Twilio (credit image/Pixabay/DIY Team)Research from Twilio has found businesses are making good progress on implementing artificial intelligence (AI) to help power customer interactions. However, the research found both a lack of customer data, as well as transparency in how they are using that data, to be significant challenges. Twilio is a customer engagement platform.

Twilio’s fifth annual State of Customer Engagement Report reveals the growing importance of brands. It discloses how they use customer data to deliver AI-powered experiences. The report highlights the disconnect between brands and their customers on this transparency. 93% of UK brands say they are transparent with customers about how AI uses data, only 40% of customers agree.

The report, based on a global survey across 18 countries of more than 4,750 B2C executives and 6,300 consumers. The report explores how brands are implementing AI to build better relationships with their customers. Where AI is yielding the most return on investment for brands, and what engagement trends are most important to consumers.

Additional UK consumer insights include:

  • Trust is most effectively maintained by balancing security and customer experience. The report found 64% of UK consumers think protecting data is the top way for brands to earn their trust. 49% of consumers globally would trust a brand more if it disclosed how customer data is used in AI-powered interactions. 40% of businesses, think finding this balance between security and customer experience is the most pressing challenges this year.
  • AI is helping close the customer experience gap, but businesses are still struggling with having the right data in place. 27% of UK businesses say they provide ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ customer engagement. Yet only 9% of UK consumers agree. AI is helping, with almost seven in 10 UK companies already using it to personalise customer experiences. However, 69% of UK brands say inaccurate data or a lack of first-party data are major challenges to understanding customers. Just 19% of businesses globally strongly agree they have a comprehensive profile of their customers.
  • Customers spend more if they have a personalised experience, and likely to go elsewhere if a brand doesn’t offer it. 47% of UK consumers are likely to spend more money with a brand that is personalising engagement. This is compared to those who are not. 45% say they have made a repeat purchase from a company based on the level of personalisation they’ve received. Moreover, 78% gave up on a brand entirely if their experiences aren’t personalised.
(credit image/LinkedIn/Kathryn Murphy)
Kathryn Murphy, SVP Product at Twilio.

Customers today expect personalised experiences and want to understand how businesses use their data to shape those experiences,” said Kathryn Murphy, SVP Product at Twilio. “It’s imperative for brands to be clear about how they use AI, ensuring that they balance how they deploy it with equally robust measures to protect customer privacy. Transparency is not optional — it’s a critical component of building and maintaining customer trust and loyalty.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for businesses

In the past brands attempted to forge deep and meaningful relationships with their customers, with the intention of converting them to lifelong relationships. Nowadays, relationships with brands and retailers do not have to be lifelong or exclusive to be considered meaningful. For all brands, having engaging digital user experience remains vital, even when that relationship remains sporadic and has only occasional purchases.

In the past, Twilio has produced interesting consumer research. This year’s report is no exception. This year’s research is interesting because it highlights the changing landscape that brands and retailers have to operate. It also emphasises the importance of personalisation in the customer journey. 45% of UK consumers make a repeat purchase with brands that personalise.

Furthermore, almost half think personalised shopping experiences and engagement are the best way brands can earn their loyalty. According to the report, brands have to harness the potential of AI. Enterprises must get deeper insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and needs, allowing them to personalise their offerings and communications accordingly.

 

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