To better understand the tremendous opportunities surrounding AI we first must look at the changing landscape. We are living in an unprecedented time of societal transformation. Digital is disrupting every industry, all societies and each individual. Content is being consumed through more devices at a faster rate than ever before. People expect their experiences to be personalized, connected and flawless across every touch point and they won’t tolerate anything less: this is what is at the core of the digital transformation. Businesses are now realizing the need to shift from a product-focused approach to an experience focused strategy for not only their customers but within their organizations as well.
Exceptional experiences have become critical to attracting and retaining customers. Creating amazing and inspirational content is key. Powerful experiences change the way we interact, entertain, work and relate to the world around us. Experiences can be one-on-one, among families, friends, co-workers, collaborative, or through engaging in social media. They can also be one-to-many, business-to-consumer, business-to-business, teacher-to-student, government-to-citizen, artist-to-audience, and so on. Today, these data-informed experiences are how we can break through the noise and make a connection and an impact.
Experiences are powered by data and that in turn drives innovative business success. By leveraging the power of data, we can create experiences that matter. For instance, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily; AI can use much of that data to intelligently determine how consumers are interacting with or abandoning a brand. This helps inform what works and what doesn’t, leading to future experiences improved by insights, supported by data and brought to life through beautiful, powerful
created experiences. However, AI is not about the technology in or of itself; it’s about how technology can be leveraged to assist in creating these immersive and unexpected experiences. With AI, machine learning and deep learning systems, machines are becoming indispensable and moving into the realm of superhuman innovation.
With that in mind there are many things companies can do to improve experiences at different touch points. It goes without saying businesses need customers to survive, expand and compete, and customers are won over to a brand by a great experience. Because of this, a good experience means customers will come back again. Bloomberg Businessweek conducted a survey, and they found that ‘delivering a great customer experience’ has become an imperative for businesses. Eighty per cent of the businesses they polled put customer service as one of their top strategic objectives.
First businesses need to identify their customers’ friction points, which are places along the customer journey that are not easy for them to accomplish, cause frustration or even result in abandonment of a purchase. Those are the moments of opportunity to enhance the customer experience. For example Netflix is great at successfully identifying and smoothing over friction points for their customers’ benefit. Based on user history and past viewing habits, they predict and suggest shows and movies that may interest the viewer. Many banks require a detailed set of security questions to be answered to grant access to online, automated services. To make it easier on their customer, you can now enable voice authentication as a more secure and faster way to be positively identified. However, one thing to keep in mind is it’s not just about one experience or touch point, it’s about the whole customer journey. One moment of frustration from a poorly designed interaction can ruin the whole impression of the brand, causing the customer to look for other alternatives.
And the same goes for employees, a great experience not only increases innovation but also increases employee loyalty and retention. A successful way to create employee loyalty is to build a sense of community and shared purpose, so the employees feel they have common goals with the organization. They understand they contribute to the success of the whole and reap the benefits of their efforts. Because of this, individual employees don’t feel like isolated cogs in a wheel without any real concept of how their efforts relate to what everyone else is doing. They know their jobs count and their voice is heard. It goes beyond superficial perks. People are fundamentally hardwired to connect with each other. When they have a sense of community, they have a better overall work experience, which increases their motivation and productivity. Motivated employees who feel they are part of the vision of a company provide better service, make fewer errors on the production line and have greater empathy for their customers. Since the employees understand their purpose in the organization, and know the impact of their actions, they can then in turn become more focused on delivering a better experience to their customers.
This interconnection of an overall experience architecture goes deep. It is clear that ecosystems are symbiotic in nature in that each individual part is dependent on how well every other part performs. Organizations are just another type of ecosystem. In an experience culture, everything must work together. This reinforces the need for businesses to put themselves in the shoes of the employee and customer. Because of this experience design is very complex, and this is where the true value of big data comes into play to unlock insights into how to personalize a great experience.
In the end, organizations have to understand the behaviors, desires, and actions of employees and customers in order to create and deliver exceptional experiences to propel business and societal innovation for years to come.
Written by Chris Duffey.
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