The robots are here. Machine learning and predictive analytics are transforming every industry, creating new opportunities–and disrupting old models–faster than you can say “S-Curve.” In more instances than not, the decisions we make as consumers are “nudged” for us, by algorithms and targeted communication technologies. What if we could talk back?
Enter, chatbots–the next wave of human-AI interaction. The evolution of “conversational commerce” will open many avenues for transforming consumer relationships–but they must be designed with caution and scientific expertise. And, just like ecommerce opened up a new frontier for presenting information to people, conversational commerce will bring new opportunities to test out framing and choice architectures to nudge behavior. Learnings from behavioral science will likely spur the adoption of, and comfort with, this technology, by helping marketers design for how people really behave.
Maritz is leading the transformation of customer service with behavioral science and technology–especially in the domain of consumer loyalty and reward programs. With over 100 million members engaged in our loyalty programs, Maritz knows a little something about creating lasting consumer relationships. Hint: there’s a lot more to it than rewards. However, rewards are one crucial part of the habit loop, as psychologically speaking, they are a mechanism to reinforce desired behavior. When a consumer engages with a brand, a desirable reward can leave that customer with a positive association and an inclination to return.
That’s why there is nothing sadder than points left unredeemed. Check the member accounts of your favorite financial, hospitality, or airline providers. Are you leaving earned points on the table? The average US household belongs to 29 loyalty programs, but is actively engaged in fewer than half of them. Technology helps us address this “engagement cliff.”
For example, Maritz recently conducted a pilot program with HSBC which leveraged AI to accurately predict which rewards would be most appealing to individual customers. In an email test of 75,000 loyalty program customers, we found that 70 percent of those who redeemed points chose the rewards that were suggested by the AI algorithm.
Another partner in the hospitality industry leverages beacon technology, to proactively suggest reward options for their guests, triggered by their geo-location. Imagine sitting pool side and being reminded that you can use points for a bottle of champagne. What’s another room night to a weary business traveler. I’ll take the cocktail!
As AI evolves, chatbots are becoming powerful tools that allow organizations to handle certain frontline interactions on-demand and at scale.