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We live in a world where a “digital-first” mentality rules the demand for “I-me-mine” (IM²) in retail customer service.
That’s a theme of my recent viewpoint posted in Retail Touchpoints, which covers optimized customer experiences. In this blog, I outline several key points highlighted in the piece.
To please customers requires artificial intelligent (AI) for self-service blended with intelligent agents (IA) to handle complex issues. Stated another way: AI + IA = IM².
For retailers, they need systems and agents in place to segue from chatbots to video chat—without missing a beat in sales or service.
They have to achieve this seamlessness while modernizing stores and mobilizing online business. By any measure, it’s a Herculean task, driven by escalating expectations and the likes of Amazon.
To succeed, retailers should embrace service automation and cultivate an on-demand workforce of savvy agents. This occurs as several trends continue to reshape the industry, such as mining data intelligence, enhancing chatbot performance and capitalizing on live chat and video chat.
How can a company engage customers if it doesn’t know their shopping habits? This means analyzing data to decipher consumer cycles and buyer preferences. With actionable information in hand, retailers can target advertising and marketing to increase sales. They also can identify routine tasks, which self-service can handle, while directing complex customer interactions to live agents.
Chatbots are becoming more human-like. They gain ground as development costs drop and acceptance increases as bots become preferred communications for WhatsApp and others. AI fuels the desire for “conversational commerce.” Even with the latest advances, technology only goes so far. Programmed responses can fall short of agent know-how and workarounds when things go sideways.
Technology has raised the stakes at both ends of end-to-end. Artificial intelligence ups the ante, requiring smart agents for smooth interactions, from high tech to high touch. Omnichannel service takes integrated customer relationship management. By complementing each other, AI and IA elevate IM²-level service and experiences—self-serve and agent-enabled.
To read the entire viewpoint, please go to “Achieving The Right Balance In Retail – High Tech And Human Touch.”