Using AI to improve user experience
Date publishedJuly 27, 2018
Not long ago, a company could gain the loyalty of its clientele based on product quality and little else. But with time, the difference between what a company offers and what its competitors provide has become negligible. Today, companies are increasingly seeking for alternative ways to win their customers. In ecommerce business, one such way is by providing impeccable user experience (UX). The article describes the ways artificial intelligence can enhance user experience.
Consumers want a seamless user experience from start to finish, complete with a user-friendly platform and outstanding customer service. To achieve this, companies are increasingly investing in AI software development to help them improve UX and gain brand loyalty. Let’s look at the ways in which artificial intelligence can enhance user experience.
The relatively new field, emotion AI, represents one of the most cutting-edge applications of AI. Emotion AI uses facial recognition software, data, and machine learning algorithms to sort and categorize emotional responses to a variety of stimuli like the colors on a website, product offerings, and advertising content, among others.
After being trained on thousands or even millions of facial/emotional images, emotion AI can categorize responses into meaningful categories like happy, sad, or angry. Businesses and advertisers can then use this information to identify the types of content, platform designs and marketing strategies that are most likely to elicit the desired response in site visitor or targeted viewers.
A 2016 Harris poll commissioned by Lithium found that happy customers spend 78% more with brands that they love. Consumers are most likely to feel happy if they feel like they are part of a brand’s community, share the same ideology as the brand, or are actively engaged by the brand on social media. For many organizations, using emotion AI to tap into consumer emotions is the smartest way to connect with customers at a deeper level, while convincing them to click that “Buy” button.
It’s no secret that consumers are increasingly immune to the efforts of advertisers, online or otherwise. Between ad blocking software, shorter attention spans and decades of being inundated with advertising since childhood, only the most inventive marketing strategies are able to get through to today’s jaded consumers. UX guides often focus on the experience once an individual has arrived at a brand’s web or social media page.
However, UX really begins the moment that a brand engages with a potential customer. If the visitor sees something that relates to them, they are far more likely to take action, whether it’s liking a photo, sharing content, or making a purchase. AI is helping businesses master the art of bespoke advertising.
When used in combination with social media, machine learning algorithms can successfully parse key information about a consumer’s preferences. Instead of creating a broad marketing campaign that may only appeal to a small percentage of customers, companies can use AI to create a one-to-one advertising experience tailored to each individual’s unique interests. In addition, with this new more inclusive data, organizations are also more likely to identify new and or previously overlooked market segments.
The outdoor product retailer North Face is using IBM’s Watson to create uniquely personalized shopping experiences for its online clients. By asking simple questions like, “Do you like to hike in winter?,” the program is able to narrow down the appropriate selection of products to show to the customer, ensuring that only the most relevant content is presented. This highly customized retail interaction significantly increases the probability of a customer buying a product and reporting an enjoyable UX.
Also known as virtual assistants, chatbots are everywhere you look. From banking to pizza delivery, chatbots are an increasingly common part of the user experience. Trained using a subfield of AI known as natural language processing, which derives meaning from text or speech, and machine learning data from actual human customer services interactions, chatbots are now so sophisticated that it is often difficult to recognize them from the real thing. According to Capgemini, 75% of organizations using AI (out of 1,000 surveyed), have increased customer satisfaction by at least 10 percent.
Immune to bad days and frustration, chatbots are a natural supplement to the user experience. However, while they may be able to provide 24/7 support, chatbots are not going to completely replace humans any time soon, as more complex situations still require human intervention and expertise. Likewise, chatbots still require data from human-to-human communication in order to learn and improve.
One company putting AI-enabled chatbot technology to use as both a communication and learning tool is 1-800 Flowers. Using Facebook Messenger as a customer service platform, the organization’s chatbot is trained to use conversational clues to assist clients with purchases. If, for example, someone messages that they need flowers quickly, the chatbot will respond with a number of relevant options, complete with photos, messaging customization, and even delivery choices. The more customers the bot interacts with the smarter it becomes, allowing it to provide an even better user experience.
When people hear the world automation, they tend to picture robots taking over human jobs. But in reality, automation is more likely to augment human tasks than replace them. This is certainly true when it comes to improving user experience. From self-driving cars to drones and online translation software, automation has the power to noticeably improve the quality of goods and services in a variety of industries.
Automation, which is usually applied to repetitive or predictive tasks, can aid human workers by reducing costly errors, improving quality standards and even detecting potential problems that human eyes may miss. In short, this means better quality for everyone, consumers and companies alike. In addition, automation is also being applied to UX design, in the form of automated A/B testing and self-optimizing websites, which means that customers will enjoy an improved UX experience from beginning to end, increasing the chances of them becoming lifelong patrons.
Just a few years ago, AI-based technology was considered too cutting-edge for widespread application. Today, it is shaping the way that brands interact with their customers and creating a whole new standard in UX – one that will ultimately benefit us all.