There’s a new god worshiped in every boardroom around the world: Data. From CIOs to CMOs, the entire C-suite is obsessed with data, the goldmine that is paving the way for the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution.
But what’s a boatload of data worth if it’s not used to serve customers better and personalize the shopping experience at every turn? We are witnessing a shift on the horizon for marketers, and it’s set to be as big as the internet 20 years ago or the app economy a decade ago. It’s the dawn of conversational marketing, a term that describes a feedback-oriented approach for driving customer engagement, building brand loyalty and, of course, positively impacting the bottom line
The engine powering conversational marketing is artificial intelligence. AI stands to be the ultimate disrupter for companies of all sizes. It takes on many forms, but common to marketers and growing in prevalence are intelligent conversational chatbots — also known as intelligent assistants, conversational assistants, digital employees and virtual assistants. These chatbots have become so popular that Gartner predicts virtual agents will participate in a majority of commercial interactions between people and businesses in less than three years.
A Quick Look Into the Future
Take a moment to visualize your business in the future. The next iteration of your app or website is driven by intelligent conversational assistants. This future will offer better opportunities to connect with customers and provide untold value from conversations. Further, it will examine not only what your customer needs but also their tone. This will allow you to make suggestions, solve problems and find new ways of engaging their business. Imagine, if you will, the benefit of having this dedicated focus group at your fingertips. Not a focus group of a few dozen people for an hour or two, but a focus group that includes your entire customer base — 24/7, 365 days a year
This new future — which lies at every marketer’s doorstep — offers unprecedented opportunity around data, a brand new network of knowledge and the ability to redefine your brand to lead in a new digital economy.
Bots are much more than just simplified customer support tools; they offer unprecedented first-person, direct voice-of-the-customer insight.
For too long, customer service has been consigned to a formulaic question-and-answer scenario that rarely leaves the customer satisfied and often doesn’t solve the problem at hand. Using conversational AI technology helps you to rethink the engagement process, even in the most basic of customer service interactions, and gather valuable data that can help in future interactions. For example, rather than simply helping a customer change a flight, conversational AI for an airline could find lodging and transportation for a customer’s trip and even make suggestions for future travel.
For future marketers, targeted collection of voice-driven records will build higher customer loyalty while expanding your existing customer base.
Network of Knowledge
There is no need for bots to work in a silo. A network of knowledge allows an intelligent assistant access to an army of specialists: other virtual assistants with knowledge for every occasion.
This kind of collective wisdom is matchless in the human world, particularly for its speed of recollection. What’s more, it demonstrates an inherent value of AI: the ability for individual bots to learn from experience
Marketers of tomorrow can use AI to exploit vast repositories of knowledge, at a moment’s notice, for any customer engagement. This will result into explicit personalisation for the end user. As bots connect with one another in a never-ending universe of knowledge and experience, marketers can draw upon that resource and deliver individualized engagement in real time that, rather than feeling unwarranted or intrusive, connects with the user to provide real value.
Chances are you and your company has spent limitless resources building your brand. Now for the first time, conversational AI technologies are allowing you to build up a unique personification of that brand.
Visualize the campaigns you can pull together using conversational AI. You can talk to your customers — all of them — in a human like, intelligent, conversational way through an automated service. Providing platinum-grade support and customer care to every single individual will drive better engagement, understanding and brand image.
This level of engagement keeps your brand experience consistent yet at the same time personalized, across your entire customer base. It’s an exclusively new way to think about marketing: personalized instead of mass-produced, pulled rather than pushed, subtle over screaming.
In the future, conversational systems will be the face of your brand. They will function across channels to provide a seamless, omni-channel experience for your customers. They will yield unprecedented data and redefine your brand.
The big question for marketers is no more how you’ll incorporate AI into your company’s customer strategy- the question now is- Are you ready?
Sameer Shaikh is an Academic Writer who has been writing articles for various B-Schools’ Magazines from the last two years. His articles have been published in the Magazines of IIM Rohtak, IIM Udaipur, K.J Somaiya & so on. He writes articles of various fields including Finance, Economy, Marketing and so on. He has achieved many credentials in Academic Writing.