No one’s got time to do anything anymore. I got angry earlier today when I had to briefly stop sitting down so I could make a cup of tea. Admittedly, we have one of those boiling water taps in the office and it was a pretty speedy affair, but god… it really took the stride out of my sitting down.
Naturally, time-saving tools are usually made for people who actually have more on than I do at any given time and most of the time, their whole aim is efficiency. While me making tea isn’t actually a real hassle, someone wasting their time trawling through acres of data to work out some sort of pattern, when they could be doing another more job is very much something to avoid where possible.
It’s because of that, the likes of automation, orchestration and AI systems have been designed for, amongst others, marketers. Working in marketing, you’ll know that there’s always something more important that needs doing, and if you can defer certain tasks to computer programmes, then you absolutely will.
But you don’t want to use AI for everything. Ultimately a human touch can be invaluable in areas of the business, but there are a few places where AI will improve your productivity exponentially.
Chatbots have existed for a while now, but they’ve always felt like just that; a robot that has stock answers for you.
Until AI interjected, it was always pretty frustrating when you tried to get in touch with customer service and ended up being dealt with by some automated system that only sort-of answered your questions. It always seemed like after enough chatting to a bot, you were referred to an actual person anyway, so everyone’s time was still being wasted, albeit more of it than usual.
Now though, chatbots can be powered by AI and have the capacity to learn from previous conversations with customers and be able to predict other issues with new ones.
AI isn’t just used as a front-of-house customer service provider either, as actual agents also use it to be provided with instantaneous results and answers for customer queries.
Certain AI systems proactively provide agents with accurate data so they can efficiently and speedily find information specific to one customer’s issues as and when they’re being presented to them.
It takes hundreds and thousands of hours for people to trawl through data and then use their findings to try and predict what might happen next, and a lot of the time - down to human error more than anything else - it doesn’t really pay off.
Handily, AI can now offer behavioural prediction and emotional analysis, which heavily aids with providing businesses with useful insights into what their next best steps are with their customers.
With the use of AI, human experience designers will be able to anticipate what customers will be wanting in their CX and can improve their sites and journey accordingly.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but AI is also used to understand customers on an emotional level (yes, that’s where we’re at as a species now).
AI does this by “using ‘emotional AI’ or affective computing to interpret and react to human emotions in real time using natural language processing and sentiment analysis, voice stress analysis, or cameras cataloguing micro-expressions for more personalized responses,” as Erik Duffield, general manager of Deloitte Digital's Experience Management Practice, explained.
As if we need computers to tell us how people feel these days...
Data Extraction and Analysis
As mentioned above, it’s almost impossible to get actual humans to look through all of the data you have and then provide genuinely extensive feedback. Of course, somewhat useful generalisations can be made by observing customer trends and activity from people, but the nuance of customer behaviour can be entirely lost.
AI is now able to cut out the middleman and observe all of the data available faster than you can put on your reading glasses, and immediately observe the trends and offer insights into your customer journey, certain sticking points, pain points and more.
It’s also worth noting that data is almost completely worthless if it’s analysed and interpreted in the wrong way. That would be a huge waste of time and depending on the conclusions you come to, could be utterly detrimental to your company’s success. It’s important to allow AI to step in here and make sure that doesn’t happen!
Natural Language Processing (NLP) Drives Digital Transformation
NLP is essentially the practise of finally learning what you already know. It’s not dissimilar to the last point, albeit on all of the steroids in the world.
It sounds really weird and almost not like a real thing, but it more or less helps you piece together all customer and business communications, and subsequently ensuring they’re searchable, analysed and accessible. This way, everything’s at your fingertips and you can well and truly understand the inner workings and fundamentals of your company and its data.
When teamed with AI, thanks to NLP, business applications and programmes can genuinely and effectively understand and decipher what is being said and written, in turn offering actionable insights that can result in unparalleled digital transformation.