Dhruv Mehta
July 8, 2020

5 Ways AI Can Fuel Your Customer Engagement Strategy

Using AI In Your Customer Engagement Strategy

“Can artificial intelligence actually help connect with customers, let alone engage them?” Nod, if you too have wondered about this at one point or another.

The answer is deceptively simple: AI has direct and indirect applications, both of which ultimately benefit the end-customer. Take a look at what the data tells us:

  • Increased user engagement due to relevant data-driven conversations: Artificial intelligence has come into the mainstream because it allows us to make sense of an increasingly large amount of data in real-time. Indeed, worldwide data will grow 61% to 175 zettabytes by 2025.”IDC
  • Greater AI penetration across domains: “The AI use cases that will see the most investment are automated customer service agents ($4.5 billion worldwide), sales process recommendation and automation ($2.7 billion), and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems ($2.7 billion).” – IDC

AI is no longer a nice-to-have business advantage. It has emerged as a must-have and how. Its widespread application today’s innovation fueled world makes a strong case. Let’s explore this in greater detail below. Keep reading.

5 Ways to Boost Engagement with AI-based Decision-Making

1. AI-powered Onboarding: The First Phase of Engagement

“Marketing and sales prioritize AI and machine learning higher than any other department in enterprises today (40%).” – Forbes

It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that brands are bending over backward to offer unparalleled convenience to their customers. Take Pinterest’s example. Using AI, the brand has integrated shoppable pins with its visual search feature – Lens – so that customers can buy things they’ve taken images of:

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As you can imagine, this incredible feature helps convince customers who are sitting on the fence. Pinterest’s internal research is proof enough:

  • “49% of users say they develop a better relationship with brands through visual search.”
  • “61% of consumers say visual search elevates their experience while in-store browsing.”

By providing an AI-driven seamless buying experience, customers can be onboarded onto the customer journey more easily and effectively. A friction-less start is a job well done.

Key takeaway: AI can be integrated into your customer onboarding strategy, which, evidently, works wonders in this first phase of engagement.

2. AI-driven Chatbots for Real-time Support

AI-powered chatbots have become a mainstream phenomenon. Brands are increasingly using this innovative feature to offer real-time support and resolve queries instantly. Let’s take a look at real-life brands that are acing the use of live chat and enhancing customer experience:

  • National Geographic’s chatbot engaged its Facebook audience and educated them about the new show, “Genius” (on Albert Einstein) with sass and humor in equal measure:

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  • HDFC Bank’s chatbot, “Eva,” adopts a more self-service approach. The chatbot empowers customers to choose the relevant options and actively seek how they would want to engage with the brand:

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Notice that on the bottom-right corner, the company offers “multi-lingual” chat support allowing visitors to choose their preferred language. User convenience at its best.

  • Acquire’s live chat feature for the leading brand, HLC, offers four-fold benefits:
    • Better categorization of customer support requests
    • Convenient online support for an extensive and highly-technical product line
    • Addition of a holistic customer communication channel beyond phone and email.
    • Resolution of technical issues and product/shipping queries in real-time.

Here are the results in numbers:

 

Key takeaway: Live chat offers everything that the customers need – from instant and hassle-free support to personalized conversations and 24X7 availability. From the business’ point of view, it is a cost-effective solution that can assist more customers than your live agents, freeing up valuable time for the latter.

You may also want to read: How Chatbots Can Boost Your Site’s SEO

3. AI-led Voice Assistants for Hands-on Convenience

“Thirty-six percent of consumers own a smart speaker today, and 54% of owners say their speakers are accurate in their understanding of the spoken word.” – Adobe

Voice Search and integrated AI-powered assistants (think: Alexa, Echo, Siri, etc.) are increasingly becoming every brand’s go-to tools for higher engagement and improved UX. And why not? Users are willingly engaging in mobile-enabled voice search. Plus, according to research, “Google has increased its word recognition accuracy rate from below 80 to over 90%, and this means devices are getting easier to use and interact with.” An interesting case in point is Alexa’s “Ask Purina” skill, which offers people dog breed-related information. Your wish is literally her command:

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Perhaps one of the reasons why Alexa has gained traction is because it is one of the smartest voice assistants available today, which continuously adapts and learns as more and more customers engage with the tool:

 

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Key takeaway: Voice search can help drive traffic to your website and help you stay ahead of the competition.

You may also want to read: How Integrating AI Into B2B Marketing Can Scale Your Business

4. AI-powered Recommendation Systems: Every User’s Staple Today

“The AI recommendation system that Netflix uses saves the company about $1 billion each year. Additionally, 75% of what users watch on Netflix come from those recommendations.” – Netflix

Users are consuming more content that’s based on Recommender Systems than they realize. From Amazon’s “Customers who bought this item also bought” suggestions to and Netflix’s “Because you watched…” on-point recommendations, users, are well…used to brands proactively suggesting ways to enhance their customer experience and make it more personalized with every interaction:

“At Amazon.com, we use recommendation algorithms to personalize the online store for each customer. The store radically changes based on customer interests, showing programming titles to a software engineer and baby toys to a new mother.” – From the Paper, “Amazon.com Recommendations: Item-to-Item Collaborative Filtering

 

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  • Nordstorm’s AI technology factors in key customer-centric elements such as search history, current market trends, buyer location and time, etc. to suggest relevant shopping recommendations and even dole out offers for the customers as soon as they step into the store (thanks to the use of beacon technology):

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  • Nike’s app delivers behavior-based, rich in-app messaging by offering users hyper-personalized suggestions and shopping information to users:

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Key takeaway: Investing in Recommender Systems and Algorithms can offer a great ROI and boost your CX strategy in an organic and sustainable capacity.

5. Predictive Analytics for Smart Decision-Making

Every customer-facing team’s worst nightmare is the mountain’s worth of data they receive day-in-day-out. From user feedback and reviews to service requests and CSAT scores, there’s much to be considered.

This is where AI can lend a helping hand. AI’s top advantage for organizations is its ability to mine, analyze, and offer relevant, insight-driven data that can be used to make sound decisions, ranging from Sales and Marketing to CX and Financial. All this data can then be used to create a 360-degree customer profile and engage with users in a more targeted, speedy, and contextual manner. Research by Gartner sums up the benefits of using predictive analytics in the CX strategy:

“AI embedded in analytics and other marketing software will free up more than a third of data analysts in marketing organizations by 2022, enabling them to focus their time on business priorities instead of spending time on manual processes like personalization, lead scoring, anomaly detection, marketing performance management, and reporting.”

Over to You

“By 2021, 80% of emerging technologies will have AI foundations.” – Gartner

Undoubtedly, when it comes to AI, a lot of scare stories and jargon-filled information is being floated around. But as we saw, the reality paints a different picture. If used correctly, AI can help organizations to make sounds decisions at break-neck speed and deliver a powerful CX – both prerequisites in today’s dynamic and digitally-connected world. Thoughts?

 

Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works at Acquire and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write on tech and marketing. He is a frequent contributor to Tweak Your Biz. Connect with him on  LinkedIn or follow/tweet him @digidhruv.

 

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