It’s become very clear that AI’s growth in business is being driven by Customer Experience (CX). In fact, Gartner says that CX will represent the majority of AI business value through 2020. And with AI business value estimated at $1.2 trillion in 2018, we’re talking about huge sums of money.

CX practitioners have been early adopters of AI, seeing its opportunities before many others and using the technology to better serve customers. After all, what is CX but an ongoing effort to ensure new technology is used to serve customers and improve their lives?

Here are 10 ways that CX professionals are taking full advantage of AI:

1. Being there for customers – always

You couldn’t create a more CX-friendly technology than the chatbot. Imagine: being there for your customers, 24 hours a day, able to solve any problem they have, whenever they have it. And on top of that, learning from that customer interaction to resolve a bigger product issue and improve CX for future customers. Chatbots mean that call center opening times, hold music and ‘Your call is important to us’ are ancient history for customers.

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2. Creating breakthrough customer experiences

When done for the right reasons and in the right way, AI is allowing organizations to create ‘wow’ moments for customers, combining ease of use with speed. Here are a few great examples:

  • Whole Foods – their Facebook Messenger bot allows customers to search recipes, either by entering ingredients or by emoji
  • Domino’s – you can order pizza through Domino’s Facebook Messenger bot, kicking things off by saying ‘PIZZA’ (obviously)
  • eBay – like your own personal shopper, this voice-only bot helps you search the entire eBay marketplace for the best deals out there

3. Understanding what customers think, feel and want

AI has enabled CX teams to extract meaning from the millions of words written by its current or potential customers. Whether it’s surveys, customer reviews, social media posts or call center logs, natural language processing allows you to understand what people mean in free-form text messages. From this, you can identify themes and understand sentiment, and learn what people think of your products, prices, features, or your brand in general. You can even automate responses to certain scenarios, for example replying to negative social media posts to find out more about the issue and fix it.

4. Making organizations more customer-focused

Time used to be the biggest limitation to how much a brand could listen to customers and act on feedback. But the speed at which AI can gather and process data leaves companies with no excuse to ignore their customers. The scales have tipped when it comes to cost and benefits – in this experience economy, you simply can’t ignore customer experience, and AI means it’s cheaper and faster than ever to get it right.

5. Turning data into CX improvements

It won’t be news to CX professionals that big data was a false dawn for improved CX. Our incredible power to gather data about our customers was matched by…not a lot. But with AI, we’re able to act on what we know about customers. And the speed at which brands can act on customer data will become even more of a differentiator in the coming years, with the global datasphere estimated to reach 163 zettabytes by 2025 (10x the data generated in 2016).

6. Personalization, personalization, personalization

AI helps you do more than collect customer feedback and act on it. It helps you go one step further to create unique experiences for every customer, based on their past data and behavior. Whether it’s new offers, product recommendations or a homepage tailored to their interests, AI means we don’t need to ask customers what they want – we can find out ourselves and do the hard work for them, driving up brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

7. Preventing problems before they occur

Predictive modeling means we can identify possible issues before they come up. It’s invisible CX – a way of guiding customers away from problems we can see coming, and that they can’t.

Think of an online supermarket that uses AI to monitor the regularity of people buying a product and uses that data to trigger a notification when a customer might be running out. Or asks them at checkout if they want to add it to their basket.

By doing these small things very well, brands can reduce customer churn, increase satisfaction and grow loyalty.

8. Making every interaction a smarter one

With AI, no customer interaction or conversation needs to happen in isolation. You can turn everyone into a rich data set, plugged into millions of other interactions, and generate improvement actions to drive your business forward.

9. Letting your customers ask questions the way they want to

AI is opening up opportunities in image recognition, meaning customers can snap an image of what they want and you can find the right product for them. Which is indispensable to fashion retailers, who don’t want customers grasping at the right words to describe a pair of boots they saw in a high street window.

10. Creating more meaningful human interactions at key touchpoints

Good CX is an organization-wide effort. But if your people are focused on answering the same questions every day, or resolving issues that have come up repeatedly, then they’re not focusing on activities that require a human touch. Handing over repetitive tasks to AI means that crucial human interactions can be longer, more focused and more meaningful to customers.

Qualtrics iQ is a set of advanced intelligent features built directly into the Experience Management Platform. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, it makes statistical analysis accessible to any CX professional. Make AI a part of your day job and learn more about Qualtrics iQ.