These machines are here to stay, and you need to use them wisely.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not new to the world of sales and marketing, but its applications are expanding beyond our imagination. Companies are looking at the opportunities that automation can provide and wondering where they can collaborate to improve the customer experience and unlock time and cost savings.
Let’s explore why setting boundaries is more important than ever.
Keith Pearce and Chief Marketing Officer at Alteryx and prides itself on being not only marketing but technology at heart. Following a brief stint in politics, Keith began his professional journey, working in startups. After 20 years, he moved to sales, marketing, and customer experience, which led him to Alteryx.
Like the latest in ours Corporate Facts series, I sat down with Keith to discuss everything from automation, AI, data, and customer experience.
What you will learn in this article:
- How does the machine affect the customer?
- How can AI help companies save time and money?
- When does technology become redundant?
- How can companies balance it all?
Check out the full interview below:
How automation affects the customer
It is difficult to name one area in the connection between automation in sales and marketing, and customer experience. Instead, Keith looks at it on a number of different levels – the financial impact, the customer experience, and the human factor.
In a highly financial environment, any money saved by using a robot is great. Companies are interested in converting labor-intensive manual processes into automation. The system can also identify where users spend most of their time so that companies can spend their advertising dollars more effectively.
A personalized experience
A unique customer experience will not only delight users but also entice them to become repeat customers. Sales and marketing help bring personalization to these events. These tools help companies create ads that target their audience’s interests and preferences.
consumers expect companies to deliver on their relationships.
Source: McKinsey & Company
The human touch
There is a big debate in the automation space – will it affect the way people trade and sell, or not? People know people, so should we trust a robot to know what people want?
When it comes to this aspect, caution is very important. Companies need to know where to start and finish implementing automation and prioritize “without swinging too much in one direction or the other.”
When “too much technology” hits the ground running
There will always be times when the AI can’t do it. Whether it’s evoking empathy or relating to people’s experiences, there are situations that these tools aren’t ready for (yet, at least).
So, how does one define “high technology”? Keith believes this is where it confuses customers.
“You’re going to see it come back when the machines become more complex. There’s a better way that companies have to go.”
CMO at Alteryx
Keith also gives credit to consumers by saying that they have enough knowledge to know when technology is being used to save money. They know when they need them.
Even when companies are transparent about their systems, the lack of social support can frustrate people who just want to talk to other people. That frustration alone would do the opposite of why companies installed the devices in the first place, and lose money.
“Companies will see chaos if they continue,” Keith said. If keeping the customer at the center is part of your company’s values, now is the time to start the conversation.
The future of automation technology and the customer experience
It’s the question we’ve all asked: where will it all end?
Keith thinks it’s “going to be scary.” You can’t ignore how AI is growing in the world of business and marketing. It is constantly learning and responding to our behavior in real time. There was a time when AI in business was a new thing. Today, it is an expected task.
Compare and contrast machine learning are being used to track consumer behavior and predict the type of goods and services they want. Keith cites three examples of similar systems used in the systems he receives.
He discusses how streaming services use AI to suggest TV shows he’ll enjoy based on his viewing history. He also appreciates when airlines send him automated messages to update him on changes to his flight as he travels in real time. Even a digital heater learns the right temperature to change when you are at home or when the weather changes and matches the job.
According to Keith, the future of sales and marketing is what happens. Customers appreciate the experience when they can pick up where they left off. Nothing is more frustrating than doing an entire engagement and then starting over. The ease of restarting, regardless of the ways in which these events began, will change the game.
Streamlining analytics, automation, and customer experience
So where do we go from here?
With all things considered, automation can be an exciting opportunity and a daunting task for companies looking to start. Achieving this is all about transparency and customer protection.
“Stay true to your principles and values. You may need to write to them again if you don’t think you can deliver on the promise of some of your declared love for the client. ”
CMO at Alteryx
Many companies talk about how their work is always putting the customer first. But, let’s be honest, that’s not always possible when it comes to business. All is not lost if you can’t stay committed to your original work. This is where transparency comes in. Today, customers value transparency.
consumers say that corporate transparency affects their purchasing decisions.
This transparency comes from using automation in customer experience and how to use it effectively.
Honesty is the best policy
Customers want companies to be transparent about what they are paying for and why when it comes to data. Giving consumers that loyalty priority also gives them the power to decide what their comfort level looks like with AI.
The best way to improve the system and the customer experience is to let the customer experience it. Being open to feedback opens up opportunities to change as you go.