Using Artificial Intelligence to Manage and Improve Customer Experience

Businesses need to keep close tabs on customer experience as the insights gained can then be leveraged for ongoing improvement. However, efficiently drawing conclusions from customer feedback is easier said than done. In today’s business environment, the process often requires artificial intelligence.

Why Is Measuring the Customer Experience Important?

Every time a customer interacts with your business, they have thoughts. As they interact, they think about what they like, don’t like, or would do differently. If you can tap into these thoughts, you will get access to free ideas on the best ways to improve your business.

Measuring the customer experience is important because it lets you know what is or is not working within your business.

When it comes to analyzing the customer experience, there are two main strategies:

Quantitative data is collected and quantified using a numerical scale. A common example is a survey that asks customers to rate their experience on a scale of one to five.

Qualitative data comes in the form of descriptive words. A few examples are comments, reviews or interviews.

The main problem is that most existing methods for measuring both types of data fall short.

What’s Wrong With Existing Methods?

To collect quantitative data, businesses often use a survey of some sort. For the most part, surveys are easy for the customer to fill out and can be scaled quickly. However, surveys tend to oversimplify the customer’s thoughts and don’t tell the whole story of their experience.

According to Harvard Business Review, “The two most widely used measures, customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS), fail to tell companies what customers really think and feel, and can even mask serious problems.”

Qualitative surveys, on the other hand, allow customers to write out their thoughts. This element generally makes the feedback much more detailed and valuable.

The problem with qualitative surveys is that they are difficult to scale. For example, Uber allows both drivers and riders to write a review after every ride. However, Uber facilitates nearly 15 million rides every day. As a result, it’s almost impossible for organizations with large transaction volumes to analyze the overwhelming amount of qualitative data generated.
Luckily, artificial intelligence can offer a solution.

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help?

Artificial intelligence allows for more efficient processing of qualitative data. In this sense, companies can use it to manage and improve the overall customer experience.

The ability of algorithms to incorporate natural language processing allows them to measure qualitative reviews in bulk and draw conclusions. Company management can then examine these results to understand the main takeaways.

Writing for Entrepreneur, Rashan Dixon lists four main ways that AI can improve the customer experience:

  1. Enhance the shopping experience.
  2. Help customers resolve problems more quickly.
  3. Use sentiment analysis to understand customer feedback.
  4. Use AI to power customer service.

AI’s potential to improve the customer experience helps explain why global spending on AI should double by 2024.

Benefits of AI

In addition to simplifying the customer feedback process, there are several other ways that AI can improve the customer experience.

Faster response times: AI’s capacity for almost instantaneous data analysis enables companies to address customer issues in real-time.

Personalization: AI can be used to customize each shopper’s experience. Examples include recommending relevant products, adjusting pricing or remembering previous items the customer has purchased.

Trendspotting: Organizations that master trendspotting will be able to create a sustainable competitive advantage. AI can help businesses understand whether a technological trend is just a fad or something that could become relevant to your business.

Forecasting: Sometimes, forecasts involve using data that is a year old. AI, on the other hand, can gather insights from customer data in real-time to more accurately forecast demand.

There are already dozens of ways artificial intelligence manages and improves the customer experience. Given that spending on AI will only increase, this trend is not slowing down anytime soon.

With that said, artificial intelligence is only as powerful as the business professional using it. Corporate spending on AI is surging. Subsequently, businesses will need managers who understand the best ways to benefit from AI’s insights.

Learn more about Bowling Green State University’s online Master of Business Administration program.

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