No matter which business niche one is involved in, the major focus is always on customer engagement and customer retention strategies. All of the marketing campaigns, business strategies, and even customer relations are geared towards this goal. With the ever-changing marketplace and customer interests, ijt is essential that we stay on top of this and offer our clients exactly what they are looking for. This is where new forms of interactive and resourceful customer engagement technologies come in.
Especially in the current digital era and post-pandemic scenario, the need for more technologically reliant methods to approach the clients is the key.
The first impression always matters. The way you approach your customers is how they perceive you as a brand in the long run. Keeping this in mind, more businesses have focused their attention on offering customer-centric service, and most brands offer 24/7 service on a global scale, which is something small brands or upcoming brands can’t imagine because of the cost.
With the help of automated conversational AI, what was an expensive and complicated endeavor has now become easily accessible for businesses of all types and sizes. In this post, let’s see how a business can use conversational AI in customer engagement.
AI and Customer Engagement
In 2011, Gartner estimated that 85% of customer interactions with an enterprise wouldn’t involve a human by 2020. In 2016, Accenture estimated that AI could double annual economic growth by 2035. It can already change the way brands interact with customers by:
- Uncovering gaps and opportunities in the market.
- Improving the decision-making process that improves the quality and effectiveness of new products and services.
- Elevating customer service through techniques like hyper-personalization, faster help desk routing and real-time access to relevant information.
As the number of channels used by businesses to communicate with their customers grows, it’s easy to see why AI technologies like bots, virtual assistants and communication platforms are on the rise.
Why Is Customer Engagement Important
While generating leads— client conversion, clicks, and acquisitions are important, without customer engagement, it is next to impossible. Customer engagement allows better customer-client relations that drive sales, loyalty, and repeat purchase rates. According to the research conducted by Salesforce, 95% of the clients are more likely to initiate business if they trust the brand. Through interactive and personalized customer experience, it generates better sales funnel velocity, increases brand value, and overall impacts day-to-day businesses.
80% of clients also stated that their initial experience with the company is as important to them as the quality of products. Engaging your clients also gives businesses the opportunity to get a better insight into their targeted market while offering valuable consumer feedback and suggestions.
More and more brands are now focusing on the customer experience and engagement equally alongside the quality of their services. One of the best customer engagement examples by renowned brands can be seen with IKEA. With the aim to replicate the in-store experience virtually through the mediums of AR (Augmented Reality) and video chat, IKEA has managed to make it possible for their clients to envision what their products will fit and look inside their room. This has amassed a huge number of positive feedbacks and brand loyalty from their consumers even in the long run.
Another example of an effective customer engagement strategy is Starbucks and their implementation of AI to cater to their customer experience. Using predictive analytics, interactive chatbots, and personalized marketing strategies in place, they have undoubtedly managed to make customer interaction interactive and interesting.
Implementing Conversational AI In Customer Engagement Strategy
Before getting into a customer engagement strategy, it is important to know the types of customer engagement.
Four main types of customer engagements are:
- Contextual engagement- Understanding the needs of the customers from their purchase behavior, interactions with the brand, etc., and using these contexts to engage with the customers.
- Emotional engagement- Understanding the customers’ emotions and providing an empathetic experience.
- Engagement of convenience- A proper understanding of customers’ needs and engaging with the customers promptly at the required time.
- Social engagement- As most modern users expect the brands to provide services on social media as well, it is important to engage your customers on social media platforms.
Conversational AI has the capability to deliver an impressive experience in all four types of customer engagement types. For instance, the smart NLP & NLU engine and the deep learning nature of the conversational AI voice bots understand the user inputs and emotions precisely. Therefore, the voice bots can deliver a human-like empathetic customer engagement.
How conversational AI contributes to customer engagement strategy
A Better Understanding of Customer
Since the same voice bot is interacting with the customers each and every time, the user can have a consistent experience. As a result, the user doesn’t have to repeat their problem over and over again. A Hubspot report says that 33% of customers said they don’t want to repeat information they’ve already shared.
In addition to conversational AI, you can also use an AI-powered omnichannel analytics tool to understand your customer better. Tools like aura365™ even help you get information from recorded voice calls and help you have a deeper insight. These information will help you have a better understanding of your customer. Read our “How to Use Omnichannel Analytics to Optimize Customer Service” article to have a deeper understanding of omnichannel analytics tools.
Customers expect a brand to be available on all major communication channels like email, telephony, social media, chat, etc., and also expect a seamless synchronized experience across all channels. So all brands have already included omnichannel presence in their customer engagement strategy.
Conversational AI can be deployed on all major communication channels mentioned above for better customer engagement. All the interactions with the users are stored and maintained on the backend so that whenever there is an inbound customer engagement or outbound customer engagement irrespective of the channel, the conversation can be continued from where it was left previously.
As we saw at the beginning of the post, most brands provide 24/7 service in order to maintain a customer-centric business approach. But it is not easy and definitely not cheap.
Conversational AI can help brands provide customer engagement 24/7 at a 70% lesser operational cost. Since Conversational AI can answer most of the simple and frequently asked questions, human agents can work on helping customers with complex issues. Plus, the multilingual feature of voice bots can help brands provide an even more personalized customer experience.
Enhanced Customer Service
According to Hubspot, over 90% of customers say they’re more likely to make repeat purchases from brands that offer excellent customer service. When one-on-one support is necessary, brands primarily interact with customers in two ways: humans and bots.
- Live chat with human agents provides real-time troubleshooting and query resolution and is used to offer personalized recommendations.
- Chatbots offer customer query resolutions and provide prompt solutions to more common issues. And because AI-based bots learn and adapt to customer preferences, they can anticipate customer needs and eventually personalize responses.
Offering both types of service helps brands manage high volume without harming the customer experience. Brands can use chatbots to automate repetitive tasks, and live agents can respond to more unique, individual problems.
Overall, it is pretty easy to assume that virtual and interactive AIs are now the key to customer engagement and retention. And it is high time that your business and your customer service get onto the ever-evolving digital transformation trends and offer your customers more with virtual and interactive conversational AI bots.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does conversational AI improve customer experience?
Conversational AI is a great way to improve customer experience. It allows your customers to get the help they need in a convenient and efficient way without having to wait for someone on the other end of the phone or go through several steps to find the answers they need.
Can conversational AI make your customers happier?
Yes! Conversational AI can make your customers happier in several ways. For example, it can help them navigate the process of buying from you—not just by answering questions but by offering tips and suggestions as well. It can also provide great service in giving customers insights into their own behavior in order to help them achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively.
How can AI change customer interactions?
AI can help you predict your customer’s needs and tailor the experience to them. It can also reduce the amount of back-and-forth you have with your customers, so they can get what they need faster and more easily.
How can AI help retain customers through better customer engagement?
AI can provide personalized recommendations that are tailored to each individual customer’s needs by analyzing past behavior. This helps customers to find the products and services that are most relevant to them and makes it more likely that they’ll have a positive experience.