As customer service and marketing specialists turn their eyes toward linking Artificial Intelligence (AI) and customer engagement, it’s crucial to remember why there’s a renewed focus on better customer engagement in commerce. In a digital world where customer experience is drastically different from in-store physical interactions, positive customer experiences stem from positive customer engagement scenarios. And when most customers seek out information and reviews and ask questions about companies and brands on multiple online platforms, it becomes even more essential to develop good customer engagement to start the sales process. Cutting through the noise: AI can help customers feel better heard and understood, make a business more accessible, and can aid customers to feel more trust in the company by utilizing the various functionalities of AI.
The Art of AI and Customer Engagement
Customer engagement refers to a company or entity interacting with its customers on various platforms. This could be through direct website communication, emails, or on the company’s official social media platforms. There are multiple approaches and methodologies to gain positive customer engagement, but all of them are done for the same reasons:
- To boost brand recognition and improve the customer’s brand experience. Customers who have positive engagements with the brand are more likely to remember it the next time they need something related to it.
- To build customer loyalty and trust. When a company effectively communicates and engages with its consumer base, the customers feel attended to and think their presence is valued. Therefore, they trust the company and see its commitment to serving customers.
- Enables a company to gather feedback and insight. AI and customer engagement can work together for the best results in this area. What customers search for, ask about, comment on, and emphasize in their engagements online with a company provides valuable information about what the target market finds essential. This, in turn, allows the company to make informed decisions about its products and services.
- Aids in spreading the brand presence. Customers who get positive engagements and interactions with the company are more likely to recommend it to other customers. The strength of word-of-mouth recommendations could not be understated. A growing business must gain this kind of brand recognition, as it increases incoming conversions from qualified leads.
But what does this have to do with AI? AI and customer engagement can work together, making engagement strategies far more efficient for businesses. It’s just one of the many benefits of AI.
AI or artificial intelligence is a broad term that typically refers to programming capable of “learning” depending on the user input. It can engage in “humanlike” activities, which means that this software can learn, plan, and perform problem-solving, similar to human processes.
One of the most common types of AI, and one frequently used in business and eCommerce applications, is called machine learning and is one of the ways that ai and customer engagement becomes effective. The AI won’t just be able to respond to customers as needed, but it can also gather information about what customers ask for and the process behind getting them to make a purchase.
Because of AI’s efficiency in performing these tasks, companies can use it to automate many actions that usually need a human’s attention. Robotic, repetitive tasks such as spam filtering, smart searches, responses to frequently asked questions, and more can be handled by AI.
Computers and Humans as One: How AI and Customer Engagement Can Go Hand in Hand
A significant benefit of AI is that businesses can use it for different applications. Companies planning to enhance their target market’s customer experience and engagement experience can try the following AI strategies:
As mentioned in the previous section, data gathering is one of the best functions of AI. It’s how it learns and improves with its functionalities. If a company needs customer data en-masse, it is especially about how customers think, AI has evolved into an essential tool for processing and analyzing data.
And when you have carefully collected, structured, and sorted data, this helps the program to effectively determine how to take the customer through the sales funnel. You see a simplified implementation of this almost every time you search for products and services. Using a chatbot AI, for example, can answer customer queries while taking note of the most frequently asked questions and most commonly sought products. It can also determine what customers buy together most often. This data can then be used to make personalized recommendations the next time a customer interacts with a brand.
Speaking of personalization, AI and customer engagement work best when the AI has already gathered ample amounts of data. Sophisticated programming can allow AIs to create customized engagement flows tailored to specific users.
For example, the AI may recognize that the user has already made previous purchases or opted for certain services from the business. The AI can then use this information to make similar recommendations or immediately bring up items that the customer is likely looking for. Not only does this improve the user experience, but the customer gets to feel that their presence is valued as the company pays attention to their preferences.
Enhanced Customer Support
Roughly 54% of people browsing social media are looking for information about a product or service they are interested in. Approximately 75% of users on Twitter and 59% of Facebook users have used social media to get in touch with a company to ask questions about a product, a service, or customer support. The substantial amount of queries entering a brand’s social media platform can be overwhelming, but there is still an absolute need for them to respond to these messages. Otherwise, the brand would be unable to provide quality customer experiences.
This is where it’s helpful to utilize AI, enabling customer engagement to become more efficient as AI can address customer needs instantly. There are no longer time-consuming queues of questions and a fleet of agents that have to answer 24/7—the AI can do this for your company. A significant benefit is that customers feel that their questions are instantly addressed every time and are more likely to go through the lead conversion process.
Improves Customer Security
Another benefit is the enhanced security when a brand uses AI. Through AI, there is far less human error, such as valuable customer data becoming exposed through a mistake made by a human mistyping or lapsing in cybersecurity measures.
AI can also be “trained” to detect attempts at fraud or attempts to extract sensitive information from the company. As the customers’ information becomes safer, the users’ trust in the company also increases. They will engage more with the company, confident that their data is secure.
AI and Customer Engagement Boosts the Experience
One of the most crucial factors in lead conversion and getting a customer to make a purchase or avail of a service is to provide a positive experience for them immediately. And through AI and its many applications, this is made more accessible than ever.
AI can help customers feel better heard and understood, make a business more accessible, and can aid customers to feel more trust in the company by utilizing the various functionalities of AI.
When used creatively, there are a myriad of ways AI can propel customer engagement, ultimately making communicating with your target market more efficient and effective. Take stock of which areas of your customer engagement efforts need work, and see where AI can help you.