The techniques behind customer retention have been revolutionised over the past years as customers find new ways of interacting with business. The growth of the digital marketplace has been the main driver behind this change in methods, with businesses pivoting their methods to command their new digital space. In the search for new ways to retain existing customers, and maybe even find some new ones in the process, businesses have been looking to technology for the solutions.
Artificial Intelligence has become a bit of a buzzword over time, but it is very important not to forget that AI can always bring something new to a business. The main use of AI in this particular area is to better analyse and understand the interactions between business and customer. With the wealth of statistics and analytics that are already made available through online channels, AI can also be used to foresee future trends and develop predictive analytics to try and see what the future holds for your business. The difference between businesses that make use of AI for predicting trends and those that don’t is estimated to be a 10% gap in year-on-year growth, showing that it not only helps to retain existing customers but allows you to attract new ones.
In a similar vein, the use of AI can also allow your business to better tailor the user experience for each customer. The use of AI to personalise recommendations is used by many businesses to give a more personal feel to the sometimes very impersonal online shopping experience. It is a tried and tested method too, as 56% of customers say they would return to businesses that offer a personalised experience. This tool is also used on the business’ end to direct customers towards hero products and specific items, but this particular tactic can backfire if not executed correctly.
The use of chatbots has also been growing in popularity and AI has had its role to play in that. The goal of a chatbot is to streamline and improve communication between customer and business, but not every enquiry needs or warrants a human interaction. Businesses can make great use of chatbots to give customers a more personal customer service experience. It can also maximise the efficiency of their customer support team in making sure simple enquiries are handled by the bots. Using this kind of AI chatbot to support your business can speed up these types of customer interactions by almost 5 times. The other major upside to the use of chatbots is that they can interact with customers on a 24/7 basis. Particularly for businesses with customers spread over the globe, being able to respond outside of regular business hours can help retain customers by removing any barriers that time zones may pose. No matter the time of day or night, customers are able to have their online queries resolved, even while the business might not even be open. A very similar use of AI chatbots allows a business to communicate in various languages, allowing the business to expand its potential customer base and retain them by working in a language they understand.
The tools for customer retention are there for the taking, and with the rapid development of AI in the past years it will not be long until there are a whole new set of uses. However, it is up to each business to use the tools of AI and the data that customers trust them with for good.