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Customer experience. I am sure you’ve discussed improving your CX at least once this year—and if you haven’t you probably should. The truth is, 2018 is the year of the customer experience and customer satisfaction. Why? According to Salesforce, 75 percent of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage and 87 percent of consumers think brands need to do more to provide a seamless experience. It’s time to start focusing on improving customer satisfaction.
Lucky for us, technology is on our side. With keeping customers happy being the primary goal of business, CMOs and CIOs need to equip their employees with the right tools and training to be able to use technology to achieve it. There are new developments in tech that are improving customer satisfaction – even as you read this article.
Let’s take a moment to talk about some of the tech that is out there, what CMOs and CIOs need to know, and how they can help employees boost satisfaction levels.
Put It on Autopilot with Automation
Now, if you heard the term robot just then, remember you thought it – I didn’t say it. Automation is all about putting certain tasks on autopilot while you and your employees focus their talent and energy elsewhere.
A friend of mine was relaying a story about calling the IRS last week. She got stuck in the automated phone system and kept getting sent from menu to menu before the automated system would tell her to look online for the answer and disconnect. She said this happened three times. Could you imagine the amount of business you’d lose if this was your automated system?
This is where a chatbot could be a problem-solver. A chatbot allows customers to get solutions for their problem quickly, building trust with your brand and satisfying the need for instant gratification. More than that, chatbots act in place of customer service teams for basic questions that can bog down phone lines and emails. By automating the simple, your customer service team can help customers with the complex – faster. Reduced hold times? Three little words that mean improving customer satisfaction.
But chatbots will only work if they’re programmed to the highest intelligence level. I’ve said before, that they need to get smart. A chatbot needs to be able to understand the problem They need to have a level of emotional intelligence if they’re truly going to reach their potential. Thanks to machine learning though, that is happening.
Machine Learning on a New Level
How can you know where to start improving customer satisfaction if you don’t collect and analyze data? I know it can be a big undertaking—especially for an enterprise, but this is where machine learning can help.
Machine learning is rapidly changing the way we see data. However, it can also change the way we interact with customers. If you could take a negative experience and move it into a good experience in a few minutes, would you do it? Of course, you would.
Machines can take all the data leading up to a positive experience and learn the difference between positive and negative. If a customer is well on their way towards a negative experience, that data is collected, leading artificial intelligence to decide which is the best next step to improve it.
Taking it even further, existing data can be used by machines to learn which employee within your business is best suited for that customer. Identifying the right employee from the start can take a nasty customer service experience and turn it into the pinnacle of customer satisfaction.
AI and the Customer Journey
There is a reason why customers purchase certain products. Finding out that “why” has a whole name: marketing. Artificial intelligence can give us enough insight into a buyer’s journey to answer that impossible question: “why this and not that”?
During the buyer’s journey, they may decide that another product is better suited to their needs. The goal here is to use AI to decide where that decision is made and why it was made. Was it a negative website experience? Was it the cost of the product? Was it another ad that caught their eye? AI can give these types of insights, helping marketers change messages at the drop of a hat.
The more AI can learn about your customers, the better your marketing team can create messages for each stage of the customer lifecycle, thus improving customer satisfaction. Imagine a marketing campaign that fit every stage of the customer’s purchase like a glove, saying all the things that customer wants to hear. This type of customer satisfaction is only achievable with AI.
Getting to Know You with IoT
Getting to know all about your customers is important to be able to design products and create campaigns that convert. The IoT collects so much crucial information and can give insight into what that ideal customer looks like, down to their average age, how they use the internet to search for products and even the type of experience they wish to have.
For example, if a close family member decides to visit your website, you may be able to tailor an experience to fit their personality, demographic and preferences without the need for IoT. However, they’re family after all. If IoT can be used to learn the same things about each customer in your customer base, how large could your “family” be? A customer that is treated like family is a customer that will keep coming back.
This year is expected to bring so many new advancements in customer satisfaction. The only way for your business to stay competitive is to take advantage of the technology that is at your fingertips. Whether you are CEO, CIO or CMO, it’s time to let technology do the customer experience for you. After all, there’s nothing like passing some responsibility to other capable hands.
This article was originally published on Forbes.