Never in the history of business has humanizing your brand been this important. The events that transpired last year, be it the civil rights protests or the viral outbreak, forced firms to reconsider how they engage customers.
Businesses these days are now vying to be more responsive, helpful and friendly to foster an emotional connection with their clientele. Industry leaders often dub this process as ‘making brands less robotic’.
Ironically, robots could be the perfect tool for humanizing a brand.
How Automation Can Give Brands a Human Touch
Artificial Intelligence has the power to free humans from mundane tasks and allow them to focus on things that require human traits such as empathy, creativity and critical decision-making.
Here are some ways AI enables brands to demonstrate their human side.
1. Delivering More Personal Messages
Making your business more human entails that your messaging needs to be more personal. When customers receive a message that they feel was sent to a million others, they are less likely to care.
Let’s say you’re reaching out to customers by emailing them a discount code for one of your products. Which one of the two emails below is most likely to get a response?
Merry Christmas. Now you can get your favorite pair of jeans for 50% off. Simply use the code below.
Happy Birthday, Mathew!
Now you can get your favorite pair of jeans for 50% off. Simply use the code below.
Notice how both of these are somewhat similar but with one key difference. In the second one, the customer is being addressed directly and being offered a discount code on their birthday. This makes the message somewhat personal.
Of course, the customer knows an algorithm is involved, and the company hasn’t assigned an employee to remember all the customer’s birthdays. But despite being made possible by AI, the message feels personal, and that’s the most important thing.
2. Creating Tailored Website Experience
According to a study from the University of Texas, people love personalized experiences due to two reasons: information overload and desire to control.
The first reason is a bit easier to explain. One of the personalization functions is cutting through the clutter and delivering content that’s only relevant to you. This reduces information overload as customers aren’t bombarded with content that they would have to sort through.
As for the desire to control, having content tailored around their interests gives customers a certain level of authority. While they aren’t entirely in control, the sense of power positively impacts how they perceive your brand.
AI can help websites create a sophisticated and tailored experience based on a visitor’s previous activity. One of the most prominent examples of this is how Netflix customizes pages for subscribers built on their viewing history, location and few other factors.
Machine intelligence compiles information of visitors, divides them into groups and creates different experiences for these groups. As more data is fed into the system, the experience evolves, and this results in web pages that are engaging and dynamic.
3. Assisting Customer Agents With Chatbots
Let’s be honest, chatbots don’t enjoy the best of reputations. They are considered inefficient tools with limited functionality, especially when compared to human agents. However, this is changing fast.
In recent years, chatbot technology has made some serious strides. One can even say that they’ve become more human. This creates a perfect opportunity for businesses not to replace human agents but create an environment where ‘man and machine’ can complement one another.
Like always, the AI here can take care of routine, mundane and simple tasks like responding to basic queries. Meanwhile, human agents can assist with more complex issues. In fields such as healthcare, queries that need an empathetic response could be reserved for human agents.
Blending human skills with chatbot technology can vastly improve customer experience as it would drastically cut waiting times. Those looking for basic knowledge will be answered quickly by bots, while others who need to be talked through a process would be conversing with a qualified customer agent.
4. Gaining Customer Insights from New Channels
Personalized marketing is impossible without having relevant and authentic customer insights. Marketing and data analysis tools powered by AI can help firms gather large amounts of data.
Businesses need this data to be analyzed, and marketing efforts can be steered in the right direction. Without understanding customer needs, it’s impossible to develop long-term solutions and provide them something of value.
Artificial Intelligence has opened new channels of insights. Instead of waiting for visitors to click on the website and monitor their activity, businesses can utilize image recognition software to analyze images posted on social media and identify trends.
Knowing when and where customers use your products breaks new ground when it comes to customer insights. Many firms also utilize eye-tracking tools for video analysis to determine how to catch the customer’s attention.
Let the Robots In
People crave connection with other human beings. Instead of interacting with a corporate identity, they prefer to converse and relate with another person. This creates a dilemma for brands as they have to reach out to the masses and be relatable at the same time.
Fortunately, Artificial Intelligence provides the perfect opportunity for brands to humanize. Whether you’re using an algorithm to create personalized messages or automating mundane tasks, humans are freed for..human things —AI makes the whole process a whole lot easier.
It’s true. Robots are unlikely heroes that will stop your brand from becoming a soulless, monotonous corporate identity. That is if you know how to use them properly.
About the Author: Evelyn Johnson is a full-time cat lady and a part-time blogger. She writes about digital marketing, technology, social issues, and pretty much anything that’s in the now.