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A.I.: The Future is Now in Customer Experience

Crystal Garrett
31 May, 2018

Artificial Intelligence is already an integral part of our lives – the Google MAPS you used to guide you to that five-star restaurant to impress your date, the search for a reputable landscaper on the web, those numerous online Amazon purchases that your husband scowled about, and your Facebook news feed - all powered by A.I. 

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We love it when it shortens response time, automates routine questions or tasks, and makes Netflix viewing recommendations. Sure. It certainly makes the way we do life more efficient and convenient.

The reality is that the market is changing at warped speed. Disruption and innovation are the names of the CX game. The only way to keep up with your customers' rising expectations is to deploy technology that can get your company out front.  

According to Gartner, 85% of customer relationships will take place without human interaction by 2020. 

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The question is whether it is possible for companies to integrate A.I. and still engage customers and deliver an exceptional and memorable experience absent of human interaction.

It all depends on how A.I. is used for the customer and for what purposes it serves. Some companies are doing it very well.

Let’s take a look at those that are using A.I. to enhance the customer experience and the benefits customers reap from it.

1. Pinterest Lens

Pinterest has an application driven by A.I. that allows computer “vision” to identify pins and recommend others that are similar visually. It is based on what pinners have in their pin history. Pinterest has taken things further by curating products that the “pinner” has expressed an interest in.

For example, if you take a picture of a man wearing a watch that you admire, Lens helps locate where his watch was purchased and how much it cost.

Pinterest boasts that it’s more natural or intuitive to their customers’ shopping experience. I liken it to window shopping. That’s always fun!

2. Spotify

The mix tape from back in the day has a fresh twist! Spotify’s 40 million users’ experience is better now than ever before and they have A.I. to thank for it. Discover Weekly curates and delivers a personalized playlist weekly, introducing users to new music based on their music selections. Your own mix tape.

Spotify also has a mobile app for artists to access analytics to stay on top of new fans, popular playlists, and the number of streams overall.

A win-win for artists and listeners.

3. Delta 

One of the pains of flying is getting to the airport extremely early only to stand in a long line to check baggage. Within the last year, Delta invested $600,000 in automated self-serve kiosks. In Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, Delta has introduced facial recognition technology to verify customers based on passport photos.

Travelers also print bag tags, scan boarding passes, and use bag drop machines at kiosks, speeding up the travel process.

This definitely makes traveling easier and the experience less stressful.

4. Apple

Of course, Siri is a household name. Apple also has facial identification technology and fingerprint sensors. There's also A.I. technology that we may or may not be aware of – swiping the screen for a shortlist of apps, map locations of a restaurant you reserved, or when your phone identifies callers that aren’t in your contact list, but may have emailed you. It’s in there.

Apple is determined to get ahead in the A.I. game by poaching Google’s former chief of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea. It will be exciting to see how they innovate and inspire customers to continue to “think different”.

5. Bank of America

Bank of America’s chatbot, Erica, can be used with voice or text. Erica can assist with payment scheduling and listing recent transactions. It will be able give customers advice and recommendations based on what is learned from customer data. BofA is working on predictive functionality in the near future.

And how about mobile deposits. Their A.I. technology recognizes handwriting on checks to authenticate this process. You gotta love being able to snap a photo of a check and send a deposit through your smartphone from your living room couch.

6. Worthix

We’re all familiar with lengthy pen and paper surveys that we hate and drop off mid-way through. Some companies still use them, perhaps because they don’t know of a better alternative.

Worthix is disrupting the survey industry with an A.I. powered survey that requires no questionnaire design at all. Its self-adaptive questionnaire feeds questions according to how the customer responds. Your company no longer has to waste manpower trying to get inside your customers’ minds.

Use of this technology is like an MRI for your company. It scientifically pinpoints where the experience needs to improve, churn is occurring, and why your customers are making decisions. This will allow your company to target its efforts where they count and be confident that you're delivering what your customers really want. 

Wrap up

There are many advantages to using A.I. Automating routine tasks, curating and personalizing customer experience, and improving analytics only scratches the surface for A.I. It’s obvious that it can and has enhanced the customer experience.

While some apprehension is warranted, A.I. is our present future. Those quick adapters will be far ahead in the customer experience economy. If you want to keep up with the customers’ speed of change and deliver an exceptional and memorable experience, find where it fits within your company and jump in.

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