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Artificial Intelligence: The Customer Sets the Tone

  • Tabea Hayer

Hardly any other topic polarizes the digital world as much as artificial intelligence (AI). For some, it is a curse in the sense that it is likely to replace humans completely at some point. For others, it cannot go fast enough to implement topics such as "Machine Learning" and "Deep Learning" and develop further steps on the way to an intelligent future. The linchpin of the whole issue is the consumer himself, who sets the tone in the adaptation of new technologies.

Putting the Customer in the centre

Actually, the customers are always at the heart of what a company does. It is about knowing their needs, understanding their buying behavior and ultimately ensuring their long-term satisfaction. Consequently, the introduction of new technologies, such as AI, is always a balancing act between customers who do not stop at innovation and those who feel insecure about new products and avoid them. Basically, however, the majority of customers find themselves between these two poles.

The 5 Types of Customers

In principle, customers can be categorized into five different types:

  • Innovator: Always tests new technologies first (even before others use them)

  • Former entrepreneur: Is usually among the first users of new technologies

  • Early majority: Would like to be among the first users, but waits until the new technology has proved to be "mature

  • Late majority: Sceptical of new technologies, only uses them once the "new" has established itself

  • Stragglers: Only uses new technologies when there is no other way

New concepts should always be target group and value-oriented and should be provided with a clear added value for the customer. This is especially true when using AI. In addition, the gap between innovators and laggards must be narrowed. The latter group of people is given special support here, and must be given a great deal of transparency throughout the process of introducing AI in order to give them a feeling of trust and security.

The Ambivalent Customer

Basically, the customer reacts with scepticism, especially in the case of negative associations regarding the violation of privacy, self-determination or impersonal contact with machines instead of people. A paradox of this topic is that 58% of customers are reluctant to disclose their data, but 88% of them provide their e-mail address online, 84% of them sometimes provide their name and 70% of them provide their birthday from time to time.

The ambivalence of the customer continues: because, on the other hand, if, for example, everyday life is made easier by various devices, the focus is not on scepticism, but on the added value of making things easier for the customer himself. The desire for data to be tailored to the individual customer also collides with the unacceptance of data transfer.

Ultimately, the more the benefits and added value for the customer are visible, the more open and accepted new digitization topics become. Consequently, companies should pay the greatest attention to gaining and retaining the trust of the consumer.

AI-Supported Applications - From Dream to Reality

In the ECC Study 2019, you can read in detail that consumers do see advantages in AI applications, as long as this results in convenience benefits. This is because the opportunities of using AI clearly outweigh the risks, provided they have added value. Companies are now called upon to seize these opportunities, develop use cases and always keep an eye on one thing: Putting focus on the customer.

Download the complete ECC Study now

As Unic is an official partner of the ECC Study 2019, you will receive it free of charge. You can look forward to answers to the questions «What is behind artificial intelligence and where do we stand?» or «Where do companies see the potential and challenges of using AI?».

Click here to download the study «Artificial Intelligence» (Only available in German)

Our experts will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Many thanks to the ECC for providing this study.

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