Evolution in customer expectations
The advancement of digital technology in businesses has made customer expectations evolve. Traditionally, their expectations ranged from quality to price of a product or service. Nevertheless, modern customer expectations are much higher, involving proactive and prompt service, personalized interactions, a connected journey, data protection, and innovation across digital channels when purchasing a product or service.
Let us consider a customer experience scenario – Alex wants to repay his missed premium from last month to an insurance company and is unsure about the due-payment procedure. He calls the customer support team to inquire about the process during peak hours. As a result, he is put on hold for a long time before being connected with a support agent but ultimately receives no response from the team. The company failed to meet Alex’s customer expectations and left him feeling disappointed and ignored. Therefore, it is important for businesses to consider winning customers’ hearts prior to their wallets.
Role of artificial intelligence in today’s customer engagements
Meeting modern customer expectations is challenging for businesses. By opting for artificial intelligence, they are more likely to meet those expectations. Mark Tayler, states in one of his interviews that the best thing brands can do to win their customers is making their journey as convenient as possible. Basic human psychology dictates that people tend to avoid complex procedures; however; they are more likely to consider a simple one. With AI-powered technology, businesses can provide trouble-free and easy services.
Customers always want to have their needs being addressed by businesses. Tayler adds in his interview that in order to improve engagements, brands should bring utility and ever-lasting affiliation to their customer. It is by having the ambition to be useful and meaningful to customers that businesses can enhance their engagements. Thanks to AI, businesses can provide their assurance on utility by responding to customers’ questions instantly. In addition, they can strengthen their affiliation with them by offering personalized experiences. Consequently, some predict that by 2025 nearly 95 percent of all customer engagement channels will be based on AI-enabled technology.
We understand the importance of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms when it comes to engaging with customers. When these CRMs are enabled with AI, businesses can hit those major aspects of modern customer engagements, from ease and convenience to utility and affiliation. Capgemini Research Institute states that 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for businesses that provide better customer experience. The report also mentions that consumers strongly prefer mixed interactions with both AI and humans.
Indeed, AI has provided businesses with a wide range of options to engage with their customers effectively but should probably not be the automatic go-to solution for businesses. Today’s customers have also attached to human interactions and harbor concerns about data privacy. Some customers might not exactly feel close to a business that will only interact with them through robots, and this could lead to frustrations in the resolving of issues since AI always “work by the rule.” If on top of this you add uncertainty regarding the kind of data that gets collected during these interactions, then it leads to customers not being appreciative of this new model. The Capgemini Research Institute survey says that 80% of customers want businesses to show how they use their data and 66% of consumers want to be aware when they are using AI-enabled systems.
Faizan Ali Mohammed
Business Analyst – Digital Customer Experience