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Become an AI Power User to Minimize the Impact of COVID-19

Posted on: April 28, 2020 | Posted by: Sona

Help Site Visitors and Increase Value with Personalized Customer Experiences

When it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the modern business world, it’s not a question of if businesses will adopt AI, but when they will adopt it. The COVID-19 crisis might force this shift sooner rather than later. 

With the new normal of physical distancing, consumers’ interaction with businesses has quickly moved from personal to digital, creating a ton of untapped data. Although customer insights have always been a top priority for businesses, this shift in shopping behavior has made it more critical to understand consumers’ wants and needs to quickly help them when they visit a website. According to a new Gartner report on COVID-19*, “COVID-19 and economic shock are a defining moment for you as an executive leader. Customers will remember how you help them, or fail to help them, for years to come.” This means businesses have to rapidly come up to speed with ways of collecting and analyzing customer data to not only engage and help their site visitors digitally but also to maintain revenue. And that’s where AI solutions can help to scale their efforts. 

Impact of AI Solutions on Marketing and Sales

Today, 48% of global CIOs state they intend to deploy AI in 2020, up from 14% in 2019. This adoption is predicted to span across business functions—ranging from marketing to product development, supply chain management, manufacturing, and more. Power users of AI have seen the greatest impact on marketing and sales, with revenue increases of 80%. This spike in revenue has been linked to AI’s use in the prediction of buying behaviors, customer service-related analytics, and pricing—all of which contribute to a businesses’ ability to better serve customers with personalized, 1:1 experiences. 

Additionally, AI-powered solutions can enable businesses spanning a myriad of industries — from retailers to grocers, quick-service restaurants, and banks — to transform the way they interact and engage with customers.

However, in the wake of the current pandemic, Gartner says that 71% of even the most digitally advanced companies are not helping customers with their most pressing questions and problems.*

One of the recommendations that Gartner suggests in the report is to remove friction for customers by providing “how we can help you” options. The first step here is to make all necessary information available easily on your website about:

  • How you are ensuring the safety of your employees and customers
  • Offer links to best practices as they evolve in line with public health and safety regulations
  • What safety measures are you taking to conduct business if your facility (store, bank, restaurant) is open because it is deemed to be an essential business. For example: New store timing, safe time for seniors to come to your facility, availability contactless credit card transactions, instructions on curbside pickup.
  • If you are operating digitally only, then assure your customers that your packaging is safe and clean, provide them with quick inventory checks about the availability of items, and be transparent about the time taken for delivery. 

In addition to the above examples, businesses can go one step further and provide help to customers that is specifically for them and to what they need at that moment. Through AI and machine learning models, businesses are able to develop insights about each individual, harnessing this information to drive customer experience.

Engage proactively with every visitor with early purchase prediction
Every engagement should feel as if the customer is a regular and the brand is looking out for him or her. Even if the site visitor is new or unknown, early purchase prediction models can make an accurate determination of whether this person is going to buy in the current session and present them with information based on their location, weather, or their browse patterns.

For known users, these messages can be even more individualized. Knowing that Sandy researches online for a few days before making a purchase in the store, encourage her to buy online instead when she is ready by offering her a first-time digital buyer discount. When Sandy comes online to browse for yoga pants again, the early prediction purchase models determine whether she will buy in this session and show her a personalized message:

“Hi Sandy, buy the yoga pants in the next hour and get $10 off for your first online purchase.”

Connect with loyal customers with personalized offers
Another recommendation from Gartner is to provide personalized advice to your most valuable customers and orchestrate proactive action. In the same vein, let your loyal customers know that although their reward points have expired, under the current circumstances, you will still honor those points. In fact, when John, who is a retailer’s gold member, views iRobot – Roomba 675 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum – Black two days in a row and peruses the reviews, reach out to him:
“John, we will honor your recently expired reward points of $15 toward the purchase of iRobot – Roomba 675. Thank you for being a loyal gold member.”

Deliver Exceptional Experience Based on their Preferences
Understand what your site visitor wants and how they like to make their purchases. Suppose Lily usually does not worry about the price of the products she purchases but likes to avail free shipping. When she comes on the website looking for home cleaning products at this time, let her know that she is eligible for free shipping if she buys items worth $X more or she could pick them up on the curbside tomorrow after 5 p.m. with no shipping cost.

As you can see, businesses can elevate the customer experience through individualized and relevant information, promotions, offers, and interactions. Such experiences expand value to customers and increase the average order amount. An AI power user can leverage this technology to understand every visitor’s needs or intent quickly and accurately and respond instantly with appropriate information. It is critical, now more than ever, to engage visitors with relevancy when they come to your website or mobile app. As the Gartner report very aptly said, “Helping customers is not just the right thing to do. It improves customer retention, which mitigates revenue loss.”

Contact us to learn how ZineOne’s AI-powered Intelligent Customer Engagement platform delivers highly accurate customer insights and takes action on them to elevate every customer experience.