“Hey Alexa, what’s the weather looking like for the 4th of July weekend?”

“Ok Google, tell me the closest place to buy hot dogs”

“Siri, how do I set up this BBQ?”

If you’re asking your digital assistant questions like these leading up to the 4th of July, you’re not alone. Like everyone else, even regular Joe’s like you and I rely heavily on technology and we expect to find exactly what we are looking for in the shortest amount of time. My time is precious and I certainly don’t want to spend more time than necessary figuring out where to find hot dogs while everyone is already in the pool. I’m sure you can sympathize! We want answers and we want them now. Anything short of instant gratification leaves us feeling frustrated… but it’s not our fault.

The rise of digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Siri have set the benchmark for digital experiences. Consumers have been conditioned to expect immediate, contextually relevant information, with little to no friction. Even more, we anticipate that our service providers will know what we need next before we even search for it. You know the digital magic that makes suggestions like: “Since you bought hot dogs, you will probably be interested in these hotdog buns as well.” If you’re asking yourself why you’re reading this blog post when you should be fulfilling your patriotic duty by the grill… the answer is simple (it’s a little abstract, but it’s simple nonetheless): it’s Independence Day. The clue here is independence.

We the People Need Better Digital Experiences

Just like your quest for hot dogs, your customers want to get the information they need independently and conveniently. See what I did there? This is not just an excuse to write about hot dogs, I swear. This legitimately reflects the evolution of the consumer landscape. Your customers expect the same degree of relevance and ease of use from your brand as they do with the big shots, and they prefer to self-serve. In fact, according to Zendesk, 91 percent of customers prefer finding information through an online knowledge base if it is tailored to their needs.

No matter your industry, your customers want instant access, without needing to try different keywords, phrases, or employing old school boolean hacks. If your organization’s site search isn’t up to snuff, you’re going to feel it in your company’s coin purse. If your customers need to spend an extra half-hour on the phone with an agent or have to perform multiple searches to find the right answer online, these moments of frustration add up – and lead to your customers opting to try out your competitors next time. Meeting your customer’s needs isn’t enough anymore, you have to exceed them, and the only way to do that is through relevance. Offering relevant, contextual information the moment it’s needed is truly what differentiates a superior online experiences. And the truth is, only relevant encounters drive business.

Machine-Learning: Explained

So how do forward-thinking and innovative companies inject relevance at every touch point in a way that’s scalable and profitable? With the power of machine learning. Machine learning is a hot topic but what exactly is it? The fine folks over at Dzone.com explain it as:

“Machine Learning is a form of Artificial Intelligence that takes a whole bunch of inputs and uses a continually evolving algorithm to figure out what outputs to create from these. The system searches through data, looking for patterns. In a similar way to how a person might take a meme, pick out what’s funny about it, and imitate it in a way that makes sense to their niche, the algorithm doesn’t look to extract data for a general audience to read. It detects the underlying pattern and tweaks a program’s actions accordingly.”

One of the many advantages of machine learning is its ability to automate the analysis and tuning of relevance on your websites, communities and portals. Machine learning, you don’t need a data scientist to understand your customer’s needs and your support agents don’t need to manually find the content that best answers your customer’s question. Simply put, machine learning puts relevance at the fingertips of your customers – automatically.

The Results Are Real

The impact machine learning has on a business’ bottom line is significant. Networking solutions company, Brocade, wanted to strengthen its operational efficiency and enhance its customer experience. The company had a goal of achieving 40 percent case deflection by supporting revenue growth without increasing its support budget. This may sound like a pipe dream but Brocade was able to transform its self-service experience for customers and knowledge workers alike in just 3 months.

Offering a crowd-pleasing, loyalty-building digital customer experience is easier to implement than you think. Coveo’s machine learning and AI-powered search solutions offer a “Google-like” experience and have been made available to fit virtually any company size, or budget; whether you need to up your self-service game on your support site, or your internal intranet is in need of a resurrection.

So, after you’ve found your hot dogs, enjoyed the holiday and find yourself back at your desk, think about your customer expectations and if your digital experience is a mean (read: nice), lean, customer delighting machine.

Enhance your digital experience by capitalizing on the micro-moments of your customer journey with our handy checklist.

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About Isaac Berzins

Isaac is the Social Editor at Coveo. Raised on the red sands of Prince Edward Island, Isaac moved to Montreal, Quebec, in 2011 to cut his teeth in the burgeoning sphere of Social Media Marketing. After working with top-tier brands in the entertainment industry for 5 years, Isaac decided to change gears and focus his talents on the high tech industry.

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