How does your company stay in lead? Forrester’s new report on 2021 predictions is out and they say that the adoption of CX competencies will enable 25% of brands to achieve statistically significant advances in CX quality. These are 25% of companies that will grow their brand by shifting their thinking. Across the retail landscape from The Atlantic magazine and The Washington Post in media to Amazon in shopping, P&G in consumer goods and almost all luxury brands we find one common factor that has allowed them to succeed and that is the customer experience or “CX”. In this post, we will look at how Visual AI benefits the customer experience and how it helps drive customer choice leading to more optimal outcomes.
Nomura Research Institute has used Philip Kotler’s ideas of customer perceived value to show that without customer experience we are left to battle over the intrinsic value of an item which quickly becomes commoditized as any social value or utility disappears. With manufacturing and supply chain improvements virtually, any physical product (and some services) can be delivered cheaply to your doorstep. The only differentiator for your product becomes your customer’s experiences with your brand. The CX is your brand value.
COVID-19 has accelerated the online shift for every business in the world and like any shift there are winners and losers during change. Forrester has found that 25% of the firms in APAC will suffer a drop in innovation as they have failed to adapt. The companies that have reengaged with the new behavior and consumption patterns of their customers will be those that have embraced their customer preferences and introduced voice-of-the-customer programs. They will be in the top 25% of innovators.
Forrester sees up to 60% of B2B sellers will be enabled by AI and automation tools in 2021. B2C has led the way in CX and B2B is now catching up. What drives the best CX? Visual Search and visually enabled tools have helped companies harness the natural preferences and pathways of the human brain to make customer journeys and experiences more natural and intuitive. Visual AI is the new and exciting technology that demonstrably improves the CX of B2B and B2C and drives the value of products and brands to match expectations. If this is true, how does Visual AI work to make the CX better?
McKinsey has spent a considerable amount of time delving into the motivations behind consumer behavior and McKinsey’s Behavioral Insight Lab has developed the CHOICES framework of behavioral drivers created to help determine relevant interventions to improve customer experience. We will look at each of these in turn and suggest how Visual AI helps improve outcomes.
Context — People gauge information relative to other, mostly implicit benchmarks.
Visual AI can be configured to present consumers with similar items and choices. If you show several items alongside the chosen item, you have created a benchmark and the consumer is then naturally led to make a choice from among the items present. This increases their own sense of control and enthusiasm.
Habit — People often act and judge without deliberation, following habits or mental shortcuts.
As many as 77% of Americans own smartphones and most of us interact with our phones in similar manners, which is primarily visual. Visual AI use the same habits and shortcuts allowing users to have a frictionless experience.
Other people — People are influenced by what other people do, say, and think.
Social influence is a strong factor in many of our actions. With Visual AI you can point, shoot and search for objects valued by your peers and quickly get positive social affirmation for your actions.
Incentives — People respond to “objectively” better offers.
Immediate gratification is what we all crave. By harnessing the computing power of your brain, Visual AI delivers small and continuous stimulus making any experience more exciting.
Congruence — People act to preserve a positive and consistent self-image.
By utilizing the predictive power of Visual Search in AI, even the most demanding of influencers can find and match products that meet their own desires.
Emotions — People are influenced by emotions and the physical state of their bodies.
For many non-CX optimized websites, frequent clicking and back tracking while textually searching for a product leads to frustration. Visual AI can make this a less physical and more intuitive, creating positive emotions for a brand.
Salience — People take in messages that are easier to process and remember.
By using images, consumers can focus on the exact attributes they wish for. Textual search creates another level of abstraction whilst Visual AI is faster and more intuitive.
How do you design this type of an optimal process using Visual AI? New CX-centric companies are being created to help brands. Companies like The CX Academy help consumers understand the process needed to create better journeys of which Visual AI is a part. CX Academy defines customer journeys as “…the sum total of all interactions at every touch-point your customer has with your company” and to improve this journey, you need to ask questions such as:
- What actions happen — What is the customer doing?
- Which touch-points are the customers using?
- What are the common issues and pain points for customers?
- How is the customer feeling at each stage?
For each of these questions, Visual AI solutions provide a simple and convenient method to remove barriers for great customer interactions. If you are looking for increased relevance, even simple steps help. For example, providing a way for your customers to upload and match images visually can power consumer interactions. Solutions can be simple and elegant but powerful. Visual AI helps smooth this journey and if properly implemented can harness consumer behavioral drivers and create greater perceived value for your brand with minimal effort.
Get in touch with our team of experts to find out how you can utilize Visual Search within your business today.