7 Ways AI Customer Experience Can Enhance Your CX

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Feb 15, 2021

AI customer experience is emerging as one of the dominant trends in customer service – this article will explore what it is and why so many companies are adopting AI to improve their CX. Good customer experiences help people feel good about a purchase and a brand. This positive experience influences them to come back in the future. The more efficient and personalized the experience is, the more likely companies can turn a first-time customer into a long-term loyalist and advocate. 

Traditional businesses are now competing against innovative, digital-native upstarts that have grown customer bases by prioritizing the customer experience (CX). Good CX is no longer an option: 2/3 of companies compete on CX, up from just 36% in 20101. Consumer-facing companies across industries are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance user experience.

  1. What Is AI Customer Experience?
  2. How AI CX Works?
  3. How Does AI Improve the Customer Experience?
  4. 7 Examples of How AI Transforms Customer Experience
  5. The Final Word

What Is AI Customer Experience?

AI customer experience is a holistic view of how customer experience is augmented by artificial intelligence. AI CX leverages technology like machine learning (ML), deep learning, and natural language understanding (NLU) to automate all the little interactions that make up a user’s experience. The key difference between “AI customer experience” and “AI customer service” is that the former is not limited to rapid resolutions to customer questions and issues.

How AI CX Works?

One example of how AI augments customer experience is via an AI-powered chatbot. An AI chatbot can function digitally through messaging platforms like WeChat and Facebook Messenger, email, and on voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. Chatbot statistics show that the biggest benefits of AI customer support chatbots are eliminating wait times historically present with human-only support, helping customer service reps work more efficiently and automating mundane tasks so human agents can focus on complex issues. Companies using chatbots for customer service create happier customers who turn into long-term loyalists and reduced customer service costs. 


Our webinar with Freshworks, Practical AI to Transform Customer Service,
is a great intro to learn how AI can work inside your existing CX.


How Does AI Improve the Customer Experience?

AI can enhance CX in many ways. It streamlines processes and improves automated support to simplify everyday tasks. According to Gartner, “58% of consumers will use AI to save time, and 56% said they’d use it to save money. The more time they save, the more likely they are to purchase a product, and the more money they save, they’re likely to return to your business to buy again.2” 

Using AI to enhance the CX pays off in many ways:

  • Customers who rate a company as delivering a “good” experience are 34% more likely to purchase more and 37% more likely to recommend3
  • Companies with a CX mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their industry4
  • Companies that lead in CX outperform laggards by nearly 80%5

7 Examples of How AI Transforms Customer Experience

Companies are deploying AI to create much better user experiences in these seven key ways.

  1. Create Hyper-relevant Digital Ads
  2. Power Personalized Search
  3. Help Customers Find The Best Price
  4. Provide Immediate Answers To Questions
  5. Anticipate And Prevent Issues
  6. Empower 24/7 Support Across Every Channel
  7. Eliminate The Hassle Of Returns

1. AI customer experience creates hyper-relevant digital ads

According to Joanna Coles, the former chief content officer of Hearst Magazines, “People hate advertising.” This is because, according to Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, ads are often irrelevant and sometimes “just silly, ridiculous or stupid.6

Advertisements are not going anywhere, but the experience is ripe for change: 

  1. 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than 2-3 years ago7
  2. 83% of people agree with the statement: “Not all ads are bad, but I want to filter out the really obnoxious ones”7
  3. 25.8% of internet users were blocking advertising8

To address the challenges with digital ads and make them less intrusive, brands are harnessing AI to show hyper-relevant ads. Machine learning helps companies anticipate if a person is likely to click on an ad – based on online behavior, customer profiling, and audience segmentation.

For instance, predictive targeting allows companies to adapt ads to an individual customer and recommend products in an ad based on thousands of signals. These algorithms improve over time to provide increasingly personal ads. 

2. AI customer experience powers personalized search

AI is being used to help customers discover the most relevant products and streamline the online user experience. This is driven by the fact that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences9

Personalized search is typified by Netflix. The streaming company has rights to 13,612 titles10. To help customers more quickly find something they want to watch, Netflix’s AI crunches huge amounts of data to present a different home screen to each viewer. The recommendations are based on past viewing behavior and granular audience segmentation.


The streaming wars are brutal. Your CX must be stellar.
Improve it with our streaming video customer service eBook.


Online shopping is another example of personalized search enhancing the customer experience. eCommerce companies are using AI to surface highly relevant products from expansive online catalogs. Wayfair, for instance, has 37,173 coffee mugs.  AI-powered search provides a better user experience by eliminating the need for people to scroll through multiple pages to see the few products they might be interested in. AI-powered personalized search will only become more pervasive as 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal11


Download a copy of our full Retail and CPG Customer Service Benchmark Report!


3. AI customer experience helps customers find the best price

AI is also helping customers find the best prices so they can be confident that they are getting the best possible price based on predictive intelligence around price fluctuations. For example, Hopper is a highly-regarded startup in the travel space that heavily relies on AI to provide an exceptional CX. The company “offers travelers flight recommendations based on highly accurate pricing predictions, uncovering price drops and exclusive deals relevant for the traveler.” Another way to improve to customer experience is through an AI travel chatbot to quickly answer questions and resolve solutions. 

4. AI customer experience provides immediate answers to customer questions

Netomi offers AI for customer service, providing instant resolutions to simple everyday queries like order or flight status, refund policy and requests, and other FAQs. Advanced customer service AI platforms can integrate with back-end systems like CRM and shipping platforms to provide personalized resolutions to an infinite number of customers at the same time. This frees up customer service reps to focus efforts on high-impact, complex customer situations – providing better customer satisfaction (CSAT) across the board. 

5. AI customer experience anticipates and prevents issues

Companies are also using AI for proactive customer service, which allows them to anticipate and solve problems and issues before customers are even aware. Examples include alerting a customer when a package will be arriving late due to weather delays, offering early check-in to a customer whose flight arrived early or proactively educating a person on how to care for a product. For instance, HP lets a customer know when their printer ink is about to run low and provides a frictionless way to repurchase compatible ink. This eliminates user frustration – improving customer effort score and the responses submitted during customer satisfaction surveys – and the need for a customer to reach out themselves to a company to resolve an issue.

6. AI customer experience empowers customers to get 24/7 support across every channel

There’s an increasing number of channels where customers expect to receive customer support. Human-only agent teams are expensive and hard to staff to manage multiple channels, around-the-clock. AI helps companies scale support across email, chat, voice, messaging, SMS and voice platforms. This allows customers to get the support they need on their preferred channels. Without AI, it would be cost-prohibitive to have a truly omnichannel experience that customers expect i.e., immediate, personalized, meaningful. 

7. AI customer experience eliminates the hassle of returns

Retail customer service is crucial, and returns are a huge part of the online shopping experience. Over 30% of all online purchases are returned. Although retailers have made efforts to make the return process as seamless as possible over the last few years, returning an item is still frustrating. AI helps improve the CX by anticipating when a return is likely based on items in a shopping cart or user behavior. For instance, if a person has multiple sizes of the item or has checked the size guide and return policy within the same session, it could indicate that a person is unsure of what size to buy. AI-powered chatbot tools are preemptively intervening to help the customer find the best possible selection to avoid frustrating and costly returns.

The Final Word

AI is drastically improving CX, delighting customers across the customer journey. And the result of adopting AI for CX is not just happier customers, but also a better topline: 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue12.

Would you like to learn more about AI and customer experience tools? Our CX experts would love to chat about our chatbot platform.

Request a meeting today.

To learn more about improving the customer experience, visit:

References

  1. https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/insights/articles/key-findings-from-the-gartner-customer-experience-survey
  2. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-09-12-gartner-survey-finds-consumers-would-use-ai-to-save-time-and-money 
  3. https://www.qualtrics.com/xm-institute/roi-of-customer-experience-2019 
  4. http://www2.bain.com/infographics/five-disciplines/ 
  5. https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/forrester-economic-impact-of-experience-management/ 
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/business/media/advertising-industry-research.html 
  7. https://www.vieodesign.com/blog/new-data-why-people-hate-ads 
  8. https://www.statista.com/statistics/804008/ad-blocking-reach-usage-us/ 
  9. https://us.epsilon.com/pressroom/new-epsilon-research-indicates-80-of-consumers-are-more-likely-to-make-a-purchase-when-brands-offer-personalized-experiences 
  10. https://cordcutting.com/blog/how-many-titles-are-available-on-netflix-in-your-country/ 
  11. https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/02/18/50-stats-showing-the-power-of-personalization/ 
  12. https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/09/24/50-stats-that-prove-the-value-of-customer-experience/

New eBook: Streaming Video Competition Is Brutal. Your Customer Experience Needs To Be Stellar.

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Dec 21, 2020

Our latest ebook looks at brilliant customer experience is essential for streaming video companies to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. 

There are hundreds of streaming video companies competing for customer attention and wallet share. Consumption and subscription data shows signs that customers are approaching a saturation point with streaming video services, with rising churn and plateauing consumption.

To win in this environment, customer experience (CX) can be a decisive differentiator that builds loyalty, increases sign-ups and reduces churn. Conversational AI, delivered as a service, can play a crucial part in empowering Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVODs) to up their CX game quickly and effectively – leveraging cutting-edge AI  to deliver a Netflix-grade CX at a fraction of the cost. 

Poor CX Is Now An Existential Risk to Streaming Video Companies

A poor customer experience is an existential risk to a streaming video company. The switching costs from one service to the next is nearly zero. Recognizing this, consumers are showing an increasing tendency to cycle through streaming services regularly. For companies offering a free trial, making the upgrade process as seamless and straightforward as possible is paramount. SVOD companies that are losing or missing favorite programming face unhappy customers. For companies that have repeated service delivery problems, properly communicating, and managing customer expectations is a thorny yet critical task.

Against this backdrop, streaming video companies must seek to constantly improve their customer experience offerings at all levels in order to stay competitive and relevant. An immediate response to any customer need is not table stakes. Legacy customer experience improvement paradigms, including self-service menus and simplistic, rules-driven chatbots, are no longer sufficient; in fact, those measures in a vacuum can lead to worse customer experiences and greater churn.

This improvement generally requires that streaming video companies leverage modern machine learning and AI technologies to streamline and simplify key experience milestones such as upgrades, hacked accounts and account setting changes. The AI must be smart enough to work quickly and intelligently and wise enough to know when to pass a customer query off to a human representative. 

Now Streaming Video Companies Must Compete on Customer Experience

With competition so fierce, the low-hanging subscriber fruit is picked; to maintain their subscriber rolls and be more successful at winning over new subscribers from tight competition, streaming video companies need to think about upping their CX game to:

  • Improve conversions from free trial or ad-supported to paid higher tiers
  • Improve CSAT and NPS through superior customer service
  • Create innovative ways to increase stream starts and consumption
  • Reduce churn by inserting smart or proactive retention offers 

AI Use Cases for Streaming Video Companies to improve the Customer Experience 

Developments in machine learning and AI for CX and Customer Support are making it easier for streaming brands to deliver more personalized, more precise, and more enjoyable CX and support experiences to customers in any language and any channel.  For streaming video providers, Conversational AI has multiple critical potential use cases: 

  • Prevent Churn
  • Simplified or Assisted Sign-Ups
  • Improved Conversion from Free Trial or Ad-Supported to Paid
  • Cross-Channel Conversations 
  • Expanded Advanced Technical Support
  • Improve Unsubscribe and “Pause” Experience
  • Reporting Technical Problems and Hacked Accounts
  • Advanced Multi-Lingual Support

Smarter streaming video brands are already exploring machine learning and AI to improve the critical metrics of their business. Even over the near term, these improvements will show up not only in reductions in churn and improvements in conversion but also in higher CSAT and NPS scores.  

Download your copy of Streaming Video Competition Is Brutal. Your Customer Experience Needs To Be Stellar today!