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How AI is re-defining customer experience in the digital age

July 8, 2021

Karan Batra   

Senior Manager - Marketing, Tata Communications

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising nearly every industry across the globe – from online gaming to education. But there’s one area where there has been a seismic impact: Customer Experience (CX). In this piece, Karan Batra, Senior Manager – Marketing at Tata Communications, explains how AI is transforming the customer experience landscape for the better – and how making AI a central part of CX strategy is vital for the future of business.

Serving customers faster. Enhancing business growth. Enabling businesses to stay ahead of the competition. The countless ways AI is shaping CX cannot be underestimated. But AI is not just about clever systems that quickly process huge amounts of data. Today it can speak, see, and communicate like real people – reshaping and reimagining the customer service experience altogether.

AI has a big impact at every stage of the customer journey. AI driven systems allow for personalisation, meaning as soon as a customer visits a website or contact centre their experience is as interactive and targeted as possible. This has a direct effect on lead generations and sales, boosted by clever chatbots which can engage customers quicker and create an intuitive level of service.

Furthermore, by auto-handling standard questions and queries, AI systems free up time for humans to cater for more complex issues – such as increasing staff productivity and efficiency.

AI and chatbots: defining customer service together

Though chatbots are often seen as synonymous with AI, they are in fact two separate entities. When merged it becomes a powerful tool that vastly improves customer service. Central to the bot’s power is the insight provided by AI which can process and read data to help understand customer needs, behaviour patterns, conversations, and ratings. Armed with this information, an organisation can personalise and further improve customer experience.

In addition, today’s customers expect quick and clear answers. Chatbots not only provide customers with an instant response to questions and queries but enable organisations to be available to their customers round the clock. Making intelligent use of chatbots and virtual agents – especially when combined with AI – further allows a company to scale its customer service resources, depending on traffic volume and seasonality. And matching customer service to demand can help drive greater brand loyalty – especially amongst millennials – increasing the total lifetime value of the customer.

70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML) applications, chatbots and mobile messaging, up from 15% in 2018.

Integrate social media into your CX strategy

Social media platforms are ideal for leveraging AI to deliver exemplary customer service, and should be central to any successful CX and marketing strategy. Social specific CX technology offers us the tools to directly engage with customers all over the world, from creating conversation queues to prioritising DMs, or dealing with queries before they get out of hand. And just like web and contact centre interactions, users expect instant responses which can be leveraged by AI driven CX systems to acknowledge customer feedback immediately. Not only does this help with brand awareness and goodwill, it provides full and consistent visibility of social media reputation – an invaluable resource in today’s hyper-connected world.

42 percent of consumers expect companies to handle their complaints on social media within 60 minutes.

But the power of AI isn’t all customer-facing. It also lies in the information gathered, from capturing meaningful insights from customer-centric data, including reviews and opinions shared on social platforms, to patterns of customer behaviour. Meanwhile, social analytics help us identify content an audience wants and enables personalisation – thereby enhancing experience and driving customers to remain loyal for years to come.

AI has altered the business landscape in unprecedented ways, from changing the way an organisation markets its products to streamlining the sales process – and it’s only poised to become more sophisticated and intuitive. Undoubtedly, AI has had one of the biggest impacts on customer service, as well as influencing every other point of the customer journey.

AI is not just a feature of customer experience, it is the future of customer experience.

Leverage its power and find out how it could transform the future of your business – discover more about Tata Communications Contact Centre As A Service.