By Suhale Kapoor For business success and sustenance it is imperative to have powerful engagement throughout the customer lifecycle. For any business with thousands of customers building a personal relationship with each customer is critical yet extremely time-consuming. However, with the advent of Artifical Intelligence (AI) it is much easier and scalable to develop and maintain relationships across customer lifecycles by managing the conversations from start-to-end, personalizing outreach and content and responding to all queries seamlessly. Marketing AI tools work seamlessly to help make customers brand advocates.
Why is AI so essential to customer-oriented marketing?
AI enables businesses to develop customer-centric metrics and extract intelligent insights which help in identifying ideal customers, their key behavioural drivers, thereby, helping to continually enhance a consumer’s journey. Additionally, AI tools can help marketers target high-value customers, bringing down churn rates, delivering personalized interactions, devising targeted offers, tailoring content to individual needs and ultimately keeping a customer engaged at each stage of their journey. The benefits of AI are not limited to consumers, in fact, for businesses, they benefit by having a higher return on investment, cost benefits, bigger customer base, higher revenue and consumer loyalty. According to market studies, 80% of marketing automation users saw the number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase.
How can marketers use AI better?
Markets are increasingly adopting AI to align with customer lifecycles and convert prospects into customers. AI can effectively map a marketers’ efforts with lifecycle stages from being a prospect to a lead, then customer and finally an advocate.
AI and prospects
The idea is to attract leads and get them started on a buyer journey. At this point, AI can help generate content which can be useful to the kind of audience you seek to target, making it personalised. AI-based tools can enhance customer experiences to make them more seamless and holistic. Smart AI tools can also be deployed by businesses to create websites, social media posts, run email marketing campaigns, optimize content for different consumer segments amongst others. This will make brands become more agile in their communication as well as more responsive to consumer demands.
Al and leads
Propensity modelling can help marketers predict the likelihood of a given prospect to convert to becoming a customer, at what price they will customer as well as understand which customers are most likely to make repeat purchases. Further, AI Lead Scoring can help establish how ‘hot’ a given lead is and if they are worth devoting time and effort to. In addition to that, AI systems allow for deep diving into a customer’s behaviour and mindset to create micro-segmented profiles, understand purchase patterns, preferences and histories, track brand interactions with image recognition and find out a customer’s context and intent with interest affinity.
AI and customers
For successful conversion, marketers need to offer each customer with seamless, superior and engaging experiences and something out-of-the-box which makes them inclined to the brand. AI algorithms can map the traits of customers, helping businesses increase the chances of conversion. Furthermore, AI can help businesses retain valuable repeat customers by personalizing follow-ups, presenting special offers and loyalty programs, and by strengthening the relationship through direct communication and reliable data. Voice-input chatbots or AI-powered personal assistants may enhance web browsing, product search experiences and offer shopping assistance as well, making customers more inclined to the brand.
AI and advocates
AI-powered tools nurture one-to-one customer journeys, cultivate continued interest in repeat customers thereby, cementing customer loyalty, gathering and acting upon client insights, and helping them become brand ambassadors. AI augments the customer experience by providing personalized support. Predictive analytics can be used to find out which customers are likely to unsubscribe from a service, then reach out to these customers with offers, prompts or assistance to prevent churning. Using AI, conversational interfaces can be enhanced to go beyond voice, and use touch, and a consumer’s gaze and hand gestures to learn more about user needs and expectations. With this sensory information, AI will deliver a better experience – answering the right questions, anticipating needs, and delivering the right knowledge, product or service they expect.
Next generation customer lifecycle management with AI
Providing a superior customer service experience is certainly not a one-time affair and requires commitment and constant updates. The goal of marketers should revolve around creating targeted and seamlessly integrated experiences across all touchpoints during each stage of the lifecycle. This lays a foundation of a customer-oriented approach which fosters business growth and higher revenues. It is also critical to understand that not all your customers will be equal, and only a few will drive maximum value for you. Businesses need to identify these valued opportunities, deliver ultra-personalized experiences and keep them nurtured and they can do all of this and more with AI as a marketer’s best friend.
Suhale Kapoor is Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Absolutdata Technologies Inc.