Forrester predicts 2017 will be the year the Big Data floodgates open, giving companies more insights into their customers. Cognitive technology can be really helpful for your small business.
But that’s not all: The use of artificial intelligence is expected to triple. In fact, we already see companies like Google and Salesforce embrace this type of cognitive computing power to harness customer data into personalized experiences.
The question isn’t if, but when companies fully adapt to cognitive technology to keep up with customer expectations. Here’s a look at some trends shaping cognitive technology and the customer service experience.
Focuses on Seamless Customer Service
According to user experience research from Nielsen Norman Group, the need for consistency and seamlessness are part of the core elements of the omnichannel experience. But how does that work with interactive voice response systems?
Essentially, IVR systems harness the power of cognitive technology — and the core elements of seamlessness and consistency — to enhance the customer experience. For example, Aspect Zipwire’s IVR system helps companies better personalize the customer service experience by predicting the caller’s intent.
For example, IVR technology can look at a customer’s records, determine that this individual is flying from San Francisco to New York the following day, and ask if that’s why they’re calling. On top of all that, this technology will automatically ask if a customer would like the status of a recently placed online order. Ultimately, IVR systems will help streamline the customer service experience, save businesses more time, and allow customers to gain quick answers to their questions.
Cognitive Technology Predicts What Customers Want
While IVR systems can predict why customers are calling, cognitive technology solutions can also help businesses determine what products customers will want before they ever order something.
IBM reported that Staples has entrusted cloud-powered cognitive solutions to determine which office supplies customers tend to place — and then remember it for them the next they shop. Cognitive technology solutions can even give you the ability to see when a customer is likely out of an item and prompt them to reorder before they ever come looking to replace it.
Helps Customers Intuitively Find What They Need
Consumers already use apps to check online prices and reviews before heading to brick-and-mortar retailers to shop. But businesses are also getting ahead of the curve, as many are turning to apps to enhance their in-store customer service experience.
Customers can turn to apps to find the shoes they want in a specific department or find out where specific brands of clothing are fully in stock. Today, with these novel changes to the consumer marketplace, there’s no need for consumers to hunt down a salesperson. With this move, retailers can now focus on the bigger picture (sales), rather than provide information overload to their customers.
Offers a Better Purchasing Experience
Deloitte has reported on the idea of using smartphone apps to show customers exactly how they’ll look wearing clothing and cosmetics before ever purchasing them. One day, customers could download an app, take a selfie, and watch as department-store cosmetics are magically applied to a customer’s photo.
Furthermore, customers could see exactly what they would look like without actually trying on the makeup and instantly share with friends to get feedback. This type of technology can help reduce returns, keep customer satisfaction high, and give businesses even more data on what customers are looking for to better predict their next purchase.
In the end, cognitive technology will enhance and streamline the customer service experience. After all, this technology is meant to give customers easy, innovative solutions so they can get the products and services they need — but without all the hassles.