September, 2017
Solving the biggest problems with AI

Using AI to understand customer empathy to improve customer service

Imagine waking up in the morning and there is an artificial intelligence (AI) programme that pretty much knows what you want and how you like it – wouldn’t that be fantastic in terms of planning your day, being productive at work, understanding your customers a lot better and, oh yes, let’s not forget solving that customer problem you had the other day and still, at the same time, being able to manage your personal finances based on your behaviour? And during that time What a wonderful world is playing in the background… aaah, what a wonderful world it would be.

With the world progressing technologically and entering the fourth industrial revolution, it is no surprise that it has given rise to AI. AI,as we know it,  is the intelligence exhibited by machines, rather than humans.

AI will impact how we do things 

AI is here to stay and it is set to impact everyone from creating hyper- personalised products to making processes effective and efficient that will ultimately change the way we use technology. Lately, there has been a shift in companies investing in AI programming through chatbots. For example, Spotify’s Facebook Messenger bot makes it easy for its customers to search for, listen to, and share music. With Sephora, a customer can get all kinds of makeup tutorials if they chat to Sephora on Kik, the ‘personal assistant’ will also help customer’s by providing product reviews and ratings when they are shopping in a store.

Another example is that of TMY.GRL AI Messenger chatbot. Launched by Tommy Hilfiger that was launched to promote the new Gigi Hadid fashion collection to a more digitally connected consumer base. Customers have the option of chatting about their favorite styles and can browse through a series of looks or collection of products from the brand. All these ideas seek to improve the customer’s experience, however, they all started from a deep need to understand customer empathy.

Why is customer empathy becoming more important than ever?

Brands are starting to understand the importance of customer empathy –  Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy: Why it Matters and How to Get It, noted that “empathy is the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions”.

Brands can use customer empathy to create better customer personas, which can assist with effective marketing that addresses what the customer really values.

For example, to understand customer empathy, a research report conducted by Google showed that, throughout the past year, 70% of millennial YouTube users watched YouTube to learn how to do something new or learn about something that they were interested in which meant that some of them were not only consuming content, they were actively looking for content that would improve or inspire change in their lives.  With AI coming into the picture it presents benefits that will assist in understanding customer empathy at point where we humans might fail to capture consumer data at the right moment to give marketers better insights.

The benefits of AI prove that AI will have the ability to solve a wide scope of problems as it progresses forward into the future, as noted in the Ericsson, The Futurist Report in which they collaborated with AT&T Foundry and RocketSpace. Key findings from the report have indicated that AI will affect consumers in the following ways:

  1. Humans will have more room to be human.
  2. People will be everywhere, as data will be everywhere.
  3. Connectivity will instantly power individual adventures.
  4. Consumers will soon go from one click to zero clicks.
  5. Ethical AI will control for bias.

To sum it all up

Inasmcuh as AI will be able to understand us better and better solve our needs through hyper-personalisation and improve customer service, we should find a synergy where marketers can work with AI to gather customer empathy data to improve customer service, as nothing will replace the human touch.

People matter and it is an always important point to always remember, as people-to-people communication will always be the best way to build trust. To put things into perspective there needs to be a focus on encouraging direct dialogue with customers through AI so that we can understand them better to provide improved customer value. There are certain companies that can benefit from it, in understanding customers better and being able to improve customer service as it will become the one thing that separates you from your competitors, giving you that competitive advantage.

Now imagine a world where AI and Internet of Things (IoT) come together; the possibilities to discover new products faster and technologies that would ultimately push the future of marketing to new heights –- oh what a wonderful world that would be.