Customer experience (CX) is a key differentiator in today’s highly competitive world, whether driving revenue growth or creating more loyal customers (Frost & Sullivan, 2021). Nevertheless, delivering superior CX is no easy task – especially considering modern consumers’ incredibly high (and potentially unrealistic) expectations and preferences. As a result, many leading retail brands deploy AI to understand, anticipate and fulfill their customer expectations, boosting CX and reaping subsequent rewards.
Use AI to study data and predict customer needs
AI algorithms and analytic tools can evaluate massive amounts of customer data faster and more accurately than humans. By using AI to examine the customer’s purchase history, social media interactions, survey responses, etc., retailers can gain a more in-depth view of their different shoppers, allowing them to provide personalized and individualized experiences. Moreover, retail brands can leverage AI to predict customer future needs; for example, if online shoppers keep asking about the availability of shoes, the AI could recommend that local stores stock up.
To enhance the CX, retailers will also deploy their AI solutions and applications across the various channels that span the entire customer journey. (Forbes, 2021) AI can pool these data sets together and analyze them, enabling retailers to break down silos and ensure consistent CX throughout the customer journey.
AI can modernize contact centers
There is a variety of ways shoppers can interact with retail companies. Not all of these channels require a human – in fact, some are better off when controlled by AI, like chatbots and virtual assistants. Routine and repetitive customer requests (checking in-store credit or tracking a package) can and should be automated. Alternatively, a caller with a longstanding and unresolved ticket should be handed off to the most qualified agent – especially if they have interacted before. Businesses must identify which channels and use cases to automate with AI.
Understandably, some retailers are hesitant to over-use AI. Shoppers are easily frustrated when they encounter a virtual assistant that takes them along a scripted decision tree that goes nowhere. However, the conversational AI applications of yesteryear are progressively being phased out by generative AI like ChatGPT, allowing retailers to modernize their contact centers through flexible and life-like interactions that significantly improve the CX.
Augmenting agent capabilities with AI
For those interactions that retailers cannot automate, it’s important to support (typically understaffed) contact center agents with AI-powered tools. For example, AI can give agents recommendations in real time. If the customer attempted to cancel a subscription or their account in the past, the AI will relay that information to the agent so they know they are dealing with a high-risk caller.
At the same time, retailers can use generative AI to assist contact center agents by recording, transcribing, and analyzing calls in real time, pulling out key trends, and providing a synopsis for the agent to review and improve from. Other AI tools can measure sentiment and tone, helping the agent realize if the caller is getting upset and should get escalated to a manager.
Enhance CX with Smart Automation
While retailers recognize the transformative power of AI – especially for enhancing CX – few vendors provide a platform capable of orchestrating and coordinating different AI solutions and communication tools seamlessly.
IntelePeer’s Smart Automation platform can unify desperate communication applications while also integrating seamlessly within your existing infrastructure, allowing for smooth interoperability and data exchange. Reach out today and get ahead of your customers’ evolving expectations and preferences.