3 Ways AI Can Enhance Customer Experience and Boost Profitability

MarTech Advisor

Celia Fleischaker, Chief Marketing Officer at PROS, Inc., outlines the three ways that artificial intelligence can enhance the customer experience and boost profit margins

Creating frictionless, personalized customer experiences is a top priority for businesses in today’s age of modern commerce, and many are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to help. For example, SoftBank Mobile has introduced its humanoid robot, Pepper, responsible for welcoming, informing and amusing customers who visit the store. Pepper can recognize faces and speak, listen and respond to people just like you would experience in a human-to-human conversation. Other companies are leveraging AI via chatbots to help improve customer experiences. Look no further than Progressive, which recently launched a “Flo” chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Powered by AI quoting technology, the chatbot is designed to enhance customer engagement with the brand.

While the B2C industry has witnessed more companies using AI, the B2B world also stands to benefit from adopting the technology to improve customer experience and increase margins. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30 percent of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. This trend is underscored by the recent launch of Monet, a new AI-enabled guide that delivers actionable insights to personalize sales recommendations. Monet applies machine-learning algorithms to customer data, and continues to learn based on user feedback. As a result, “she” can anticipate next-best actions and personalize prescriptive recommendations for each individual customer, providing them with fast, precise and consistent buying experiences.

Companies understand that customer demands will continue to evolve, but they often don’t know how to evolve in kind. Implementation of AI into business operations can lead to efficient, cost-effective and impactful processes that keep customers engaged. Here are three areas where implementing AI can help:

1. The Importance of Price   

Dynamic pricing science, a technology powered by algorithms and context-aware, machine-guided learning, enables companies to deliver tailored solutions to customers in a timely manner and at the right price. Companies that leverage dynamic pricing can extract actionable insights into how to price their products based on a variety of factors, such as market demand and willingness to pay. The ability to generate timely and accurate pricing for customers will increase their loyalty, which ultimately boosts the bottom line. For example, an executive took a leave of absence for a few months, solely relying on dynamic pricing science to make pricing decisions for the organization. As a result, the company experienced record-breaking sales during this time period due to the accuracy and consistency of AI algorithms responding to real-time data.

2. Personalization is Key

Price is an important factor, but so are personalized offers and identifying the right opportunities to approach customers with new deals. Machine learning algorithms can mine transaction data for patterns in customer buying histories and inconsistent purchasing behaviors. Companies can then take this insight to create more strategic cross-sell opportunities and personalized offers. This approach has helped a number of B2B companies, including a distributor who was able to identify more than 30,000 potential opportunities in just eight months. The business is now driving sales growth resulting in an incremental $6M in annualized revenue as a result of AI technology.

3. Response Time is More Important Than You Think

According to Forrester Research, 50 percent of deals are won by the vendor that responds first. Static, outdated processes that were once designed to protect margins today represent lost revenue. Time-to-quote is a critical component when it comes to customer engagement. AI can aid sales team in increasing speed and accuracy of their quotes and helping to secure deals.

While many people associate AI with the likes of robots and driverless cars, B2B companies should consider how to implement the technology into everyday business operations. The functional applications of AI, such as dynamic pricing science, can help businesses across a multitude of industries enhance their product offerings. This approach can also generate results across the board, be it increasing customer loyalty, identifying new sales opportunities or boosting profit margins. The next time you have an encounter with an AI bot, think twice about how it could benefit your business and your customers’ experience.


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