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3 Ways AI Improves Customer Engagement

Building strong relationships with customers and offering the best possible customer experience is the single most effective differentiator in business.

 

Research from Gartner indicates that confident, satisfied customers are 2.6 times more likely to continue interacting with a company than their only somewhat satisfied counterparts. They’re also less likely to leave negative public reviews or stop interacting with the company as a whole.

 

In light of this, customer engagement strategies are essential for businesses hoping to see sustained success. One of the most effective of those strategies involves the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

 

How AI Strengthens Customer Engagement

 

How does using AI for customer engagement strengthen the relationship between a business and consumer? It allows companies to dive more deeply into detailed customer information, for one. AI-driven data can indicate why customers contact a brand, what communication channels they prefer to use, and where they are in their buying journeys. Best of all, AI can answer those questions accurately and in real time.

 

AI tools can also help customers self-serve, consistently deliver content to customers throughout their life cycle, and even assist human agents with customer conversations. In fact, some tools can sustain those conversations themselves. When built well, AI-powered chatbots can provide such helpful service that customers don’t realize they’re talking with a computer at all — just that they’re getting answers to their questions and receiving excellent, efficient customer care.

 

The Benefits of AI in Customer Engagement

 

Why aren’t more companies investing in AI for customer engagement if the benefits are so clear? Many think they’re already using AI to its full capacity but don’t realize that it can do much more than collect information or bolster siloed operations. Machine learning enables AI to evolve on its own and become smarter, which gives it the power to prove a huge asset in customer engagement and experience.

 

Consider AI in the context of contact center tools. In a contact center, state-of-the-art AI chatbots can simulate natural conversations with customers through messaging applications. Some are even programmed to detect and analyze emotional sentiments, topics, and unnatural conversational cadences such as long pauses. Consequently, AI-powered contact center tools like Amazon Connect Wisdom help agents by gathering information from multiple data sources, connecting that information with third-party applications such as Salesforce, and giving agents the answers they’re searching for in significantly less time than if they searched on their own.

 

AI also mitigates cyber-based fraud. It can predict the likelihood of fraudulent activity, helping customers feel confident that when they work with a specific company, their information is not at risk. Global payment processing giant PayPal used to lose $2,300 per hour to cyber fraud before adding AI enhancements powered by deep learning. Currently, its fraud loss is estimated at roughly 0.32%, an impressive low for the financial industry.

 

How AI Can Improve Customer Experience

 

For companies considering implementing AI-powered customer engagement best practices, here are three ways the technology can bolster the customer experience you offer:

 

  1. Enabling smooth conversations between customers and bots.

 

Gone are the days of hearing a static voice state: “Press one to pay your bill.” Instead, warm, friendly bots like Amazon’s AI-powered Polly ask, “How may I help you today?” in a human-like tone. These bots can also be programmed to provide personalized support. For instance, a customer may routinely call to pay off their minimum balance. AI software can be ready to ask, “Do you want to pay your minimum balance of $32.50 today?” whenever that person calls to do so again.

 

  1. Predicting next actions from a large, diverse data set.

 

People are often surprised by how intuitive AI-enhanced solutions can be. AI’s accuracy stems from its ability to absorb and evaluate enormous amounts of data simultaneously. The technology can make decisions to stop negative next actions from occurring

 

For example, a customer’s service commitment may expire in 30 days. Rather than wait for the customer to renew, the AI system can schedule a “retention call” with an agent. The call is prepopulated on the agent’s shared calendar on a day and time when the customer has spoken to agents in the past. This allows the agent to focus on strong customer engagement rather than ironing out details leading up to the call.

 

  1. Understanding what’s really being said.

 

AI tools have evolved to understand conversations literally and contextually. Through the process of analyzing countless contact center calls, AI software can learn to make offers, suggest actions, and create documentation based on real-time interaction.

 

In fact, AI has become so intuitive that it can even score a conversation to determine likely customer sentiment based on everything from subject matter to lapses in dialogue. The output is then used to gauge a call’s success, evaluate an agent’s empathy level and product knowledge, or even weigh the agent’s adherence to operational policies.

 

AI and customer experience go hand in hand. If you’re interested in finding out how your contact center operations could benefit from AI tools, contact us today.