The writing is on the wall – artificial intelligence (AI) and customer experience initiatives will be non-negotiables for companies as we move further in 2021 and beyond.
The experience a brand provides is just as important as the product or service itself, say 84% of customers. Unsurprisingly, 88% of high-performing B2B marketing teams have dedicated customer experience initiatives.
What tools do marketers use to improve the customer experience and meet changing expectations? AI and machine learning. Today, 84% of B2B marketers use AI, while just 29% used it in 2018.
AI and customer experience go hand-in-hand. Customers know that AI-driven tools exist for personalizing the experience because they encounter this technology everywhere they go online: Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, etc.
Fortunately, AI isn’t only for major corporations anymore. Organizations of all sizes can use AI-driven tools to power their customer experience and compete in the big league.
Using AI Isn’t Complicated – Here’s How to Use It
With so many innovative tools available today, it’s easy to forget that AI is still in its infancy. Major brands are already using AI to improve their customer experience using the tactics below.
AI isn’t as complicated to implement as you might think. Most AI-powered tools mentioned below are extremely user-friendly – specifically designed for marketers or leaders who have no programming knowledge.
1. AUTOMATED UNIQUE CUSTOMER JOURNEY EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
Email marketing is one of the easiest routes for beginning your AI adventure. Most email tools are loaded with powerful AI-driven tools for automating and personalizing customer journeys.
For example, you can divide your email list into groups based on vertical, account, role, industry, or engagement. Next, you would design unique emails for each segment with relevant content. Each email will go out automatically either on a set schedule or based on the subscriber’s behavior.
Start with a welcome email, introduction about your company, and curated newsletter. The subscriber will then be sent down a unique journey based on how they interact with the emails.
2. PERSONALIZED WEBSITE CONTENT EXPERIENCES
The average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of content from your company during their buying process. AI makes it easy for website visitors to instantly find what they need on your website.
An AI-driven recommendation engine uses algorithms and machine learning technology like you’d find on Netflix or Amazon. The on-site AI engine studies each visitor’s behavior and makes personalized content suggestions based on their vertical, buying stage, and pain point.
3. BETTER DATA ANALYSIS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
You can’t create relevant content without a comprehensive understanding of your audience. Research into your audience is an ongoing process – because needs, realities, and pain points change daily. Using AI tools can help you draw better insights from your customer’s data. How? AI algorithms and machine learning can detect subtle differences and patterns undetectable to humans. AI-driven insights are especially useful for understanding each lead’s stage in the buyer’s journey and which competitors they’re considering so you can adapt.
4. CUSTOM AI-DRIVEN CHATBOTS
Machines shouldn’t completely replace human interaction with customers, but not every customer wants to communicate with a human. Sometimes, customers and leads just want to continue researching on their own.
Custom AI-driven chatbots improve the customer experience because visitors will have somewhere to ask questions whose answers they can’t find on your site. Chatbot tools are easy to install and set up with custom prompts and responses.
Plus, marketers get tons of valuable insights and data from chatbots.
5. PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS FOR CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING
Perhaps the most powerful of all, AI makes predictive analytics technology available to small and mid-size businesses. Previously, only massive corporations could reap the benefits of predictive technology.
Predictive analytics uses data, machine learning, and behavior to map out the next steps and thought processes a lead or customer might take. Use this insight to create relevant content, offer personalized ads, and send custom emails.
6. OFFER PERSONALIZED PROMOTIONS
Personalization isn’t about offering every customer and lead a completely unique experience. It’s about making sure everyone’s experience is completely relevant and useful.
Relevant personalization shows that you understand a customer’s distinct needs and you’ve prioritized helping them.
AI and machine learning carefully study the behavior of your customers not only on your website but also across the internet. By building data-driven profiles, you’ll be able to offer them relevant discounts, upsells, freebies, and more depending on their needs.
AI-driven personalized promotions are particularly useful for account-based marketing as well.
Winning the Hearts and Minds of Customers with AI
Artificial intelligence supplies unending benefits and tools for personalizing content, email, communication, and more.
Adding AI to the customer experience doesn’t dehumanize it – quite the opposite. However, brands need to remember that AI shouldn’t replace human interaction such as certain sales processes, phone lines, and content creation. Instead, use AI to improve your human interactions and the value you provide.
AI helps you understand your audience more deeply so you can meet their unique needs at every touchpoint. From where I’m sitting, we’ve yet to see AI’s full potential. But I sure am looking forward to it!
Christopher Daniels is the chief revenue officer for Televerde, the preferred global revenue creation partner supporting marketing, sales, and customer success for B2B businesses around the world.