How can customer intelligence and artificial intelligence be used to build on the experience economy?

Artificial Intelligence 13 July 2018

How can customer intelligence and artificial intelligence be used to build on the experience economy?

At the 54th round table on “Innovation and Cross-Media”, MC Factory gathered together four experts to speak about Customer Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence. Marketing and CRM Directors from IKKS, PSA, Fnac-Darty and Oui SNCF assembled to present their mission statements and their drive towards customer relations.

Before the appearance of digital tools, clothing brand IKKS struggled to control the fluidity of its customer experience across all its sales outlets. Now the fashion brand must immediately set out its customer promise, as Valérie Dassier, the brand’s Marketing and Digital Assistant Director, has highlighted: “the customer promise must be experienced in the same way wherever the customer chooses to go.”

The automobile industry champion, PSA, is striving to create a seamless customer experience, integrating physical and digital services, and even the smart car to generate an omnichannel approach for its savvy customers.

Whilst Fnac-Darty has already set up omnichannel customer relations, 2018 will allow the group to make a decision: should the customer journey be different between its leisure and electrical appliance stores?  Whatever the case may be, the group’s objective is to offer a “total, fluid and pleasant” experience, according to Mélanie Hentgès, Brand Marketing Director at Fnac-Darty. As for Oui SNCF, Pascal Lannoo, Digital Customer Experience Director, has presented the stakes that lie ahead in 2018: “optimise what already exists, design the uses of tomorrow and predict new customer uses.” The company is armed with new technologies able to perform tasks on the same scale as the Artificial Intelligence chatbot.

Though each group has its own concerns, their needs are actually quite similar: all are focused on ensuring a smooth experience for each customer whatever his or her buying journey.

What’s the situation for customer experience in 2018?

If customer experience has reached a state of quasi-maturity as far as consumers are concerned, within businesses, however, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Creating a fluid journey involves training and tools adapted to different roles. For these four companies, this year will see a push towards personalisation and customer intelligence. The time has come to collect and process data so that these journeys can be personalised.

For PSA, data collection is as much digital as it is physical. The group’s conception of customer experience goes through two stages: next best action (monitoring the buying journey and satisfaction surveys) and next best offer (personalised deals with PSA customer retention in mind). The majority of the work is done by the distributor or agent, hence the need to set up training and suitable materials which will be used to monitor changes in habits.

IKKS is changing its customer analysis to move away from the RFMP model (Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value) towards a behavioural model, comprising several pre-developed segments. The latter embodies the omnichannel element since it has to “go quicker than the customer”. The CRM will adapt to the tools used in stores so that teams in the field are able to measure behaviour.

Fnac-Darty is faced with the same battle. Thanks to digital tools making their way into stores, sales teams can analyse consumer behaviour in order to gain specific intelligence about their customers. These results make it possible to get closer to achieving a very specific goal: giving consumers the most personalised customer service possible.

Oui SNCF is presenting a similar strategy in a drive to move away from a service economy to one of experience through conversation. This shift is symbolised by the creation of the conversing chabot, OUIbot.

Why is customer service integrating Artificial Intelligence in 2018?

Oui SNCF uses Artificial Intelligence as part of a predictive marketing approach. Given the numerous changes across the network, Oui SNCF needs to find a solution to give a smooth customer experience in spite of challenges. To do so, the company is exploiting the predictive functionalities of Artificial Intelligence: this technology predicts disruptions, alerts users and sends personalised responses to requests.

IKKS is also embracing this technology for its benchmarking and segmentation work. Eventually, Artificial Intelligence will be used as a decision-making tool.

PSA is now in favour of using AI for predictive marketing and analysis purposes. Thanks to big data compilation and processing, the company is not only able to predict maintenance operations but also to develop personalised product and mobility offers.

Three of these companies are also striving to facilitate dialogues using Artificial Intelligence: IKKS and Oui SNCF using the Chatbot, and Fnac-Darty using voice technology.

Though Customer Intelligence and AI work alongside teams to improve the customer journey, they are not actually replacing them. Boston Consulting Group recently surveyed 105 French business directors to hear what they think about the technology. The findings show that while 71% are satisfied with it, they also feel that the human role in customer relations should remain stable or even increase, in an ever-closer human-machine collaboration to keep consumers happy. So, it begs the question: in an attempt to reinvent the buying process, when can we expect to see a merger between retail and E-commerce?

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