In the latest episode of SyFy’s science fiction hit series Dark Matter, the space crew travels back to Earth, 600 years in time which incidentally is our present day. They are surprised to find that our Android technology is still in infancy and, in their own words, “limited to mere communications and social media.”
The crew had a good reason to be condescending, after all their own “Android” is a mobile being designed to the size of an adult human. It would be hard to tell them apart until they spoke. Dark Matter’s AI can perform complex tasks such as rerouting space satellites, speaking every language in the universe and whipping up any food recipe you can think of.
Our own AI robots may still be in the rudimentary stages but that is not to say its functions are less than valuable. In marketing, AI is currently being used to enhance the online shopping experience so that users can complete the customer journey in a shorter time. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
AI is becoming so huge that according to Gartner, by 2020 up to 85% of customer engagements will no longer be managed by humans. This explains the proliferation of chatbots and virtual assistants that are already sweeping the digital marketing landscape.
This article will explore the various ways artificial intelligence is currently impacting customer service in marketing.
- AI and customer satisfaction
Our technology has advanced to the level that it is possible to interact with computers in much the same way we do with people. The awesome thing about AI is its ability to store loads of information in its memory banks and retrieve them at any time. This sort of function is extremely valuable for organisations looking to improve their customer service. For example, a retail store like Aldi can store hordes of unique customer data and provide a personalised service by accessing everyone’s shopping preferences. This automatically adds to the value chain of the whole buying experience.
- AI and Applications in problem-solving
Through the years, many technology companies have been researching various uses of AI and emerging with interesting outcomes. Perhaps the most famous AI application is Siri; a virtual assistant that helps iPhone customers find answers to and solve simple tasks. Search for answers on Google is as simple as sending a voice command to Siri. Another less popular application is IBM’s Watson, which is arguably said to be smarter than Siri. It processes and responds to customers’ request through cognition and not just from memory banks alone.
With the explosion of messenger marketing, retail giants and other businesses have developed special AI applications to engage with customer’s needs. These machines known as chatbots are the “virtual business assistants” of today. For instance, companies have installed the programs on websites to help visitors find information, as opposed to live chats. The chatbots are sophisticated and designed to prompt suggestions based on previous purchases, similar products and popular choice. Facebook developed a messenger chatbot that was used to order Pizza. Although not yet mainstream, research is still ongoing to perfect the service.
If you are the type who is sceptical about trusting your money to someone else, there is good news, your next finance manager may soon be a machine. How is this good news? Well, for one, a bot has no use for your money. While banks are generally known to be slow at embracing new technologies, some progressive ones are recognising the value in customer service. These institutions are extending their banking applications to messenger services such as Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. This means customers can now perform transactions such as payments and transfers through your Facebook account. Talk about convenience.
Keys to driving business success with artificial intelligence
The typical online user is very impatient. The difference between opting for your service instead of a competitor’s own may boil down to a minor delay. Chatbots are therefore a highly effective way to engage and retain your customers. AI has been used by national companies as intelligence argumentation to make snappy, well thought out decisions.
From a company’s perspective, the following elements are essential for AI success; knowledge, ability to store and recall precise customer information, recognise patterns and act on them, and sufficient cloud storage for massive data that will be collected.
An AI provides:
- Speedy reactions and decisions that fulfil the needs of consumers who seek immediate answers.
- Better results, whether it is a solution personalised to a customer’s request or a fast diagnosis of a health problem.
- Improved business efficiency, for employees and customers
- Reduced costs for businesses and lasting relationships with clients.
If you run a business, the return on investment will depend on all the points mentioned above. Lower costs and efficiency translates to happy and loyal customers. Our AIs may not be able to converse in interplanetary language or cook a gourmet meal yet, but we are headed there.