AI Gives Customers a Valuable Resource: Time

May 08, 2017

Contributor: Amy Forni

Artificial intelligence will save customers time and enhance their overall experiences.

Think about the time it takes to see a doctor: Find a doctor, schedule an appointment, drive to the office, inevitably linger in the waiting room and then, finally, see the doctor. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered wellness tools are reducing the steps required to receive a diagnosis. A wellness tool that uses image recognition and deep learning could enable you to self-diagnose a skin complaint.

Leading technology and service providers (TSPs) are planning strategies based on an AI-enabled future. Apple, Dell, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung are some of the companies that have acquired AI startups and are developing new platforms for AI progress. AI is saving users time by reducing the amount of choices and decisions they need to make.

Enable customer experience excellence with AI

Customer experience excellence is critical for TSPs to not only meet, but also exceed, their customers’ expectations and gain a competitive edge. TSPs will increasingly use well-designed AI-powered tools, like chatbots, to expedite and personalize customer services, support interactions and enhance the customer experience. “As customer satisfaction grows, so does the possibility for TSPs to cross-sell and upsell,” said Jessica Ekholm, research vice president at Gartner. That is why TSPs should plan to implement AI-based service chatbots by 2019, at the latest. Besides implementing chatbots, TSPs should also plan and prepare for new disruptive user trends such as the shift toward the use of virtual personal assistants (VPAs), intelligent apps and bots.

“ Gartner predicts that, in 2018, half a billion users will save two hours a day as a result of AI-powered tools.”

Reduce time, increase customer satisfaction

Gartner predicts that, in 2018, half a billion users will save two hours a day as a result of AI-powered tools. TSPs should use AI-powered tools to establish tailored product and service preferences and settings, so users have less to consider, choose and configure. “AI will save users time by reducing the need for action and choice altogether. Junk-mail filtering, driverless cars, automatic auction bidding, climate control and vision recognition systems for home security, along with a host of other use cases, are saving users time by reducing the effort they need to make — sometimes to zero,” said Anthony Mullen, research director at Gartner.

Consumer usage will influence future technology developments, especially because of the data collected from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and connected devices. Gartner estimates that 6 billion connected “things” will be actively requesting support from AI platforms by 2018. Smart devices will monitor their own performance and make improvements. “Collectively, this raft of small and large improvements across a number of products and categories driven by AI will save users time as well as improve the quality and pleasure of their experiences,” said Mr. Mullen.

Continue to improve

To enhance customer experience and prepare for disruptive technologies, Ms. Ekholm advises TSPs to, “Learn from users and develop trust in order to act on their behalf and drastically reduce the time it takes for them to interact with their products.” TSPs should also encourage customers to provide rich behavioral data to AI-powered tools so they calibrate their reasoning and ultimately act on their behalf.

TSPs’ investments in AI, data science, deep neural networks (DNNs) and smart assistants are quickly growing as they think about how to make their products and services smarter. TSPs should consider how their customers use and feel about their products and services, how they can make them easier to understand and how they can integrate them with other products and services they use.

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