For retail organizations, AI is increasingly going from nice-to-have to necessity for higher sales and bigger bottom lines. Join this upcoming VB Live event to learn how AI can turn best-guess calculations into data-driven predictions, uncover new customers, and more.
With digital so pervasive, brands are a fingertip away from their customers, says Rob Roy, chief digital officer at Sprint. So the question becomes how to leverage technology to create better experiences across non-traditional digital areas such as retail, call centers, and even off-site strategies — and that has meant turning to innovative new strategies.
‘It’s about leveraging AI and machine learning to not only enhance our customers’ experiences, but our associates’ experience as well,” Roy says. “We’re making both of them smarter and simplifying their journeys.”
With AI, the company has been able to uncover the untapped markets that have been ripe for the picking, he says.
“Those markets had found us, and we just didn’t know it,” Roy says. “Now we’re able to really correlate big data into one environment, really start to slice and dice and pull out segments that we maybe never necessarily marketed to, but they had a clear affinity to us already.”
AI has also dramatically improved rapid company expansion into areas they previously weren’t able to staff up on. As an example, they just launched their bot on Facebook Messenger to allow customers to reserve appointments at the store.
“To have a bunch of people staff that customer service process is not the right use of our talent,” he says. “And so having that as an automated process is a great way for us to expand out our capabilities, but keep our individuals tasked in a different way.”
As the chatbot continues to learn and enhance its capabilities, they’ve been able to expand the amount of opportunities customers have with it, as well.
They started with the customer care side, as that enabled them to gain information about a customer when they log in and authenticate, as well as understand the types of questions being asked. From a sales perspective, they started to do some simple pathing. For example, a customer wanting to upgrade when they swap their current device for a new phone, or when someone wants to ask simple questions around how much a plan costs, how much a phone costs, and so on.
“We’ve seen that customers that go through the whole bot experience can get their problems solved just as well as if they do it with humans,” Roy says. “We see that from our customer service metrics, and we also see it from the amount of time it takes.”
The bot is backed up by human care representatives who handle more complex questions or take over when the bot needs to hand off. And the experience is as transparent as possible for customers, he adds: customers know they’re chatting with a bot and are told when they’ve reached the upper limits of the bot’s capabilities, and human hand-off is the next step. But they’re not going to stop there, he says, and are committed to teaching their AI bots to be a little bit more complex, to be able to handle two- or three-part questions, credit profiling, credit checks, follow-on questions around down payments, and more — and they’re even looking forward to tomorrow, when smart, connected cities will become the norm.
“There’s a lot in the world that’s possible,” Roy says. “What features, what functions can we bring? There’s going to be a lot of new and interesting things that come up that are going to be exciting.”
To learn more about the capabilities AI can deliver for your customers and your company, why customer experiences need to level up in an increasingly AI-powered world and more, don’t miss this VB Live event!
Don’t miss out!
Attend this webinar and learn:
- How AI helps retailers curate content, offers, and experiences to revolutionize customer acquisition and engagement
- How companies can leverage AI to uncover new markets
- The role of AI in data-powered email marketing (e.g. empowered segmentation), voice, and visual search
- The future of AI in retail: What’s next?
- Rob Roy, Chief Digital Officer, Sprint
- Eugene Feygin, SEO Manager, Sears
- Jaimy Szymanski, Industry Analyst & Founding Partner, Kaleido Insights
- Rachael Brownell, Moderator, VentureBeat
Sponsored by Drift