You might ask: what do artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-based tools have to do with customer experience (CX)?
Here’s what — when asked which technologies most improve customer experience, 34% of sales and marketing leaders believe AI is the biggest game-changer. What’s more, 73% of global consumers say they are open to businesses using AI if it makes life easier.
From these stats (and hundreds more), it’s evident that AI is here to stay. Be it inventory management, product design, marketing or even a simple email pitch, AI has helped eCommerce brands advance in leaps and bounds.
How Will AI Improve eCommerce and Customer Experience?
AI is being tested out as a long-term solution for customer service and brand models across various industries. Put simply, AI is the future of smooth, reliable, and automated customer success frameworks.
Now, let’s look at seven ways AI improves eCommerce, positively impacts customer experience, and what this means for your brand.
Tailored Recommendations for Enhanced Customer Experience
Let’s face it – personalization matters. Over 70% of customers get frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal and a measly one-size-fits-all.
Tailoring each user’s journey throughout the sales funnel positively impacts the consumer experience and improves engagement rates.
Thanks to AI, creating a personalized recommendation framework for each of your customers is easier than ever. Here’s are a few examples:
- Social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook have thousands of users posting content every single day. Each app’s algorithm filters out relevant posts according to each user’s preferences and metrics such as “likes”, “shares”, and “saves”.
- When it comes to websites and platforms, AI improves eCommerce by helping the app display relevant products, page redirects, and other site posts based on the user’s previous activity. The technical term for this type of AI framework is a recommendation engine.
In fact, over 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from using these recommendation engines.
This engine brings tailor-made recommendations to your consumer experience and boosts the visibility of multiple sections of your site/app to your customers, all at the same time.
Proactive & Efficient Customer Service
While charting out the determinants for customer experience, pay special attention to how speedy and efficient your customer service is. The pandemic has led to an unprecedented rise in eCommerce and having your staff single-handedly manage a staggering number of user queries is now a thing of the past.
Enter chatbots. Globally, over 1.4 billion people use chatbots to solve their queries and hassles while shopping online.
Integrating chatbot-based customer service frameworks can reduce almost 80% of your workload (thanks to all the questions AI-based bots can answer). Here are four advantages of using conversational chatbots:
- Increase customer engagement and reduce bounce rate
- Address basic queries 24/7 (such as FAQs, assistance in site/app navigation, and feedback collection)
- Improve the efficiency of your brand’s customer service
- Reduced labor costs
AI-powered chatbots are paving the way for more automated, streamlined, and customer-centric service experiences, no matter what industry you’re in.
Real-time Support Through AI-powered Virtual Assistants
While chatbots are useful in answering basic queries, more complex ones require the help of virtual assistants. Here’s a quick guide to what AI virtual assistants do and how you can use this technology to boost customer success.
Virtual assistants powered by AI and machine learning frameworks can answer voice-based queries.
Some of the most popular voice assistants (VA) are Amazon’s Alexa, Windows Cortana or Apple’s Siri. Users can assign tasks, ask questions, carry out purchases or bookings, all thanks to these nifty AI-powered technologies.
Questions like “What do running shoes at Adidas cost?”, “Why is my Instagram taking this long to load?”, or “What is X brand’s email address?” can all be answered by VAs. Setting up similar virtual assistants that can help users address complicated queries is one of the best things you can do for customer success.
Here are a few ways setting up a VA for your brand can lead to quicker customer experience:
- VAs help deliver personalized guidance to your customer, leading to higher customer satisfaction rates.
- VA-customer interactions deliver deep insights into brand perception, customer satisfaction, and problems your CX framework might have.
- VAs are available 24/7 and require almost no manual operation after initial set-ups.
Predictive Analytics to Better Understand Customer Insights
Put simply, deep customer insights drive a brand’s CX.
Collecting consumer insights a few years back involved mountains of forms, lots of manual data entries and incomplete insight reports. But with AI-powered tools, tracking and studying customer insights from every part of the sales funnel is a smooth process, requiring minimal manual efforts.
The predictive analysis involves making predictions based on past data trends. Using AI-based data collection tools can help speed up the process, as well as provide more precision to a brand’s data analysis.
Here are a few real-world applications of predictive analysis:
- Sales through various channels (both organic and paid)
- Risk assessments
- Social media analysis for upcoming campaigns
- Customer engagement
- A better understanding of ROI and future investment
Integrating AI-based algorithms and software for data collection/analysis is the best way to understand customer success and improve your brand’s overall CX.
Shift to Data-driven Decision-making
Collecting, sorting and analyzing data is back-breaking work. For humans, we mean.
Human judgment can be flawed, especially when bombarded with mountains of data. Human error, a flaw in judgment, personal and professional biases impact sound decision-making for businesses.
But AI-based tools are proving to be game-changers, especially when it comes to providing clear, sharp, data-driven insights.
According to Harvard Business Review, “Human judgment is still the central processor, but now it uses summarized data as a new input.” And it couldn’t be more right.
Shifting to data-driven insights powered by advanced AI models may be the best bet for studying customers better. Apart from figuring out their needs better and addressing all of their queries, data-driven insights identify the tiniest of gaps and flaws in a brand’s customer success.
Setting up AI-based workflows and regularly studying customer satisfaction and engagement can all be done in the blink of an eye, as compared to manual data collection and analysis.
Customer Sentiment & Feedback Analysis
Customer sentiment analysis, as per definition, involves processing information through text and social media sources to determine customer opinions, preferences, likes, and dislikes about a brand or its product.
A brand can easily gauge its consumer’s response to a new product or service, based on their voiced opinions across online platforms. This data can help brands set up solutions to address pain points, as well as make the consumer’s journey smoother, faster and more engaging.
Apart from creating a more open and feedback-based consumer service model, sentiment analysis helps brands make more informed decisions, developments and helps target specific consumer queries or instances of dissatisfaction.
Analytics engines such as Lexalytics, Bazaarvoice, and Oracle are powerful AI-based tools that automate the collection of consumer sentiment and help brands automate their sentiment analysis. Once again, AI-based tools have nearly replaced manual data analysis, especially in subjective data points such as consumer sentiments.
Feedback analysis is also a great way for brands to gauge how content/dissatisfied their customers are. AI-based tools can accurately segment and analyze consumer feedback:
- Text analysis of feedback through on-site pop-ups, forms, chatbots and feedback on Google Business Review.
- Speedy segmentation of data based on positive/negative reviews, hassles/issues consumers talk about, as well as constructive inputs for your brand.
- Chatbots and VAs help solve queries and address pain points, improving CX and engagement.
Automation To Improve Customer Experience
So far, all of the AI-based solutions we’ve discussed involve automation. Automation is slowly but gradually becoming a top priority for brands across the globe, thanks to its seamless functioning, integrative nature, and low maintenance costs.
Here are six things you can automate with AI to boost customer success and satisfaction in the long run:
- Customer onboarding
- Inventory management and monitoring
- Collection and analysis of CX metrics such as NPS, CSAT, CES
- Tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns
- Addressing common customer queries
- Personalization of marketing efforts
AI-based tools impact CX and customer success more than you think they do. If you haven’t adopted AI-based tools to enhance your customer experience yet, it’s never too late to start!
About the author: Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.