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12 Ways AI Is Transforming How Businesses Interact With Customers

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Businesses across industries are increasingly using artificial intelligence in a variety of ways to improve their internal operations, from handling repetitive tasks to interpreting data to streamlining overall processes (and more). For many companies, however, the primary benefit of AI is its potential to help them better interact with customers.

Many consumers may think companies use AI simply for their own ends—for example, most of us are aware that AI plays a role in the ads we see online. However, many businesses leverage AI’s learning abilities to try to make interactions and transactions faster and easier for the customers they serve, thereby improving the overall customer experience. Here, 12 members of Forbes Technology Council share ways AI is transforming and improving businesses’ interactions with their customers.

1. Reducing ‘Decision Overload’

AI can improve the customer experience by reducing “decision overload.” In this day and age of seemingly endless options and expectations of receiving gratification as quickly as possible, decision fatigue is a huge threat to every business. AI is being implemented to hyper-select your choices—sifting through thousands of options using its deep understanding of you as a consumer and reducing them to a manageable number. All of this is done in microseconds, behind the scenes. – Adrian Dunkley, StarApple

2. Detecting Unusual Behaviors And Events

AI helps businesses detect anomalies. When something has changed in a customer’s environment, that change can be silently detected and flagged. The clearest example is credit card fraud alerts, but it is also important to recognize if a customer’s bill is increasing above their budget. This detection service provides confidence and an opportunity for the service provider to engage with the customer to discuss the alert. – Christopher Larkin, Concord Technologies

3. Promoting Preventive Healthcare

Preventive health is one of the key areas where AI is leveraged to understand lifestyle behaviors and their impact at an individual level. Through AI, health-focused organizations can provide personalized lifestyle recommendations to improve an individual’s behaviors and, thereby, their health. Using AI in preventive health will significantly reduce the burden on the healthcare industry. – Selva Pandian, DemandBlue

4. Streamlining And Improving The Buyer Journey

AI is making it easier to follow the “know-thy-customer” mantra, which is paramount today. It helps uncover customers’ sentiments and purchasing intent. Business leaders can leverage AI to score satisfaction and identify risk drivers throughout the buyer journey. This intelligence enables agent empowerment, proactive problem resolution and superior experience delivery. – Vasudeva Akula, VOZIQ AI

5. Empowering More Effective Website Design

Artificial intelligence sounds futuristic to some customers, but AI, and more specifically machine learning, influences every component of a high-performing website. What feels like a super-relevant experience for the customer is curated by technology. Search results, facets, recommendations, the bar at the bottom recommending how you complete your outfit—all of that is machine learning operating at a massive scale. – Will Hayes, Lucidworks

6. Creating A Holistic View Of Customers’ Needs And Wants

AI is playing a massive role in helping businesses more effectively and securely collect and understand data and create actionable insights that businesses can use to power personalized customer experiences, modern workflows and user journeys and to create a more holistic view of their customers’ wants and needs. – Gleb Polyakov, Nylas

7. Personalizing Each Customer’s Platform Experience

Personalization is being taken to a new level. Netflix famously customizes its content thumbnails to entice you more by choosing versions that highlight your particular interests. Knowing a certain actor is in a movie or that it has a dog in it may get you watching something you might otherwise ignore. We don’t even realize that our version is different because we only see our own accounts. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket

8. Predicting And Sharing New Products Based On Past Purchases

Companies use past shopping and behavior data to predict what their customers might want in the future and create a tailored experience to help them find products they’ll be interested in. Just look to Amazon to see a great example of AI in the consumer experience. The site pushes you toward products you may be interested in based on past purchases, allowing you to find what you might need quickly. – Edwin Huertas, Shockoe | Mobile by Design

9. Creating Digital Images

Businesses can now leverage AI to generate e-commerce banners, product images and ads. Just use words to describe what you want in an image, and AI will create unique images of exactly what you describe! – Adam Ayers, Number 5

10. Fraud Monitoring And Alerts

While much focus has been put on leveraging AI to drive new customer experiences, the most astute businesses are turning to AI to help protect customers and their data. Industries such as banking are utilizing AI every day to alert customers of potential fraud or unauthorized access. However, without proper tuning and oversight, these solutions may inaccurately block transactions. – Lyndon Brown, Pondurance

11. Improving B2C Communication

AI can help businesses make the next conversation with a customer better than the last. Speech recognition software has the ability to distinguish between more words and accents than ever before and respond using natural language. It is also learning every time, improving as it does. Add to that the data that is collected and analyzed, providing actionable information and insights, and such software’s potential and value to a business are colossal. – Pete Hanlon, Moneypenny

12. Triaging Customers’ Concerns

Contrary to popular belief, personalized, imitative customer service via AI is not transformational; triaging via AI is. AI can help people dealing with customer concerns solve issues effectively by, for instance, putting customers in touch with the right departments. It’s more about exploiting AI’s problem-solving capacities and less about imitating human interactions. – Jacob Mathison, Mathison Projects Inc.

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