Customer Experience News & Trends

Robo-marketing? It might not be too far off!

In the customer experience realm, robots and artificial intelligence (AI) have a bit of a bad rap, mostly because of things like infamous automated answering services. But with constant improvements in technology, robots and AI have begun making positive strides into the world of marketing.

Though we’ve only scratched the surface of their true potential, here are four areas robots and AI have started to reshape the ways we think about doing business — without causing headaches or taking human jobs:

  1. Promotional events. For years, companies like Heinz and Colgate have used interactive robots to help sell their products. With today’s superior technology, eye-catchers like these have become more affordable — and even rent-able — for things like trade shows and corporate events. Though most are still controlled by a remote operator, the human counterpart is able to communicate through the machine, giving spectators the illusion that they are interacting with a fully independent robot.
  2. Lead generation. A program called Solariat helps businesses generate leads. It works by combing through Twitter posts for some indication of a want or need that one of its clients can potentially fulfill. When it finds one, it responds with a link on behalf of a client. Example: If Solariat is hired by a major car company and someone tweets something like “Car totaled, need new ride,” Solariat might respond with a list of that company’s recent car reviews. What’s even more impressive, Solariat’s links boast a respectable click-through rate of 20% to 30%.
  3. Customer browsing. The iPhone’s Siri is the female-voiced program that helps users find products and services they’re looking for. Capable of understanding a person’s colloquial speech, she responds to questions by conducting quick searches. Example: If you ask where you can order a pizza, she’ll respond with a list of pizza restaurants in your area.
  4. Generating new perks. Hointer, a new clothing retailer, has  streamlined the in-store setup by replicating online shopping — but with the obvious benefit of being able to try things on. To minimize clutter, only one article of each of the store’s available styles is displayed at a time. A robotic system then picks and stocks the store’s inventory, and even helps out the customer. Using the store’s mobile app, customers can select the size and style of the specific items they’re interested in, and then the robotic system will deliver those items to an empty fitting room within a matter of seconds. This novel setup has even spurred quite a bit of free press across the Internet.

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