How Marketers Can Leverage AI & Automation to Transform the Customer Experience?

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You’ve probably heard of Artificial intelligence (AI) before. Over the last year or so it’s become one of the biggest buzzwords to hit the tech and marketing world- and for a good reason. 

AI is continually providing entrepreneurs with new approaches that enable them to enhance the experience they give to their customers. Not to mention, a rapid improvement in sales strategy and product development, all of which impact the success of any marketing campaign.  

These days, most consumers are already familiar with AI. More often than not, they interact with this kind of tech on a daily basis without necessarily realizing it’s even AI.

For example, when they ask Siri a question or allow Gmail to suggest text in an email, they’re interacting with AI. Therefore, it’s safe to say; consumers are now ‘at ease’ with using AI technology.

This then begs the question; Given the rise of AI tech and consumer adoption, how can marketers use AI and automation to elevate the customer experience and build long-lasting relationships?

How Artificial Intelligence and Automation Are Changing Digital Marketing

Often it is easy to see how enterprise-level organizations can benefit from this technology, but the truth is small and medium sized businesses are also able to leverage AI and automation. 

3 Ways Digital Marketers Can Use AI and Automation 

It’s easy to see how enterprise-level organizations benefit from AI technology, but small to medium-sized businesses can (and do) also leverage AI and automation tools.

1. Personalization at Scale

AI takes customization to a whole new level. By this we mean, when you use an AI-fueled platform to help market your products, you can then provide recommendations and content to customers in a way that directly speak to their needs. 

So, in light of that info, it has never been easier to revamp and improve your email marketing strategies. 

Using AI and automation tools, your marketing team can create drip campaigns based on the different needs of your customers. 

For example, if your marketing team believes different aspects of your product are more attractive to specific industries, they can create specialized communications for each of those niches. Then, by connecting a CRM, they can automatically send the correct personalized email to the right contacts. 

Customized emails show that you understand the needs of your audience, which works wonders for building rapport, boosting credibility, and above all, improving the overall experience customers receive when they come into contact with your brand. 

Not to mention, you can also use AI to optimize your email marketing campaigns to send at the ideal time for your subscribers. AI-powered software can do this by reviewing the engagement history of either your entire list or for each individual subscriber. 

This is why email marketing providers like Campaign Monitor offer to handle the scheduling of your email blasts. This well-loved company is using very similar tech to enable them to do this. 

With all that being said, marketing teams can go one step further by analyzing the behavior of their prospects using AI-driven marketing automation. Then they can then use this info to influence their marketing materials and plan how to best reach their target demographic. 

For example, if a subscriber opens three emails in a row on a specific topic related to a product feature, email automation platforms can dynamically send that person purchase-driven marketing emails about that feature. This in turn moves the prospect further down the purchase funnel.
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2. Eliminate Analysis Paralysis

We used to think, the more options, the better, but new research shows that analysis paralysis is real. 

Psychologist Barry Schwartz calls this the “Paradox of Choice.” He says that although choice enables us to achieve a better result, it can also lead to greater; ‘anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction.’ 

So, while it’s often exciting to offer customers a wide array of custom options- more often than not, prospects quickly find themselves over-analyzing their choices and second-guessing themselves. This results in the client not taking any action at all!

For example, when cold weather hits, car owners know they need to get their car checked to ensure its reliability. However, when there are so many mechanics out there, and they’re all set at different prices, it’s just easier for drivers to not bother maintaining their cars. 

Fortunately, AI can help with this. This kind of tech enables marketers to understand when to reach out to customers and with what offers, and as such, rapidly reduces the choice you provide your prospects.  

Using the above scenario as an example, a savvy mechanic could quickly identify which of their past customers haven’t visited them for a while. They could also compile a list of cars that traditionally struggle in snowy and icy conditions.

With this info at their fingertips, the mechanic can then send automatic emails or direct mailers to these customers with a unique winter weather-related promo. 

Customers are far more likely to respond to a specific offer referencing their exact vehicle and weather conditions they’re experiencing in comparison to a general tune-up.

It’s thoughtful and unique marketing techniques like this that show the customer you know who they are and more importantly- what they need.

This is just one of the many ways AI provides a simple solution to improving the overarching experience you offer customers.

3. AI Can Increase Conversion Rates

Every marketer knows that getting the attention of customers is the first step in the sales process. So, the more qualified leads you attract, the better.

Using AI and automation, marketers can test multiple sales funnels and landing pages, in addition to keeping an eye on what their customers are searching for. Then they can aggregate all this data and identify the emerging trends and unmet needs of their target demographic. 

For example, before a business budgets app development costs for a customer-facing app they may want to have a clear understanding of how their customers will engage with it. AI can help by identifying the top trends for the new app to address, which can lead to increased conversion rates.

In a nutshell, that’s what providing a good user experience is- finding what your consumers want, and giving it to them. As AI and automation continue to develop, the need for human interaction in sales and marketing will continue to be minimized.

Chatbots are a prime example of this. Todd Lohr, Technology Enablement & Automation Principal, at KPMG, explained in a recent interview with Appian, “you’re seeing chatbots in that market. You’re seeing lots of technologies coming up to drive automation.

What’s different now than before, is that when organizations looked at their contact centres, and how to drive benefits there, they kind of looked at it two ways: What is the cost of this? And how can we move the needle on customer service, loyalty, and lifetime customer value?

And usually taking cost out of that function resulted in a degradation of customer service, right? You’re seeing an inverse now, where automation is providing a higher level of service, and more personalized self-service at a fraction of the cost of live agents, without putting customers on hold for 20 minutes.

This going to change the economics in that space.” 

A customer’s experience can still feel completely personalized without the need for real human interaction. Chatbots like GoBot are automating customer interactions on websites and via Facebook. 

For example, a customer visits an online clothing retailer looking for a specific product. A chatbot message appears asking the customer how it can help. The visitor can simply answer a few questions by clicking on pre-defined categories like product type and size. The chatbot delivers back the exact product the user is asking for. 

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Conclusion: AI and Automation Improve the Customer Experience

As you can see, there’s so much tech out there and available for you to automate your business, you just need to find it. 

Clearly, AI and automation are being used by more and more business owners to enhance their customer service, customer experience, and marketing tactics. The scope of how this technology is used will only continue to grow.

It’s incredibly likely that an increasing number of digital markets will start experimenting and implementing these solutions- which again will add to AI’s growing popularity. So, now is the time to get on board, if you want to stay ahead of your competitors!

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