Our experience as a consumer remains a fundamentally human one, so how do we ensure that the technology we’re implementing in our businesses has the customer at its core? The integration of high-tech developments, seamless design and the human touch is the middle ground many companies are trying to reach to ultimately improve the customer experience.
We asked the experts in the field of hyper-personalised marketing technology about how this is becoming a central part of implementing business effectively, and how AI will soon become a key part of this in the future.
When it comes to international money transfers for example, there’s a natural apprehensiveness about the process, particularly when transferring large sums of money for an important cause like buying a house or sending a child to school. It’s important then, that a business has the capability to guide its customers through the process and ensure that they’re in the right hands.
It’s also about marrying this human touch with automation so that the customers’ needs are being met at the right time.
Improving the experience with technology
Businesses are increasingly using machine learning and AI to assist with anything from communication to administration processes. This provides the ability to anticipate what the customer needs, and it also allows more energy to be put into addressing larger problems with automation of the more menial jobs. Allowing customer service agents to address complex, human-centric issues and provide more values-based and higher-level interactions.
The way marketing technology has drastically improved over the last 5 years is also indicative of how many different departments are moving towards eventually adopting AI. It’s no longer a space dominated by tech-heads. The integration of automated yet hyper-personalised marketing capabilities designed to understand behaviours for example, is a huge, unexplored sector.
“There’s so much emotion and aspirational elements to why people are moving money overseas”
CMO at OFX Rebecca explains why personalised technology is so important.
Marrying technology and humanity
OFX has been on an 18 month journey to adopt these strategies and build greater capabilities to optimise the customer experience and meet their needs more effectively. The role of transferring money is more than following regulations and compliance measures, there also needs to be an understanding about the people behind the transfers.
“What I’ve learned since being here is that there’s so much emotion, and exciting and aspirational elements to why people are moving money overseas. For me it was about how we can embrace that and be much more human in the communications, but also contextual,” Chief Marketing Officer at OFX Rebecca Shears says.
OFX is currently using ‘human intelligence’ and analytics to understand customer behaviour and timing, and by defining that logic it can deliver a better customer journey. Rather than sending communications constantly and with no direction, the focus is on making sure that the communications are relevant to the right person, when they have a need.
“Our plan has never been to automate everything, the technology looks to scan and automate where we understand that it can add value to the customer,” Rebecca explains.
“What we’ve worked really hard to do is to understand how that technology and automation work hand in hand with outbound calling and checking in on customers.”
What can businesses do to adapt?
Context can really help to understand when a customer might have a need coming up, and how a company can assist with that to ensure a seamless experience. Michael Joo, General Manager at Datarati, a customer experience and journey agency and partner of OFX, explains how many businesses are often not focussed on the right perspective when it comes to customer experience.
“Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of organisations now that, when you design and look at journeys and automations and experiences, if you actually deep-dive into it, they’re not focussing on the customer and what they want and need. They focus more on the company and what will drive revenue or help to expand into another market, instead of that customer-centric focus.”
Michael also explains that for a new company to be able to adapt to the changing landscape, and to really be ready for the growth of AI is to build ‘clean’ data infrastructure and to make sure that everything is connected to customer experience. Otherwise these technologies will always require band-aid solutions, which ultimately uses more resources than it is saving.
“AI requires a lot of data, so it can learn through that data and figure out the best possibility – it’s a mathematical game at the end of the day,” says Michael.
“If you think about the data we have, and everyone has a lot of data, but it’s not clean and it’s all broken. Until organisations clean up their infrastructure and their data, none of this will ever work, not correctly.”
Will AI ever replace the human experience?
The reality is that AI is more than just a tool to make people’s lives easier through automation. It’s also likely not trying to steal people’s jobs and take over the world.
For many companies, AI can take an enormous amount of data and detect trends and patterns – a job typically reserved for data scientists. In this instance, rather than being a threat, data scientists have the opportunity for more collaboration across departments.
The role of AI is ultimately still creating jobs, think ‘conversation architect’ for example, and creating more high-level work for people to engage with in those jobs.
“There’s a misconception that automation requires less people, it actually requires more,” Michael says. “Right now, AI requires humans to teach it, and it will for a long time. AI will always require human intervention.”
IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.