3 key takeaways to guide you through your AI and CX transformation

With the prevailing boom of the fourth revolution, it has become apparent among many consumer-centric businesses that incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into a business is the ‘holy-grail’ to achieving higher profit margins, reducing operational costs, increasing efficiency and most importantly improving the customer experience (CX).

This year’s Artificial Intelligence for Customer Experience (AI for CX) Forum looks beyond this general definition, incorporating product design and business strategy into every aspect of digital transformation. The forum also looks to facilitating a powerful discussion of long term sustainable success, rethinking the term innovation to deepen customer value and answering the overarching question – what does the future hold for AI in CX? Read on to discover our pre-event takeaways aiming to guide you through your digital disruption.

1. Companies need to start viewing AI as a strategic and cultural shift instead of a technology upgrade.

Strategy and AI are two very different terms that can mean different things to different people, and combining the two can be an even harder problem to tackle. However, together it can enable businesses to meet customer expectations and update existing CX structures akin to a 5G world rather than a dial-up service. With this in mind, any AI strategy should rely on three main building blocks: data unification, delivery of real-time insights and customer value.

  • Data unification was founded on a bold idea of improving data management while driving business success. It’s no longer considered acceptable to have a partial understanding of how your data relates to your business goals. Competition is fierce and leaving data unanalysed can open you up to a host of problems including inefficiencies and data breaches.[i] To address this challenge AI technology allows businesses to achieve a scalable solution that is cheaper, faster and relatively hassle-free. Alongside these more apparent benefits of AI technology, it also implements a glass box culture. If an audit of algorithmic AI data is documented, businesses can handle more transparent and unbiased data and thus strengthen the customer’s trust in a brand.

  • Again, real-time insights come down to the culture of a business – recognising how to implement real-time analytics into business operations to benefit the customer experience. Through predictive analysis, AI technology can guide businesses to turn real-time data into a compelling experience on and off the screen. Research conducted by a consulting firm, Capgemini, found 75% of organisations using AI have enhanced customer engagement by more than 10% when enforcing their real-time analytics into their CX strategy.[ii]
  • Understanding the difference between customer education and marketing is the first step to increasing customer value. Customer education refers to “the set of activities or processes a business puts in place to equip customers with the knowledge and skills to make the most out of the product or service”.[iii] In support of this definition IBM found 74% of their surveyed participants will look to AI as a way to educate customers. [iv] Through the power of education businesses are able to change the way customers view their brand.

To dive deeper into data collection and analysis, join our morning session at AI for CX on how to use data to create the ideal customer experience. Download the full event brochure to receive a breakdown of the session.

2. Incorporating immersive AI into the customer experience to boost engagement shifting the focus from technology to business opportunity.

For many businesses, the digital world conjures up the thoughts of marketing, e-commerce and omnichannel experiences. This is hardly surprising given the increased use of cloud, cognitive and other immersive technologies in today’s consumer marketplaces. Individually and collectively, immersive technologies can help support the expectations of what the “new” customer experience should be, while also educating businesses on product innovation.

 It is safe to say Pokémon Go is a good example of this – demonstrating how technology can support a social hype while providing businesses with an exceptionally large amount of data, which can be incorporated into their advertising strategy. Effectively, here, we are carrying on from points raised in the first takeaway – trends are shifting away from technology and firmly towards their development and deployment strategy to enable businesses to achieve the ultimate customer experience. A report by Deloitte found this trend to accelerate when encompassing three main aspects into immersive AI CX strategies:

  • Transparent interfaces: Making it possible for businesses to view and interact with data in new ways. As modern datasets trend towards greater scale and complexity, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offers the ability to see everything at once with increased immersion/focus, which enables businesses to discover more in less time.[v]
  • Ubiquitous access: Immersive technology must be user-friendly in order for businesses to want consumers to use it continuously. The technology and design must give rise to comfort and self contained devices, free from tethering wires or bulky battery packs so not to hinder on the customers product engagement.
  • Adaptive levels of engagement: For the same practical reasons that we are able block pop-ups when surfing the Internet, AR and VR has the ability for users to control data feeds appearing in virtual environments, which is critical for keeping the customer engaged. In the future, tailoring data feeds to user preferences, location or activities will increase business opportunity through personalisation. [vi]

3. Using AI to differentiate between personalisation and customisation to maximise Return on Experience (ROE).

Personalisation and customisation have been considered buzzwords for so long that businesses are using the two interchangeably to cater for the same end product – achieving the ultimate customer experience. While combining the two systems may allow for businesses to achieve mass production at a low unit cost and the flexibility of an individualised experience, the two concepts should be utilised separately in order for customer strategies to succeed. AI technology can help to achieve this.

A case in point: Skinmade, a German start-up, developed AI-enabled kiosks to produce customer-specific face creams on demand. Using sensors, the machine captures hydration levels which is then analysed using machine-learning algorithms and neural networks to determine a formula for the customer.[vii] Here, Skinmade developed a strategy to use AI-customisation as a way for getting the product out right, while personalisation is what inevitably created the strong user experience both on and offline by anticipating the customers needs.

Once businesses have fully grasped this concept they can start to move towards maximising their ROE (#newbuzzword).  RoE means “having the right customer experience management strategy, it’s possible for companies to not only orchestrate and personalise the entire end-to-end customer experience, but to do it moment to moment, at scale, on any channel, and in real-time”.[viii]

Businesses have certain expectations of how their customers should interact with their brands, but this is often not the case when customers actually start to interact with the brand. By personalising from end to end and scaling those experiences, customers can have real-time interactions that help them interact with the brand better.

To get the full insights into AI for CX attend our latest forum to gain a competitive edge, a better understanding on how you can successfully implement AI to optimise customer engagement across all channels, and how you can turn your data into meaningful business solutions.

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[i] What Is Data Unification And How Do You Achieve It? Tamr Inc. Pub April 11, 2019. Accessed 25 July 2019. https://www.tamr.com/blog/what-is-data-unification-and-how-do-you-achieve-it/

[ii] Artificial intelligence unlocks the true power of analytics. Accessed 25 July 2019. https://www.adobe.com/insights/ai-unlocks-the-true-power-of-analytics.html

[iii] Kelechi Okeke. CustomerThink. Pub December 05, 2017. Accesses 25 July 2019.  http://customerthink.com/educating-your-customers-the-benefits-how-to-achieve-it/

[iv] The Ai-enhanced Customer Experience: A Sea Change For Cx Strategy, Design and Development. IBM Institute for Business Value. Pub February 05, 2019. Accessed 25 July 2019. https://www.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/custexperience/ai-cx/

[v] Why VR? The Many Benefits of Immersive Data Analysis. Medium. Pub May 01, 2019. Accessed 29th July 2019. https://medium.com/badvr/why-vr-the-many-benefits-of-immersive-data-analysis-a8590f7b4284

[vi] Digital Reality: The Focus Shifts from Technology To Opportunity. Deloitte Insights. Accessed 29th July 2019. https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/tech-trends/2018/immersive-technologies-digital-reality.html

[vii] Ben Coxworth. Skinmade Kiosks Produce Client-specific Face Cream on Demand. New Atlas. Pub April 02, 2019. Accessed 30th July 2019. https://newatlas.com/skinmade-custom-face-cream/59126/

[viii] Nicole Martin. Return on Experience Is the New Roi. Forbes. Pub May 16, 2019.  Accessed 30th July 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolemartin1/2019/05/16/return-on-experience-is-the-new-roi/#7ee0882356b7