Insights / Industry Perspectives / To Change or Not to Change Your CX Journey – That’s an AI Question


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To Change or Not to Change Your CX Journey – That’s an AI Question

A company may boast about the superior product it is selling to its consumers and claim its service is top-tier, but at the end of the day, it is the customer who has the final say and is the ultimate judge. In other words, the strength of a brand is best measured by how strong its CX journey is. 

CX  encompasses a totality of cognitive, affective, sensory, and behavioral consumer responses across each phase of the consumption process including pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase. On top of this, consumers are prone to behaving and responding in an unpredictable manner, which is why CX is among the trickiest things to control, test, optimize and improve. 

We believe that finding the right strategy for improving each customer touchpoint within their CX journey is the best approach to increase customer satisfaction. 

The bad news: getting actionable insight into improving CX is a long and costly process that requires much research, deep analysis, and a substantial amount of trial-and-error testing. 

The good news: AI can help. 

The AI-enhanced CX journey 

What if shaking a Magic 8-Ball could really tell us what to do and then back it up with raw data? While AI definitely is not  an 8-Ball (yet), it can certainly help us decide if making changes to our customer experience journey is a wise decision.

This AI-enhanced CX journey drives a new era of making informed and (big) data-driven decisions that can help businesses create flawless Customer Experiences and stay ahead of the curve.

In 2019, 25% of all customer interactions were automated through AI and machine learning. This number is expected to grow to 40% by 2023, since 90% of companies are planning to deploy AI within 3 years. 

CTOs, CEOs, and other executive-level roles report a growing demand for AI-enhanced CX. And as they want more than AI can provide, according to Gartner’s recent Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence 2021 report, these capabilities are changing fast, pointing out that the above-average number of innovations will reach mainstream adoption in the period of two years. 

Artificial intelligence: a new era for customer experience

AI is enabling new approaches to improving CX design, development and overall strategies. This is prompting businesses to en masse start adopting AI and ML ecosystems that have the ability to understand unstructured data in a similar way humans do but do it at enormous scales. Since the evolution of AI allows systems to see, hear and talk, the CX teams are starting to leverage these capabilities to create a new era of AI-powered customer experiences that very much feel like natural and organic human engagement.

This change within the digital landscape matches the scale of the one that happened when the WWW completely disrupted the way modern businesses operate, only this time the timeframe of this digital evolution is much shorter. 

Leveraging AI/CX technology to stand out on the market 

The modern business landscape is quite harsh competition-wise. Direct competitors are all fighting for the same consumers, which means that CEOs need to step up their game on all fronts if they want to stand out in their already saturated market. 

To do this, they must invest in AI-powered CX as the quality of their customer journey can often be even more impactful than the quality of their actual product and/or service. If they fail to do so, they will struggle to stand out as they will offer an outmoded, uncompetitive business model. Based on McKinsey’s findings, an increasing number of retailers are launching smaller pop-up stores, highlighting the power of AI retailers should leverage to offer their local consumers more personalized shopping experiences.

AI is capable of dramatically elevating the level of consumer experience and customer service, especially via techniques like:

  • hyper-personalization
  • real-time decisioning and predictive behavior analysis
  • chatbots
  • better overall understanding of your customers

Here’s how these techniques improve your CX journey. 

Hyper-personalization drives customer engagement

According to Hubspot, over 90% of customers are more likely to repeat purchases from brands that offer outstanding customer service.

The modern consumer has increasing expectations from the brand’s customer service. They expect you to treat each user as if they’re their only one, by providing them highly personalized services and solutions. 

These data sets, especially those that AI accretes about an individual’s activity and purchasing patterns, enable businesses to more quickly and more granularly learn what their customers want and then react accordingly by offering individual customers exactly that. While segmentation allows businesses to create customer groups, hyper personalization drills down to the smallest differences which allow them to target customers’ at the individual level.

Based on the study conducted by the University of Texas, companies feel the urge to personalize customer experience because this allows customers to have control and make their decisions more easily. Put simply, by providing customers with information that is tailored to their needs helps them decide on the brands and the products they prefer. This builds trust, drives loyalty in customers and increases the brand’s ROI. Namely, 86% of consumers claim that they always think of brands they are loyal to when they need something. Also, emotionally loyal customers will always put the brand they trust first when buying something. And, according to Gartner, brands risk losing 38% of their customers if their experience is not personalized. 

Take Amazon, for example. It uses a recommendation engine algorithm to suggest products based on the gathered data (customer demographics, psychographics, view history and previous purchase) that allows it to create user profiles and make a highly personalized and contextualized email for the shopper. Netflix is another big player which leveraged the power of AI to personalize their customer experience. It uses the algorithm to gain insights into what kind of content its viewers want to see. It combines predictive learning with behavioural attributes to create highly personalized and individual experience starting from the homepage. 

Another interesting example of how retailers used AI to boost their customer experience is In Australian Uniqlo which built an AI fashion booth that used neuroscience to measure customers’ reactions to various designs and recommend items that suit the individuals’ preferences. 

How does personalization help your customers work smarter?

By leveraging the power of AI, companies can offer their users completely new ways of consuming the content they search for. 

Our experts, who are well-versed in Machine Learning and Data Analytics joined strengths with one of our clients to build advanced analytics and utilize Natural Language Processing (NLP) to transform passive knowledge resources into a personal knowledge assistant that actively provides users with the personalized content based on their ever-evolving needs and interests. This can really be a booster for businesses, but more importantly, it can make work much easier, making people less like machines, by making machines more like humans.

“This kind of system tracks users’ behaviour, identifies and suggests possible new pieces of information that would otherwise be missed or would take a huge amount of time to be manually extracted from the available data. Relevant information about the users’ behavior includes how many times the user looks for something, how much he interacts with the similar content, etc. By combining all pieces of information into a recommendation, we let users receive relevant information without having to manually search for them. This way the system does the “boring” stuff and you, as a user, have more time to focus on extracting the information and combining the results into a new business strategy.” — Ivan Petrovic, Machine Learning Engineer at HTEC Group

To find out more about how our experts implement NLP, read How Natural Language Processing Powers Businesses

Understanding intent through real-time decisioning and predictive behavior analysis

Real-time decisioning is deployed to come up with personalized and more effective strategies for your consumers. If you’re using ad blockers, you have probably been in a situation where the website identified you as an ad blocker user and provided you with alternative UI paths in order for you to proceed with your engagement with the brand. Or you may have stumbled upon personalized recommendations that offer highly relevant content to you as an end-user. 

These are great examples of how using AI and real-time decisioning can help businesses recognize and understand consumer intent by using useful data these systems produce. 

For instance, Starbucks is installing AI-enabled coffee machines to keep track of what drinks are most popular in different areas, but also use predictive analytics for maintenance to identify failures before they happen.

AI-based predictive analytics goes even further than mere historical data as it can deliver layered, deeper and actionable insights into how you can change your CX journey to facilitate more engagement and sales (like through spot-on suggestions within the “related products” section, for example). When done right, your customer will be provided with a greater sense of emotional connection with your brand.

What does predictive behaviour analysis mean to the healthcare industry? 

With the advancement of healthcare technology, the interaction between patients and healthcare providers is being brought to a whole new level. Since health is a very personal matter, hyper-personalization plays a huge role in ensuring each patient is treated seamlessly. By using individual patient data, as well as diagnoses and trends that were applied to other patients with similar symptoms, healthcare providers can offer personalized treatment. AI can leverage this data to suggest treatment plans. 

In collaboration with leading electrophysiologists and cardiologists, the HTEC engineering team has developed a complete telehealth solution called HUMEDS which enables simple and comfortable ECG recording and analysis, combined with the quick, automatic and precise diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias. Put simply, HUMEDS is a mobile recorder, a small device with small dry electrodes which means that it does not require patients to get prepared before using it. It is quite easy-to-use — ideal for providing “just in time” diagnosis because a patient carries it with themselves and uses it when they feel discomfort, chest pain, heart rhythm disturbance, and any other kind of symptoms.

The user can easily capture high-quality ECG signals stored in the cloud and automatically download them to a doctor’s mobile or tablet device with this device. A set of advanced built-in algorithms enables automatic arrhythmia classification whenever they occur. Based on the MIT database, the complete diagnostic system covers 95% of cardiac arrhythmias, with 99.6% precision.

Humeds telehealth solutions contribute to solving the problems of the globally increasing costs of health-care, shortage of medical experts, inadequate patient care, ever-increasing need for remote monitoring, and the general lack of time one can dedicate to doctor’s appointments and consultations. Its convenience and accuracy, combined with its user-friendly interface, makes it  practical for both home and institutional use, with tracking and diagnosis more comfortable for both the patient and the physician.

To learn more about our HUMEDS solution, read Reducing Heart Attacks with IoT and AI. 

Chatbots, roll out!

The 2020 MIT Technology Review survey of 1,004 business leaders revealed that chatbot-based customer service is the leading application of AI being deployed today. 

AI-powered chatbots have become a valuable business tool capable of saving money as they allow users to resolve minor issues and are best used for tackling a select range of topics such as invoice management, account management, order tracking, etc. When used for the right purposes, chatbots can speed up query management processes in terms of invoice management by 2 to 3 times.

They can also help businesses analyze user history, predict what a consumer wants and proactively come up with personalized offers, as well as include rich imagery, links and product photos within these offers. 

But is the adoption of AI/CX really that easy? 

Businesses and executives could be unaware of all the prerequisites for quickly adopting a strong and robust AI-enhanced CX program, therefore overestimating how ready and able their business really is for this important transition. The overarching problem is that numerous organizations do not have the right levels of Customer Experience governance and lack access to clean and highly usable consumer data. 

These pain points could be detrimental to the proper integration of AI/CX programs. 

And although executives are trying to bridge these gaps by training themselves and/or their employees to perform these tasks, some even decide to hire new staff members with the right skills, this typically proves to be futile either due to budget difficulties, the rising demand for scarce talent, or the too-fast evolution of AI and CX tech. 

Are you ready to bridge the gap?

The biggest challenge with transforming one’s approach to Customer Experience is to apply resource-draining trial and error techniques for creating a perfect CX journey. When done manually and with legacy tech, this process is extremely time-consuming and often defeats the purpose.

But, it is business as usual, if usual means change. At HTEC Group, together with our clients, we bring advanced research, business insight, and technology to build solutions that will give them a distinct advantage in today’s rapidly changing environment. With our 10+ years of experience working on the most innovative projects within the environments like AI, Big Data, ML, IoT, and across industries including retail, MedTech, fintech, robotics, transport tech, etc — we are capable of turning seemingly unattainable visions into reality. 

Let us help you elevate your CX to another level. Talk to us.