"Welcome to our new service employee, Siri". Artificial intelligence – or AI – is steadily gaining ground in company communication with customers. And this should come as no surprise because AI technology offers great opportunities for optimizing customer experience and meeting the growing needs for on demand services.
According to Thomas Schjødt, Director of NNIT Digital Together, a fundamental shift is taking place in how companies work with artificial intelligence. AI is increasingly seen as a welcome partner offering far more than the advanced assembly line robots we know from auto factories. There is a growing awareness that AI can also be used to create unique customer experiences at a time when everything needs to be on demand.
– Uber is the classic example of a company that optimizes both its product and customer service through AI. At Uber, software and algorithms are the essence of the business itself. To put it simply, Uber would probably not exist, or at least not be expanding at its current pace, if it were only humans responsible for driving the cars in the right direction, at the right time, and at the right price. The whole of Uber's agility and efficiency is based on their ability to meet customer needs by using the right data and having an intuitive platform. In other words, AI is the main reason for Uber's hugely successful interaction with customers, says Thomas Schjødt.
AI strengthens customer experienceAI and customer interaction are associated with many prejudices, and in some companies it can be hard to imagine that customer service could be optimized by taking human interaction out of the equation. But this is undeniably what Uber, financial institutions, logistics providers and an increasing number of online shops have been successful in doing.
– With the help of data processing, they can develop smart solutions, such as intelligent chatbots, that can answer 95% of customer questions regardless of time and location – i.e. on demand. And today, in many industries, this has created more value than human interaction, emphasizes Thomas Schjødt.
According to him, it is far from a fantasy when research company Gartner predicts that up to 85% of all customer interaction in a few years will take place via digital touch points, completely without direct human contact:
- Our lives are changing towards on demand. We are looking for those providers that can adapt to our needs and not those we need to adapt to. The best example is to look at how our media habits have radically changed. However, the trend is also explosive in areas such as the clothing industry, where it is predicted that 50% of all trade in 2022 will take place via webshops.
Quality data is a prerequisite for successful AI Companies need to retain a sharp focus on data and systems if they want to utilize AI to enhance customer experience.
Access to relevant, updated data is an essential prerequisite for developing business supportive AI solutions. To begin with, it is necessary to identify the areas where customers will either experience increased value by getting quick and accurate answers to standard enquiries, or where AI can provide customers with informed, qualitative advice on more complex issues. The company should then assess whether the required data is already available, as well as finding out if it is necessary to identify and process even more data. Once the initial foundation for data is in place, the company can select the AI platform that will form the basis of the first projects
- An example of how data-based AI can create value can be seen from a case in the public sector. Here, 60% of all calls from the service center were put through to the wrong employees simply because employee information had not been updated properly. By sorting data, quality-assuring this data on an ongoing basis, and handing over the switchboard process to AI, the many incorrectly placed calls were eliminated. This reduced the employees' workload and, in particular, resulted in higher satisfaction levels for citizens, explains Thomas Schjødt.
Identify customer experience needs before the AI project An important point to remember is that every technology project starts in a completely different place when it comes to understanding customer experience and how customers perceive value.
- To succeed with customer experience, you basically need a detailed understanding of the journey your customers make through your business, including the specific experiences they are looking for. Once this foundation is in place, you can identify where AI will make sense in terms of customer experience – and possibly also efficiency, says Thomas Schjødt.
NNIT itself works with AI and continuously optimizes customer service through machine learning and artificial intelligence. Customer experiences via digital touch points are a focus area in NNIT's customer journey mapping project, which maps and collects data about the overall customer experience in interactions with NNIT. The purpose is to strengthen the understanding of customer needs with the aim of equipping NNIT to meet future customer expectations.
Would you like to know more about how to implement AI in your organization?
Book a meeting with Thomas Schjødt, Director at NNIT, and find out more about how your business can benefit from incorporating artificial intelligence into the customer journey.
Thomas Schjødt, Director of NNIT Digital Together
(+45) 3079 3352