We founded Pull back in 2009, in the heat of the digital revolution. Yet we understood that while technology continued to evolve, human emotions and responses remained the same. As we like to put it, we were born digital, but with brand at our heart.
Today, that means we operate in the space where brand and technology converge. We understand how brand experience influences your customers and can help harness the power of technology to deliver better business performance.
Take a moment to think about the last time you had a good experience with a brand. Now, think about a time you had a bad experience. Chances are, it was a lot easier to recall the bad experience. That’s because, while good experiences are typically so seamless you barely acknowledge or register them, a bad experience and the brand association can stay with you for a long time.
Customer experience has always been key in brand consideration and advocacy. So why should it be any different as more and more of our brand experiences move online? Those brands that provide the best experience are the ones that will prevail.
Today, through the use of data and AI, brands now have the potential to create more personalised, immediate and intelligent interactions than ever before. Great! But how can your brand do this?
To begin, you should view Data and AI as just one part of a wider customer experience strategy. Start by asking yourself how technology can improve this. Consider everything you already know about your customers. Things like customers journey analysis and mapping. How can you improve the journey and touchpoints for your customers if you don’t understand what these are? Once you have an understanding of these, you’re in a position to ask what will improve the experience or resolve particular problems.
This might involve a certain amount of data activity. Once you have this foundation set, you’re in a great position to start exploring Data and AI at a deeper level. Awesome! So, where to start?
Within your strategy, you will have begun to embrace the idea of Data and AI, perhaps even building a roadmap as we often do with clients. But to deliver real results, you need to think about the problems you want to fix:
- Do you want to enhance touchpoints and share more information?
- Do you want to improve brand engagement and deliver greater personalisation?
- Do you simply want to optimise conversions?
Identifying an area of focus will help you take action within the context of your strategy.
Put simply, what have you got and where can you get more? However, this can be a big area, covering anything from search queries and stored website data, demographic information like location or age, through to historic customer data or even Net Promoter Scores.
With a clear focus, you can dive down into the specific data sets you have or need for a particular project. Data is the lifeblood of AI. The more it has, the better – but make it work for you.
Time = Money
The real beauty of AI lies in its ability to collect, understand and analyse rich, complex, real-time customer data, giving you the power to anticipate customers’ needs and deliver hyper personalisation. Right time. Right device. Right message.
It’s a shift from customer segments to a single customer view, and the ability to action insights in real-time means converting a new customer, reducing costs or enhancing your reputation. Hopefully, all three!
A whole subject in itself. It's pretty inevitable that you’ll need to build or buy solutions that allow you to understand customers faster and more efficiently. And then you’ll want to action those insights.
Getting this right will have a huge impact on delivering your vision and generating real benefit to your business. In my experience, for most mid-sized businesses (we’re talking those with £10-£100m turnover) now is the best time to begin your search for a partner. The best fit will be one that shares your values and has experience working with businesses of a similar size or sector.
Just do it!
Strategy? Check. Know your data requirements? Check. Evaluated the technology solutions? Check.
Now that you’re ready to go, it’s time to take a look at some practical applications. AKA the fun part!
Improving customer service/satisfaction
AI-powered chatbots can intelligently interact and engage customers, helping their journey through a website with nudges, prompts or deeper conversations. Available 24/7/365, they can provide quick answers, resolve complaints and deescalate problems. They might simply be a gateway to the correct customer service agent.
Done well (and that includes considerations such as correct use cases and your brand’s tone of voice), chatbots provide value in a number of ways:
- Saving time & money
- Generating leads & revenue
- Guiding users towards better outcomes
- Providing ‘after hours’ support
- Engaging users in a unique way
Personalising the experience
We like it when people use our name in conversation. Psychologists have offered up many reasons why but, in short, it makes interactions more memorable, lively and engaging. Data and AI means we can now engage customers on an even more personal level, giving the impression that your products, services and brand experiences are tailored for them.
AI powered recommendation engines are capable of analysing data and adapting in real-time to provide customers with products, services and offers that are designed specifically for them, rather than previously being delivered by simple ‘category’ alternatives.
As well as recommendations, bespoke digital journeys can be created for users, with images, messages and signposting uniquely adapted to their needs and preferences and habits.
Research has shown personalised content to be way more effective. Using AI, you can deploy algorithms that record customers’ previous email interactions and website journeys and understand how they interact with your brand. Segmentation and clustering driven by machine learning can profile customers based on multiple variables, including demographics, buyer type or brand advocacy, providing significant insight into how, when and where to best engage your customers.
Once you have this data, you’re then to create dynamic, super relevant, and highly personalised adverts or emails. Taking emails as an example, it could be based on things like:
- What blogs or content they’ve read
- How they navigated your site
- Their reactions to previous email comms
In fact, AI and natural language processing are now being used to write subject lines that beat humans in 98% of head-to-head tests. Combining dynamic emails and AI-driven subject lines could make significant differences to your email marketing.
All this is just a small snapshot of what’s possible. There are countless ways data and AI has the potential to improve the experience for your customers. So, what are you waiting for?
Posted 28 January 2020 by Dean Corney