How AI Can Radically Disrupt Market Research and Customer Experience

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The pathbreaking emergence of Artificial Intelligence has opened immense opportunities for businesses belonging to almost every sector. As we have already witnessed the growing applications of AI from media to finance to education to consumer goods, it’s just a matter of time before the AI-storm completely dominates the world. 

According to a report, the global artificial intelligence market is expected to touch $190.61 billion in 2025. Even in our everyday life, AI is making big noise – facial recognition, personalized shopping recommendations, and smart personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Echo. A recently launched book, AI Transforming Business: Corporate CxO Perspectives, by Georgios Kipouros and Daniel Pitchford is entirely dedicated to artificial intelligence in business. The highlight of the findings of the authors is “98% of corporate leaders see AI as essential for their businesses”.

To add to this, AI is increasingly becoming a key element of marketing mix. Enterprises are increasing their operational efficiency, making more informed decisions, and innovating new products and services. On the other hand, smart chatbots are helping customers make better product selections.

Basically, the AI momentum has been spurred by the influx of advanced data analytics tools, advancements in machine learning algorithms, availability of rich and extensive datasets, and a data-driven approach to marketing and innovation. This comprehensive data insight has given marketers a profound toolkit that will play a key role in conducting market research and understanding consumer behaviour.

A. Impact of AI on Market Research

Market research has always been a stressful exercise for key decision makers. Not only do they need highly refined data, they also want it to be broken down into useful information and graphs. The amount of work to produce accurate, consistent and timely information is enormous. Thus using AI industry professionals can take significant strides toward more efficient, more accurate and lower-priced data collection.

Following are the key areas of market research that AI will have a great impact on:

1) Increased Efficiency

Owing to the development of advanced algorithms, the most pertinent job of AI is to increase efficiency at every level of research. Cutting short the humongous task of data gathering and analysis, AI-powered research can greatly reduce the time and effort spent on developing studies. Researchers across the industries concede that a great deal of effort is used in compiling and writing the research reports. The AI tools can automate parts of the compilations and writing of reports, which can make a huge difference in terms of saving time. Also, AI-based market research tools will allow researchers to utilize pre-built models. In virtually no time, these tools can select the right types of survey questions and identify their ideal respondents.

2) Real-time insights

Traditional methodologies have to go through innumerable steps of analysis before they can deliver insights. Researchers had to sift around in the data pool, scratch the bottom and retrieve something hopefully meaningful. With AI market research tools, insights can be delivered in a digestible format in real-time- as the data churns in. The continuous aggregation and evaluation of data with advanced research tools can further enrich the insights. At this juncture, machine learning is the tailor-made solution because research tools will get smarter and more precise the more data they are exposed to.

3) Extensive traceability

Businesses that are researching the market from the perspective of their target customers need to know everything about them. This where traceability come into the picture. It enhances visibility, improves operations, ensures compliance, and increase productivity. Businesses that practice traceability experience an increase in consumer confidence and improved business functions. However, the traditional approach will always lead to inaccuracy in terms of accuracy. By utilizing artificial intelligence tools, therefore, researchers can present a more accurate representation of what people are really thinking and doing.

4) More Productivity through AI & Automation

Businesses can expect AI to become more sophisticated, to move faster and analyze in greater depth. Automation, which is the part of AI, has already proven itself to be groundbreaking for the market research industry. Automation simplifies time-consuming research processes that need human labour for repetitive and routine tasks. AI can effectively cut down on busy work for researchers and frees them up for creativity and innovation.

B. Impacts of AI on Customer Experience

Artificial Intelligence has a great potential to deliver the experience that today’s customers are demanding. That is, of all possibilities promised by AI customer experience (CX) is going to be completely overhauled. Across the entire customer journey, AI can help brands differentiate their products or services, increase efficiency and a customized approach that meets individual needs. According to an IDC (International Data Corporation) prediction, by the year 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by AI efforts. Thus AI is going to help create more meaningful CX.

AI will impact customer experience in the following ways:

1) Increased CX with chatbots and virtual assistants

The most significant impact AI can have on customer experience is by making it automated, fast and hassle-free. While interacting with brands, consumers feel comfortable if the process is easy, effective and based on an understanding of their emotions. With interactive chatbots and AI-based virtual assistants, customer engagement will be transformed to the next level. These chatbots are particularly programmed to simulate human interactions in order to give immediate, personalized responses. This auto-generated response can better handle customer queries thereby reducing training time for service reps. Also, the repetitive service queries can be effectively addressed in minimal costs. In addition to that, optimization of e-commerce website design with powerful extensions is a great way to improve user experience.

2) Predictive personalization

The ability of AI tools to predict the actions of users based on their previous experiences is called predictive personalization. It can be used to improve CX by integrating it with consumers’ everyday behaviours. This level of personalization can make customers feel as though every product or service is tailored just for them. The biggest application of predictive personalization is online shopping, where data collected from consumer behaviour is thoroughly analysed and processed in order to make informed decision in terms of CX. This data includes the amount of time spent on sites, pages, items, purchases, form filled, searches made etc.

3) Better engagement through video and voice

The AI-powered visual, voice and text engagements will allow businesses to develop a deep understanding of analysing their emotions in different types of communications. The visual engagement aspect of AI, for example, analyzes facial expressions in face-to-face and video chat conversations. Similarly, sentiment analysis of textual and voice data will allow business to seamlessly and quickly deliver exactly what consumers are looking for. Thus, with the help of these AI-based algorithms, companies can determine how to route communication and identify satisfaction.

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