more and more opportunities are being created for every size of business to embrace them. With the power of connectivity, geographical borders and constraints have been removed and even small businesses are now able to compete with larger companies on a global scale. Customer service bots, big data, digital marketing intelligence, and advanced analytics can now be a part of the toolkit of any business, not just international conglomerates. These advances which are designed to facilitate customer interaction have but one drawback though- you lose the human touch.
A recent report by Forrester showed that despite the introduction of various technologies that are designed to increase customer service and satisfaction, many clients are not seeing a huge improvement. It seems that global brands are struggling to achieve customer interactions that are truly memorable- prioritising efficiency over the human touch.
There is a need to satisfy a growing number who crave customer experience over just plain, old, customer relationship management and this is where artificial intelligence (AI) can really come into its own. People no longer want just service, they want an experience that is tailored to their preferences, requirements, and even personality.
Those businesses that are interested in moving from customer relationship management (CRM) to Customer Experience Management (CXM) are harnessing the power of AI and using it to learn about their customers, not just to service their needs. The future of successful marketing is based on knowing your client, predicting their behaviour and targeting your message accordingly.
Here are some excellent examples that are already being deployed across a number of industries.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
RBS is one of the UK’s largest banking groups and it serves around 17 million clients. Previously much of their marketing efforts had been focussed around the aggressive upselling of credit cards. This involved a lot of paper waste, and a whole heap of digital communications that ended up in junk mail folders, never to see the light of day. RBS needed a new approach so they turned to AI to help them leverage data intelligence into new ways of contacting customers. For example, if a client repeatedly goes into their overdraft, the AI would flag the account and someone from the bank would contact them to discuss financing options.
Have you ever tried to buy a ticket to see your favourite singer live, only to be disappointed as tickets sell out in a matter of seconds? Sometimes this can be down to automated bots that buy up huge blocks of tickets and then resell them on secondary marketplaces at a huge markup. Ticketmaster realised that this was a problem that left many out in the cold so they set about utilising AI to solve the problem. A new system called Verified Fan requires every fan to register their interest in buying a ticket before they go on sale. The AI-powered system then analyses each register to make sure that they are not a bot. The result was that only 5% of tickets bought via Verified Fan, ended up on secondary markets, giving more chances to real fans to access tickets at the proper price point.
Marketers at Adobe have started using Attribution AI to help them go beyond traditional attribution models in order to deliver truly unique CX experiences. Using AI they are able to see just how much revenue each marketing channel contributes to each sale and can then see what is working and what is not in terms of marketing. For example, they would be able to see that perhaps a small search campaign promoting Adobe Photoshop is effective when they are beginning to search for photo editing software, more so than a large email push that may turn people off.
In addition to this, the Customer AI service creates propensity scores which help to predict the behaviour of customers. By using AI to build customer profiles, targeted advertising and messaging can be much more effective through the use of pinpointed opportunities. Such algorithms are capable of generating over 1.5 billion scores every day which can predict factors like the probability of purchase, churn, upsell, and much, much more.
Created by IBM, ‘Watson’ is a supercomputer system that harnesses AI to be able to answer questions posed in natural language, based on cognitive computing. By utilising machine learning, natural language processing, AI, reasoning, and human interaction it also draws on 200 million pages of information and can process them against six million logic rules.
The IBM Watson system has been implemented in an impressively diverse range of business and organisational environments including the German Budnestag (the German equivalent of Parliament), American housing and human services departments, events organisers, Brazilian legal departments, sports, entertainment, and even plain, old accounting.
One particular case study, the Georgia Aquarium used Watson to personalise its outreach in order to drive revenues and enable vital research. It focussed on utilising the Campaign Automation function to create and push out personalised messages to viewers across its various digital channels. After using Watson, the aquarium noted an 89% boost in email open rates, a 6% increase in conversion rates, and a 21% rise in revenue that was directly attributed to digital channels.
It is particularly effective in the way it facilitates customer experience through its analytics functionality which enables more accurate CXM decisions that are based on insights across multiple customer touchpoints and channels.
Get in Touch with BDO's Technology Advisory Team to learn more about enhancing Customer Experience through AI.