Customer Experience (CX) Is Being Transformed By Artificial Intelligence; Inge De Bleecker From CMSwire.com Explains How
Artificial intelligence (AI) is here. The technology is already making an impact across many industries. According to IDC, worldwide spending on AI systems is forecast to reach $35.8 billion in 2019 — a 44% increase over 2018.
For any company that hasn’t started its AI journey — it’s time to get started. That’s because AI is shaking up the customer experience, bringing users and brands closer together than ever before. But many people aren’t yet aware of the effect of AI, or don’t understand the scope of its applications. Here are three ways artificial intelligence is already impacting CX for millions of consumers.
When thinking of personalization, one of the first things to come to mind for many is Amazon and its massive inventory of items available for purchase. Customers are provided with personalized recommendations based upon their known preferences and purchase history. That bit of AI assistance helps shoppers find the needle in the haystack: the item(s) they are seeking among the millions of products available. It also helps the retailer, Amazon, in securing a sale.
Walgreen’s application of AI shows how personalized recommendations can become more targeted in real time, and can help make customers’ decisions easier and more efficient. And, again, both retailer and customer benefit.
The science of biometrics identification is already used in popular smartphones and many FinTech apps. Fingerprint readers are built into smartphones and laptops, and Apple’s Face ID allows users to unlock their phone simply by looking at it. But some companies are going beyond smartphones and laptops to impact the customer experience in new ways.
The customer benefits from enhanced ease-of-use and increased security. Merchants decrease the risk of purchase fraud and can reduce in-store credit card support requirements. Mastercard’s tactic of taking biometrics beyond smartphones may push other financial services companies to deploy similar AI technologies.
Smart speakers and virtual assistants are becoming ubiquitous. According to a Business Insider Intelligence study, smart speakers have achieved 50% penetration in the US, becoming one of the fastest-adopted consumer technologies.
Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are already changing customer experiences for the better, but they soon could be used for even more. Google announced Google Duplex in May 2018 with an incredible lifelike demonstration of its AI making reservations for a user. Google Duplex, quite literally, can speak for its human. It can make a phone call and speak with the representative on the other end of the line to schedule appointments or make reservations. Duplex can even understand and respond to inquiries and questions posed from the human representative on the other end of the line.
AI, even though it is already interacting with the public in many ways, is still an unfamiliar concept to many end users. Any AI functionality that is not up to the high standards of consumers risks turning them off from the concept entirely. That’s why you must get the experience right when working with AI, and get it right from the beginning. Testing early and testing often will help to ensure the output of the AI is what your users expected. Getting input from real-world sources will also ensure that you’re not missing any potential outputs that would be useful to your target customers.
That’s the only way to guarantee your attempts at AI don’t turn out more nightmarish than fantastical.
About the Author
Inge has been designing and testing web, mobile, voice and multi-channel experiences for more than 20 years. She builds and leads UX teams and evangelizes customer experience principles throughout organizations.
PHOTO: JACOB MEJICANOS