Creating authentic customer connections through artificial intelligence

By Yew Hwee Ng

Posted on 12-03-2020

Every year digital leaders analyse their technology investments and it is very exciting to see Chinese enterprises leading the way in making use of artificial intelligence (AI). According to Adobe and eConsultancy’s 2020 APAC Digital Trends Report, Chinese enterprises lead the APAC region and the rest of the world in adopting new technologies like AI and ML because of the huge investments from central government.

The same study also found that Chinese businesses are the most mature (in APAC) when it comes to customer experience management, with 12 percent rating themselves as digitally mature. But there’s still room for growth in the region, since consumers expect brands to provide relevant experiences that span both digital and physical worlds.

Here are three ways AI can support authentic customer connections.

Responding to real-time market expectations

Companies that operate in a diverse market like Asia must take into account local differences in language, culture, and legal requirements — including those relating to data privacy — as well as varying maturity levels of technology ecosystems. Whether you represent a Chinese company doing business at home and abroad or a multinational company doing business in Asia, you’ll succeed only if you can deliver customer experiences that are flexible enough to meet the needs of local markets and the global marketplace.

Successful companies will be those that use AI to deliver seamless, connected experiences that are tailored to individual customers. The two most critical inputs for connected, personalised customer experiences are content and data. You need an extensive library of content and a constant stream of data that can help you anticipate what a customer might need in a given moment. You also need a set of tools that can help you deliver the right piece of content at the right time to each customer, based on those data-driven insights. Without AI, you can deploy personalised experiences on a small scale, but you simply can’t produce enough content or analyze data quickly enough to do mass personalisation.

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The power of AI in CXM

With AI, you can deliver tailored content and experiences to every customer. AI can take over mundane tasks, freeing people to focus on higher-value work. For example, Adobe Creative Cloud users can use AI-powered features to resize display advertisements for different purposes, change the background of a photo, or remove unwanted objects in a video in minutes. And the voice search capability in Adobe Stock helps users find desired pictures simply through several voice commands — making creative professionals more efficient and allowing them to spend more time on the creative aspects of their job.

Many companies are also using AI in programmatic advertising, on-site personalisation, optimization and testing, and email marketing. As a result, their customers are receiving personalised, connected experiences across channels, while organisations curb the heavy lifting. Retail brand Dah Chong Hong (DCH), for example, uses Magento Commerce to automatically pull on-site data together from across platforms and solutions, eliminating time previously spent manually collecting and analyzing data. DCH also takes advantage of the Product Recommendations capability powered by Adobe Sensei to automatically recommend new products and services to customers based on their interests.

Improving internal workflows with machine learning

AI is also being used to spot mistakes and warn of danger (anti-fraud software and facial recognition systems are good examples) and to predict human behaviour. For example, Adobe Analytics uses AI to anticipate what customers will do based on past behavior and suggest actions marketers could take to keep them engaged. Customers benefit by getting content and offers that precisely match their preferences.

As mentioned, the central government in has China has invested heavily into AI research and aims to be a world leader by 2030. This has subsequently accelerated the number of AI-related publications and patents filed in recent months and years. China is also having remarkable success in bringing AI technologies to market. But, while the majority of business leaders in the region say they’re moving towards AI and machine learning adoption and integration, widespread growth hasn’t been reached yet – just 32 percentof Chinese companies are actively using AI software.

Those that are, though, are seeing significant impacts, specifically in the customer experience arena. One Chinese bank integrated a customer service robot in branches. The robot sits in the bank’s entrance and, using interface capabilities that interpret context, can quickly identify needs and direct customers to the right in-branch support. Robots can also provide information on the bank’s financial products, helping customers make purchase decisions. This, then, has led to even more AI-centric banking, including human-free branches run solely by AI-powered robots.

Getting started with AI integration

If you’re considering investing in AI to better personalise online and physical experiences for your customers, you’ll need to first map out the buyer’s journey for each of your primary audiences. Make sure you understand your customer’s needs and motivations in each journey stage. Remember that delivering great customer experiences requires more than just the right technology. It also requires a customer-first mindset that has to be built into your business strategy and your company culture. With the right platform — an integrated toolkit powered by AI — and the right mindset, you can deliver connected, relevant experiences tailored to each market and each customer.

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work, Personalisation, Experience Cloud,

Products: Analytics, Magento Commerce, Creative Cloud, Stock, Sensei