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Will AI & MI CX Touchpoints be a Game Changer?

Traditionally, customer journeys have been viewed in a linear sequence of standardized touchpoints. Those who help organizations improve their CX, categorize these touchpoints as Static, Digital and Human. Initially, one would think that AI and MI would fall under the Digital Touchpoint category, however, given the omnichannel buzz, organizations are now looking at all digital touchpoints as portals that take customers from a linear sequence to a unpredictable cycle. This loop now needs AI and MI integration and with the advancement of AI/MI technologies, such as Chat-GPT, is there really a need for Static and Human Touchpoints? Virtual AI/MI experiences are not just another digital channel or device. They are a whole new CX touchpoint that requires a different approach and strategy.

Customer Experience (CX) is the sum total of all interactions a customer has with your brand, from marketing to sales to service and everywhere in between. CX is not just a set of actions, but also a set of feelings. How do your customers feel about your brand at every touchpoint? How do you deliver personalized, valuable, and differentiated CX that builds trust and loyalty?

In today’s digital world, customers have more choices and expectations than ever before. They want to interact with your brand across multiple channels and devices, and they want to have seamless and consistent experiences that meet their needs and preferences. They also want to have more control over their data and how it is used by your brand.

One of the emerging trends in CX is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine intelligence (MI) to create virtual experiences that enhance or replace human interactions. AI and MI can help you automate tasks, provide insights, generate content, personalize offers, and create conversational agents that can interact with your customers 24/7.

Rethinking customer touchpoints, organizations are utilizing virtual interactions like chatbots, robo-advisors and AI advanced self-service options. When we measure CX, the 7 factors that directly influence customer satisfaction are all being re-designed to eliminate digital and human touchpoints. "The first four - convenience, choice, navigation, and payments - are indispensable. That is, the presence or absence of these factors determines whether a customer judges a particular experience as good or bad. Think of them as table stakes. The remainder - ambiance, expertise, and touch-and-feel - amplify the baseline level of satisfaction."

If 89% of the time, their absence turns a bad experience into a very bad one, how could AI & MI influence a good to very good experience? When 70% of customers say these factors boost satisfaction, could the missing 30% be solved by not only focusing on these seven factors but eliminating static and human touchpoints from them, enabling digital experiences to drive customer experiences.

And if that is the case, could there be an argument to create a whole new touchpoint, separating the difference from digital and virtual AI/MI experiences.

However, virtual AI/MI experiences are not just another digital channel or device. They are a whole new CX touchpoint that requires a different approach and strategy. Virtual AI/MI experiences are not only driven by data, but also by creativity, empathy, and innovation. They can create new opportunities for engagement, but also new challenges and risks.

Here are some of the key questions you need to ask yourself when designing and delivering virtual AI/MI experiences:

  • What is the purpose and value proposition of your virtual AI/MI experience? How does it align with your brand vision and values?

  • Who are your target customers and what are their needs, preferences, and expectations? How do you segment and personalize your virtual AI/MI experience for different customer personas?

  • What are the best practices and principles for creating virtual AI/MI experiences that are ethical, inclusive, transparent, and trustworthy? How do you ensure data quality, security, privacy, and compliance?

  • How do you measure the effectiveness and impact of your virtual AI/MI experience? What are the key metrics and indicators for customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and advocacy?

  • How do you integrate your virtual AI/MI experience with your other CX touchpoints and systems? How do you ensure consistency and continuity across the customer journey?

Virtual AI/MI experiences are not a one-size-fits-all solution. They require a deep understanding of your customers, your brand, and your technology. They also require constant testing, learning, and improvement. By creating a new CX touchpoint for virtual AI/MI experiences, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and delight your customers with innovative and engaging interactions.

To illustrate how virtual AI/MI experiences can enhance CX, here are some examples of how different brands are using this technology:

  • Thread uses AI to tailor fashion recommendations based on each customer’s style preferences, body type, budget, and occasion2. Customers can chat with an AI stylist or browse curated outfits online.

  • Sesame Street personalizes early learning with AI by creating interactive games that adapt to each child’s skill level and interests2. Children can learn letters, numbers, shapes, colors, emotions, and more with their favorite Sesame Street characters.

  • Hilton Hotels uses an AI robot named Connie to greet guests at the front desk2. Connie can answer questions about hotel amenities, local attractions, dining options, and more using natural language processing.

  • Under Armour personalizes fitness recommendations with AI by creating a digital coach that tracks each user’s activity, sleep, nutrition, and goals2. Users can get personalized feedback, tips, challenges, and rewards through the app or a wearable device.

  • Rare Carat creates the first AI-powered jeweler that helps customers find the best diamond for their budget2. Customers can chat with an AI assistant named Rocky that compares prices from different vendors, explains diamond quality factors, and offers unbiased advice.

  • Macy’s On Call directs customers in store using an AI-powered mobile companion2. Customers can ask questions about products, services, locations, or promotions using natural language processing. The app also provides personalized recommendations based on each customer’s preferences.

  • Levi’s creates a virtual stylist with AI that helps customers find the perfect pair of jeans3. Customers

In conclusion, virtual AI/MI experiences are a new and exciting way to create immersive and personalized CX for your customers. However, they also require careful planning, design, and execution to ensure they are aligned with your brand values, customer needs, and ethical standards. By creating a new CX touchpoint for virtual AI/MI experiences, you can leverage the power of technology to create meaningful and memorable interactions that will set you apart from your competitors and foster customer loyalty.

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