Even though “customer experience” is difficult to define, there are a couple things about it we know for certain.
For starters, everyone wants their company to provide a positive customer experience. From there, organizations earn higher margins and loyal brand advocates. Conversely, a poor customer experience can decimate sales and credibility.
And second, no matter what you think your customer experience is, your customer’s interpretation is always correct.
You can see why customer experience can be a bit of a high-stakes game, and why marketers are searching for ways to enhance every aspect of the buying process. For marketers who are ahead of the curve, this is where artificial intelligence comes in.
AI Can Transform Your Marketing Strategy
AI is the science of making machines smart. Typically, marketing technology is built on algorithms that humans control and tell how to act. But with AI, machines create their own algorithms, determine new paths, and unlock increased potential to advance marketing and business goals.
“Artificial intelligence” isn’t just one thing; it’s a group of technologies, including machine learning, image recognition, natural language understanding (NLU), and natural language generation (NLG).
And each of these technologies can play a key role in pulling useful insights from massive data sets that help marketers achieve goals. For marketers enacting smarter customer experience strategies, AI is invaluable—and there are a few specific reasons why it will transform the process of designing a positive customer experience.
AI Is a Scalable Solution
Consider how AI can be baked into your customer experience strategy. For example, live chat is an excellent tool for one-to-one consumer interactions, but it works best when the content, support, and answers provided are super personalized (as well as instant).
Hundreds or even thousands of employees manually replying to chats isn’t realistic. Not only is it a huge expense, it can become a cumbersome and draining task for your valuable human capital. An AI-powered chatbot, however, could field individual conversations through your website and guide people through the buying stage on their terms. It can react to sentiment and learn as it goes, providing responses and making recommendations that feel personalized.
And best of all, it can perform this task at scale, as your customer base inevitably grows.
Make Your Brand More Human
AI can make brands more human by enabling marketers to focus on listening, relationship building, creativity, culture, and community.
AI is always learning, and it never forgets.
It can be trained to recognize individual behaviors, preferences, and interests, and use them to personalize experiences. It can also learn a staggering amount of information about someone: Where they’ve been, who they were with, what music they’re listening to, where they shop, what mood they’re in, and more. And it can use all of this information to recommend the right product at the right time—maybe even before a customer knows they need or want it.
What’s more, AI remembers all of these items and delivers predictable, reliable performance at scale based on this information.
Consider this information in the scope of advertising. Depending on the platform, audience segmentation options are practically unlimited. This means endless opportunities for advertisers to target a specific audience with super-individualized content, but it’s nearly impossible to know exactly which audience subsets to target, and with what messaging. Often, advertisers revert to a generic message for a much larger audience—not exactly the human touch consumers crave.
This is where AI can improve your brand’s human side. VentureBeat shared some crazy advertising wins companies experienced when they let AI handle their ad spending. For example, one company ran a video game advertisement without actually showing any visuals of the game itself. Instead of flopping, it generated a huge amount of interest and conversation with a certain type of gamer.
For that certain subset of gamer, this brand had never seemed more alive and engaging.
Turns out, when you involve smart AI-powered machines, you can actually make experiences more human.
AI Can Be Your Competitive Advantage
According to McKinsey, AI applications can unlock $2.6 trillion of potential value in the marketing and sales industries alone, especially when it comes to customer service and personalization.
With the right tools, the level of personalization and accuracy in customer experience marketing strategies can become unmatched. There’s simply no competition for AI. It gives brands the means to drive productivity, profitability, and performance. And the early adopters will have a noticeable competitive advantage—potentially leaving competitors forever in the dust.
Unfortunately, AI in marketing is crowded and confusing, full of hype and buzzwords. It can be difficult for marketers to find the AI technologies they can trust to move their brands forward. Marketers, take the opportunity now to be proactive in advancing knowledge and capabilities before your competitors beat you to it.
The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON) is the event to help you get started with and scale AI. MAICON is designed to help marketing leaders truly understand AI, educate their teams, garner executive support, pilot priority AI uses cases, and develop a near-term strategy for successfully scaling. Join hundreds of your peers for dozens of sessions led by 60+ speakers in Cleveland, Ohio this July to learn how to harness AI as a competitive advantage.
Mike Kaput is the Director of the Marketing AI Institute