Early indications of problems within customer chatter, behavior, or even physiological data (e.g., monitoring the sensors in our smart watches) before customers themselves even realize they are experiencing a problem. For example, WeWork, the shared workspace company, collects data on how workers move and act in a workspace, building highly personalized workspaces based on trends in the data. Taking this type of approach to customer care will enable “seamless service,” where companies would be able to identify and address consumer problems when they are still small and scattered, and while only a small number of customers are experiencing problems. Customer healthcare is a pioneer in this area, where using twitter and review sites were shown to predict poor healthcare quality (Greaves et al. 2013), listen to patients to analyze trending terms (Baktha et al. 2017; Padrez et al. 2016), or even predict disease outbreaks (Schmidt 2012).
Companies, wanting to better understand and mimic human interactions, will invest a lot of R&D efforts into developing better Cork Bicycle shop Natural Language Processing, voice and image recognition, emotional analysis, and speech synthesis tools (Sheth 2017). For example, Duplex, Google’s latest AI assistant, can already call services on its own and seamlessly book reservations for their users (Welch 2018). In the future, AI systems will act as human ability augmenters, allowing us to accomplish more, in less time, and better results (Guszcza 2018).
For marketers, this will reduce the need for call centers and agents, reducing points of friction in service and increasing the convenience for customers (Kaplan and Haenlein 2019). However, some raise the question that the increased dependence on automation may result in a loss of compassion and empathy. In a recent study, Force (2018) shows that interacting with brands on social media lowered people’s empathy. In response to such concerns, and to educate and incentivize people to interact with machines in a similar way they do with people, Google programmed their AI assistant to respond in a nicer way if you use a polite, rather than a commanding approach (Kumparak 2018).