Tag: personalization

09 Nov 2017

Using AI to Help Customers Avoid Information Overload

Ever feel overwhelmed when you go onto a retailer’s website or mobile app? Today’s ecommerce experiences put massive amounts of information at shoppers’ fingertips — but oftentimes this influx of data can be harmful to the customer experience.

Navigating all the available information on a website can be both frustrating and create a roadblock for consumers shopping for a particular item or looking for a specific answer. Luckily, artificial intelligence technologies are helping solve this problem, empowering shoppers to cut through noise and quickly find the right information without having to comb through all the text. Here’s how AI-driven chatbots can help minimize information overload, making for seamless, intuitive customer experiences:

Getting to the root of customer needs

A big issue customers face when interacting with brands online is the feeling that their issues and needs aren’t accurately understood. With so much information now available, customers can be forced to search for answers on their own — taking extra time and effort to find relevant information that impacts their demands.

Chatbots help to mitigate this qualm. Equipped with cutting-edge natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, these tools have the ability to dig down into customer issues and truly understand the intent behind their queries to, in turn, provide the most relevant and accurate response and/or escalate the customer to the best resource. Ultimately, this not only ensures customers questions are accurately answered, but gives them the feeling that their issues and situations are being heard.

Pinpointing where online support falls short — and fixing it, fast

With AI, brands can monitor how their customer experience strategy is actually performing and whether they’re efficiently supporting customers. Embedded within chatbots, retailers have the back-end capabilities to pinpoint repeated semantic clusters of phrasings, and understand where their support isn’t accurate or helpful to customers. From there, they alert CX managers to these problems and prompts them to address them by adding more information.

Another key part of this equation is the ability to quickly update all of the company’s knowledge across every platform the chatbot exists on — be it social media, a mobile app or website. This multi-pronged integration ensures the company’s channels offer consistent support no matter where a shopper is looking for answers.

Personalizing the experience

Personalization is a major buzzword in today’s hyper-digital retail space. But the fact of the matter is that tailoring the customer experience is a valuable way minimize information overload for customers.

In the customer service realm, chatbots can ensure customers get information that is most relevant to their particular situation. Specifically, by allowing the chatbot to dig into a specific customer’s profile on the retailer’s website, they can understand previous interactions or purchases and ensure they are providing insight that aligns with these historical insights. Understanding an individual customer’s needs is crucial to providing a seamless and supportive digital experience.

Today’s retailers are tasked with not only having the most interactive ecommerce experiences, but they’re expected to present information in a way that is valuable for their specific customers. Leveraging AI technologies, retailers can ensure their digital properties minimize information overload and provide a top-notch shopping experience.

20 Oct 2016
bots help with personalization for customer service race

Are you in it to win it? What’s after Email Subject Personalization?

Whether you noticed that checkered flag waving or not, you’re part of a race. Attracting customers, keeping their attention, and providing the right product or service for their needs are all markers on the race track of a successful business. But if you think there’s a victory lap and a raised trophy in the near future, you’re falling into a common trap. The circuit keeps on going, and there isn’t a finish line in sight.
Losing sight of existing customers in the hopes of attracting new ones is like starting the race over from scratch when you’re already moving at 120MPH. Not only that, but it will cost you dearly, when customer acquisition uses on average 7x as much of your budget as customer retention does.
As well as the costs involved with driving new traffic, new customers are much less likely to result in conversions.
Think about how likely you are to buy something when you’re browsing online on a new website or with an unfamiliar retailer. Unless you have had a personal recommendation, most of the time you return to an ‘old faithful’ that you trust and have a history with. As a business, you can’t afford not to capitalize on that feeling.
Your marketing budget, often sucked up by a drive for acquisitions, could be better used to retain old customers and encourage them to repeat the experience with you. And it’s easier to do! A raised retention rate of, say 5%, is proven to have a massive effect on profits, by as much as 90%.
In addition, loyal customers don’t just come back for more, they also tell their friends about you. Word of mouth or social media sharing are some of the most powerful ways to get new business. Remember that personal recommendation mentioned above? The right online chatter by a satisfied customer on a large Facebook group, or a well-timed tweet from a prolific Twitter user who was impressed by your customer service is like gold dust. It could be far more effective than blowing your marketing budget on getting footfall to your online store, only to fall at the conversation rate hurdle anyway.

The Building Blocks of Customer Service Relationships

But how do you keep customers coming back for more? Offline, it’s fairly simple to make customers feel valued and important. When Starbucks began writing names on cups for their customers, Forbes called it a “wise business practice” and here’s why.
The majority of customers respond positively to their names being used, both verbally and in writing. It also helps the barista form a personalized relationship with the customer. As well as remembering their order and preferences, this can even give them a link to recall information about their personal lives. Double Java Chip Frappucino for Lara whose toddler spilt his kids’ hot chocolate over three other customers last week?
This is simple personalization, and if you’re not talking about it for your business, you should be. Personalized customer service goes a lot further than remembering a handful of names of course, or remembering what muffin is your customer’s favorite. Customers now expect you to anticipate what they want before they know it themselves.
In brick and mortar stores, a good staff member will excel at remembering customers by face or name. They might have a wide knowledge of their product lines and be skilled in building a rapport with customers they recognise as their ‘regulars.’
In e-commerce, with thousands of products as well as international retail opportunities, this level of service and personalization can feel more difficult to achieve. But in a world where 71% of online consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service, it’s just as vital as offline, if not more so.
The Internet is a faceless beast at times. But customers still want to feel appreciated and remembered. And the next era of personalization goes a whole lot further than your name in the subject line of an email.

Personally Speaking

Anne Fisher believes support bots are one excellent solution for this. “Customers increasingly expect experiences that are immediate, simple and personal. Bots have the potential to deliver all three.”
Unlike a human assistant online, a support bot has the ability to look over your entire product catalogue. They can also scan each individual customer’s order history and unique preferences. They can hone in on keywords, and even cross reference against special offers and stocklists.
They can also do all of this immediately, in multiple languages, and without delay. This means better information, more scope and accuracy, and no hold times.
Live chat is proven to be effective in responding to questions and helping customers troubleshoot problems. In fact, many customers expect nothing less when using an ecommerce site, and the 18-34 demographic even prefer it to a phone call.
But support bots can use data to take this a step further, anticipating queries before they even come up. Many will now offer personalized recommendations and suggestions to customers based on past or present behavior.
Imagine you purchase airline tickets for you and your spouse online. Your banking bot, anticipating a need, sends you current exchange rates for your destination currency. A service like Airbnb suggests quirky or fun accommodation in the capital based on the last places you’ve booked. Knowing it’s your birthday while you’re away, you may be offered ideas for romantic places to celebrate. The opportunities are truly limitless for personalization.
68% of customers go elsewhere because they perceive that you as a company are indifferent towards them. With many businesses focusing purely on customer acquisition instead of retention, they aren’t wrong either! As part of a multi-channel customer service network, support bots can help you limber up, get in the race, and use personalization to stay ahead of the competition.