Consumer expectations from brands have never been higher. But many companies still struggle to create interactions that pass the test. Diane Burley, head of content and communication, Coveo, discusses how companies can leverage data and AI to create hyper-relevant customer experiences.
When it comes to engaging with brands, consumer expectations have never been higher. Easy, personalized, and unified digital experiences are the new standard, but many companies still struggle to create interactions that pass the test. In fact, in a survey of nearly 150 attendees of the Relevance 360 conference, 40% said they were lagging behind the tech giants, and 30% said their web experiences did not meet visitor expectations.
At that conference, customer experience and marketing experts from Netflix to Humana and Adobe to Informatica came together to discuss how companies can leverage data and AI to create hyper-relevant customer experiences and keep up with digital-native giants.
Here are the top three learnings from the first Relevance 360 conference for leaders in ecommerce, customer service, workplace, and enterprise search:
Relevance Is the New Playing Field
Digital transformation is the buzzword du jour, but the reality is: most digital transformation initiatives fail. Why? Because they lack relevance.
People expect personalized recommendations, but providing this requires companies to transform data into relevant experiences. It is not just knowing what they want â€“ but what they will need next. Almost half (48%) of Relevance 360 companies reported investing in data and analytics solutions in 2021 to make more informed decisions.
Take Amazon and Netflix â€“ they are successful because they tailor every action to their customers’ needs. Netflix knows which show you should watch next, and Amazon knows when it is time to restock your paper towels â€“Â this kind of inherent understanding creates trust and brand loyalty.
In an effort to boost relevance and create deeper customer connections, Informatica chief customer officer, Ansa Sekharan, noted that they aim to make every customer exchange collaborative rather than transactional. â€œMy team’s responsibility is to take [customers] from purchase to value,â€ Sekharan said.
AI Is the Secret Weapon for Experience
The way we consume information and content is rapidly evolving, and, as a result, so are our expectations. People are no longer satisfied with a simple search result when looking for information online. They expect companies to help them find what they are looking forÂ â€“Â even if they do not know what they want yet. It is no surprise that Gartner predicts the world’s ten largest retailers will use AI models as the backbone of product recommendations and searches within the next five years.
For example, Hearts on Fireâ€“a vertically integrated jewelerâ€“uses AI to recreate the intimate shopping experience of buying an engagement ring. This means applying AI across unified data sources.
â€œWe are lucky that we get to be a part of some very special moments in people’s lives. We want to be a part of that experience in a way that does not send them down a path that gets them lost or confused. This is a big purchase, they should feel comfortable doing that,â€ said Artie Sharpe, senior direct of innovation & experience design at Hearts on Fire. By leveraging AI, Hearts on Fire was able to make sure every customer had a seamless experience searching for the right diamond.
Treat Employees as Customers
The way we think about employee experience has taken on new urgency this year. Companies depend on skilled and productive employees to manifest their vision, but the digital workplace is often one of the last areas companies invest in.
Would you expect customers to endure grueling and irrelevant experiences searching for the information they need to do their jobs? Now is the time to respect employees as you would customersÂ â€“ making sure that they have access to relevant content when they need it.
AI-powered search provides a contextually relevant digital experience to every employee, every time, by automatically understanding what the most relevant content is for each employee.
Impatience Is Up
One of the final takeaways from the event was that whether it is COVID, the US Election, mother nature bearing down on us, or just life itself, â…“ of all companies say people’s impatience is up. Providing people â€“ be that person a customer or an employee â€“ with frictionless experiences is key.
How do you know if you succeed? Coveo’s CEO Louis TÃªtu sums it up best, â€œRelevance begins and ends with the ability to engage.â€