Shruti Bansal September 9th, 2021

Why AI is Critical to the Future of Customer Engagement

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arguably the most talked-about technology in the recent decade.

While there are still several AI-based solutions still in the development stage, there are several others that are helping businesses, as well as customers, save time, effort, and expenses. In this article, we will discuss some of the solutions powered by AI that are helping Customer Engagements in various ways.

Quick Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

AI is a branch of computer science aimed at enabling machines to replicate human intelligence to collect and process information. And even to make decisions. AI inhibits traits, such as intelligence, problem-solving skills and is able to learn much quicker than humans.

Depending on the overall capabilities, AI can further be classified into Narrow AI, General AI, and Super AI. Its usability can vary from virtual voice assistance (Google OK, Alexa, Siri, etc.) for individual users to a set of complex functionalities that can empower some of the key business functions. A report predicts that the AI market size will reach US$ 270 billion by the end of 2027.

Impact on Digital Mediums

There is hardly any industry that AI has not touched yet. Across industries, AI has fully replaced some of the human tasks and most of it has been in the digital segments. A greater dependency on computers and a large amount of available data is the core reason that makes AI more impactful for digital mediums.

Various digital platforms from SaaS businesses to social media are using AI in various formats to transform the user experience while adding efficiency with time and expenses. The kind of ads that are shown to users on social media, filters suggested in the photo editing app, songs that music service recommends, and the way chatbots interact with users are personalized and unique for each user based on their previous interactions or available data. The manual effort in these customizations is minimal and mostly limited to R&D, which AI delivers most of the execution on its own. At the end of the user or customer, this experience is supposed to be more impressive and satisfying.

Use Case and impact on Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is probably the most crucial element for the cloud contact center; so much that several business experts claim it to be more important than the product or service they offer. Obviously, such crucial roles will not shy away from adopting the technologies that promise to improvise the operations. Hence, we already have several use cases of AI in customer engagement.

1. Virtual Assistance

AI is being used as personal assistants like Alexa, Amazon Echo, Siri, etc. which can perform the daily tasks for us and when we talk with them they will find an answer and reply like a human. AI-Powered assistants like this have not only attracted customers but it does change the way of living for Humans. 

2. Customer Service

Customers need better service and they do have options in the market so if you are not adopting according to their requirements then sadly you have to shut your business. We have seen AI-Powered chatbots in messaging apps such as skype, slack, Facebook messenger. The chatbot market size is to grow from US$2.9 billion in 2020 to US$10.5 billion by 2026. Many Brands have their own chatbots such as Nestle has NINA, HDFC Bank has EVA which is considered as the most advanced chatbot, SBI Cards has ILA, and Alibaba has ALiMe.

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

AI-enabled tools and software have more capabilities. We have seen the use of AI in CRM’s where AI collects the information and predicts the customer’s need or requirement. Digital marketers also use Google Analytics or Google search console for pulling the data and suggesting or predicting the next possible move for you.

4. Computer vision/AR/VR

Integration of AI in computer vision transformed the computers into supercomputers and analyzing public fleet of vehicles has been so easy that it helped law enforcement officers to put a penalty on breaking rules. Augmented reality & Virtual Reality is already using AI & have the potential to revolutionize the world with their amazing functions.

AI in Future of Customer Engagement

Even with a massive impact on the customer experience across industries and sizes, there is a lot where AI is yet to make a significant impact. Here are some of the key reasons why AI is going to play a crucial role in the future of customer engagement.

1. A better understanding of customers

Without a doubt, understanding the customer is the core of your customer engagement quality. Interestingly, customer’s requirements and expectations from the brand are growing at an unprecedented rate and most brands are just trying to catch up instead of planning ahead of time.

AI’s contribution in this aspect is probably going to be the most important. With the available data and analysis, it can help businesses predict the upcoming trends faster. Utilizing which brands can understand their customers better and uplift their contact centers and other touchpoints better.

2. Proactive approach in query resolution

In the near future, it is highly unlikely that there will be a system where customers have zero queries/issues with the brand. However, it is always possible for businesses to find out ways to resolve the queries faster. Chatbots and voice bots are assisting in that by automating replies to standard queries from the customers. Likewise, using more advanced solutions such as contact center AI software can help businesses improve customer interactions, streamline operations, and drive continuous improvement using data-driven insights. However, AI has the potential of going a step further and answering complex queries as well.

AI should not be limited to answering the queries, but it can even take certain actions to automate the process further. Human intervention can be reduced to the approval step only. This will minimize the load on your agents, who can spend their time addressing more humane requirements of the customers.

3. Hyper-personalization with effective compliance adherence

Knowing customers better to help them better is something that every business wants and that can be achieved by collecting and processing customer data appropriately. However, data sharing and utilization is a genuine concern for customers. AI can bring in the much-needed compliance adherence in the system to address these concerns of the customers. It will enable a safer environment for the customers while enhancing the trust in the brands.

Wrapping Up Thoughts

While some may say that the growth and implementation of Artificial Intelligence are not as much as it was expected some years back, there is no doubt that AI has turned into a resource that no business can afford to ignore. There seems to be a massive potential in AI technology and the faster you adapt it for your customer engagement, the more rewarding it will be for your business.

Featured image by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Shruti Bansal

Shruti Bansal is a tech enthusiast with a specialization in Digital Marketing. She is passionate about technology, internet marketing, big data, and writing. Currently working in a Chatbot and Mobile App Development Company. Reading novels, traveling, researching new online marketing trends are some of her areas of interest that keep her rejuvenated.

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