Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the leading trends in technology and is quickly gaining traction among marketers.
In a study by Teradata, 80% of enterprises reported that their organisations already have some form of AI in production and customer experience is one of the key areas identified for AI investment. And 61% of respondents said they plan to hire a chief AI officer in the future.
The value of AI and machine learning
According to Techopedia AI is “an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.” Examples of AI in everyday life include Tesla’s self-driving cars, Siri and Alexa (the virtual assistants that live in your phone) and the helpful chatbots that pop up on most websites these days.
Machine learning (ML), which is a subset of AI, is basically a computer system that learns how to perform a task, as opposed to a system that’s programmed to perform a task. The system ‘learns’ by collecting huge amounts of data from which it recognises, over time, how and when to execute specific actions.
In a customer loyalty context, marketers benefit from the ability to collect and process customer data in real time at unprecedented scale, and instantly act to deliver the right offer at the right time. The experience is highly personalised and refined over time as additional customer data is collected.
What AI means for customer loyalty
Your customers are digitally interacting with your business every day. Whether they are viewing your website, leaving reviews, making a purchase or interacting with your social platforms, they are granting you direct access to one of the most significant digital commodities ever to exist: customer data.
Here are a few ways AI and ML technology can help you improve customer loyalty.
Collect customer data at scale. AI allows you to capture, store and process significant amounts of customer-driven data from multiple customer touchpoints. The ability to track your customers precise actions provides insights into their needs, habits and preferences. This steady, real-time feedback gives you a deeper and more accurate understanding of individual customers, leading to more meaningful communications and interactions.
Create personalised customer experiences. Personalisation is no longer about pitting machines against human beings. Instead, it is about collaborating these supposedly competing forces to invent a newfound customer experience.
AI helps you deliver improved omnichannel customer experiences and enhance customer engagement by making it easy, convenient and pleasant to interact with your brand. There are several ways you can personalise individual customer experiences:
- Garner customer insights from internal and external sources. Social media forums, plus comments on your company website (and competitor sites) are excellent sources for getting to know what matters to your customers. Every bit of data helps create a more nuanced picture of individual preferences.
- Engage across channels. Machine learning is not a singular technology. It is built for multifunctional use. Organisations can optimise their relationship with their customers by engaging with them on various channels and across all touchpoints. Linking that captured data online, and in-store transactions, as well as third-party retailers, will help eliminate out-of-stocks and slow lead-times.
Shape demand. Using AI technology means that companies are not only able to pre-plan product offerings but also help direct customers to those specific products through special communications and promotions. By curating content to meet specific customer needs, you minimise the chances of low-inventory shocks and unexpected demands which means you can confidently fulfil your promotional promises.
Create AI-based customer loyalty programs. Traditional loyalty programs were founded on the brand-centric belief that perks and points would keep customers loyal. Since the introduction of emerging technology, this relationship has seen a drastic shift as customers now demand that brands remain committed to them on their terms.
This is where AI-based loyalty programs give you an advantage over traditional human analysis and projections. AI eliminates the guesswork in predicting customer encounters, movements and demands. It also allows you to introduce standardised analytical models into your marketing campaigns and improve customer loyalty with data-driven precision.
AI is all about using data to create a better customer experience
AI and machine learning ultimately help you capitalise on the wealth of customer data you generate in the normal course of business. Using this information introduces exceptional customer-centric models that not only churn out predictive content but help provide greater accuracy for your customer-driven pillars of engagement.
Let’s talk about how you can leverage the power of customer data to improve loyalty and business results. Get in touch with a loyalty expert today.