Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Intelligent Digital Assistants Power an Elevated Customer Experience

Guest Author

Today, the way you handle your customer experience (CX) has a profound impact on customer loyalty and the bottom line.

Small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) need solutions that let them deliver a winning CX, often with limited human capital. Today’s consumers want fluid interactions, whether they’re dealing with your sales, marketing, or customer service teams. They’ve learned to expect fast, efficient, and personalized service from the world’s top brands—and the bar has been raised for every business.

Fast-growing companies are turning to intelligent digital assistants to streamline their CX. Here’s a closer look at how AI-powered digital assistants are improving the small-to-medium business customer experience.

The Digital Assistant Across the CX

An intelligent digital assistant uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, natural language processing, and speech-parsing capabilities to pull relevant data from different systems and offers a speech- or text-based interaction interface to improve your sales, marketing, and customer service. The tool can be used to interact directly with customers, or to save your employees time when they’re on the front line of providing customer experience. Let’s look at the applications of an intelligent digital assistant across the spokes of the customer experience.

Sales: How can an intelligent digital assistant make the life of small business salesperson better? The digital assistant can source information from across a range of systems, from buying history to previous customer service interactions, and inform the sales representative of those details before they go into a sales meeting. Perhaps a customer is behind on their last two or three invoices or they’ve recently had challenges with a major purchase. Armed with information from the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, service history from the Service/Helpdesk system, and other essential data sources, sales reps are empowered with a complete picture of the customer relationship and can have conversations that are targeted, relevant, and more likely to close the deal.

Digital marketing: There are also the marketing applications. Perhaps you launched a new product campaign, and a customer clicked on an email link. Today’s customers can begin looking at products on one device or channel, and then pick up the process on another. A digital assistant can pop up to help a customer, whether they’re looking at a social media feed, your website, or a mobile app. Depending on what the customer is looking at, and accessing information such as their purchase history and how they’ve interacted with marketing campaigns, the digital assistant can make customized recommendations. Not only is this a more personalized and efficient shopping experience, but it offers the ability to weave in upselling in a personalized manner across any channel. Offering this type of experience becomes possible for small-to-medium businesses because it doesn’t rely on precious human capital, it’s easy to ensure consistency across channels, and the digital assistant has instant access to your back-end systems. Or, imagine having a Digital Assistant that can provide you registration support, and then on-site help at an event or a conference with agenda, personalized schedule, directions to lectures, food stand or even the rest rooms. It is like having your own personal concierge to experience a service or an event.

Marketing operations: An intelligent digital assistant can also help your team stay informed and help them make better decisions on a wide range of marketing activities. What’s currently in process? What’s the status of different campaigns? What patterns do the latest analytics show, or what’s the latest budget data? By having real-time access to this information from across different marketing and CRM systems, marketers can make fast decisions that support campaigns that connect with customers and drive conversions.

Customer service: For SMBs where human capital is at a premium, an intelligent digital assistant can also improve customer service. The assistant can answer calls and deflect the majority of routine inquiries. For more complex inquiries, the assistant can provide your agents with more information on what the customer needs and a complete context in a seamless hand-off to provide a better customer experience. They can see the dialogue that’s already taken place, and be more efficient in the time they’re spending with the customer.

Digital Assistant Delivers a Proactive, Omnichannel CX

While the digital assistant comes into play across a range of use cases, it’s also important to recognize how it brings together the customer experience at a higher level. Fast-growing companies often find that human resources are at a premium and saving money is critical. Yet, if you’re cutting corners or failing to deliver on the customer experience at any juncture, you’re risking your customer relationships and the long-term health of your business. By eliminating waits, ineffective conversations, and unhelpful interactions, you begin to increase customer satisfaction levels overall. Your brand is viewed in terms of offering consistent, personalized, and intelligent customer engagement across channels.

The transition from one channel to other is also fluid and seamless. For example, imagine a customer is having a conversation with customer service via Facebook messenger. Perhaps they’re traveling and need to pick up on WhatsApp or by visiting the company’s site. With an intelligent digital assistant, the transition is seamless—because they’re talking to the same digital assistant, just through different channels. You and the customer are both getting consistent information, and you’re maintaining the state of the conversation regardless of the channel. That consistency is key and eliminates common user frustrations while empowering a SMBs employees across departments to deliver to the same high standard CX.

It’s important to note that these conversations aren’t just reactive. An intelligent digital assistant can also be used to support effortless conversations. You can even drive an entire campaign through a digital assistant. For example, a fast-growing company may have limited sales resources, and they can pre-select a group of people based on previous customer data. These customers can be targeted with specific messaging or products based on what they’ve already bought or based on the product they’re researching. Over time, those customized recommendations can add an important layer of personalized engagement with customers—and again, that’s entirely possible with this technology.

For small-to-medium businesses that are developing a roadmap for delivering on their CX, intelligent digital assistants can help. As expectations continue to rise for sales, marketing, and customer service interactions, it’s important that brands of all sizes use the data and tools at their disposal for fast, personalized service. Oracle Digital Assistant enables fast-growing companies to deliver consistent experiences across channels, while empowering their teams to focus on their most important strategic priorities.

Learn more about Oracle Digital Assistant and how it can help your growing business.

Join the live webcast, Oracle’s New AI-Voice for the Enterprise, on July 17th to learn more.

By Tanu Sood, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle

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