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Most leaders today don't need convincing about the power of artificial intelligence (AI). They can justify the investment—both in time and resources—under the promise of efficient and personalized interactions at every step of the customer journey. 

The hangup is not the adoption of AI solutions but the steps thereafter, specifically, how to actually use AI to improve the customer experience.

We get your desire to outsource some of the heavy lifting; improving the customer experience is constant work. AI processes that are implemented intentionally can alleviate the burden placed on your team to continually learn and evolve—two things now required of organizations that hope to serve customers well and to their expectations.

artificial intelligence and the customer experience


Those Who Personalize the Experience Win

Companies across all industries are putting personalization at the center of their experiential strategies. It's what modern-day guests expect from their brands. Therefore, organizations that offer hyper-personalized customer experiences at every touch point win.

Your competitive advantage will be your ability to capture and analyze customer data at scale and then use it to understand, shape, and customize the customer journey. Enter AI.

Using AI, your teams could go from offering good experiences to delightfully memorable ones they tell their friends about. For example:

  • Thanking your regular guests for their loyalty via email is a nice touch, but offering fans who attend multiple games or events personalized rewards like special access to games, parking, or merchandise keeps them coming back again and again.
  • Addressing a hotel guest by name shows you care, but knowing their preferred room type or their favorite cuisine helps you make their stay even more memorable.
  • Designing presentations based on visitor feedback is smart for generating interest, but leveraging a mobile app that allows guests to ask questions on their phones and send them to the speaker in real time ensures they get what they came for.

Your organization's transformation to thoughtfully designed experiences requires shifting how you view and interact with guests. It requires you to deeply understand their needs and wants, and to tailor your offerings accordingly.

The devil is in the details—or, more accurately, in the data.

AI and the Power of Data

Data is everywhere. When your visitors make a reservation, buy a ticket, or order a coffee, you uncover vital information. At its core, AI and machine learning algorithms intelligently process and interpret vast quantities of data to uncover patterns. When applied to the customer, you can utilize these learnings to anticipate and cater to customer needs, offering a higher degree of personalization.

For example, many organizations leverage AI chatbots to help alleviate the demand placed on their customer service teams. AI-powered chatbots can answer basic questions and suggest help center articles or resources customers can use to solve problems independently—even outside business hours.

Beyond bots, the possibilities for incorporating AI into your service principles are endless:

  • You can leverage visitor data to predict peak times and manage crowds more effectively, thereby enhancing the visitor experience.
  • You can leverage automation to schedule sending feedback requests after a customer visits and then allow it to analyze the responses.
  • You can add it to your marketing tech stack to deliver more personalized communications to subscribers based on historical engagement.
  • You can use it to track visit history, spend amounts, and more, which helps inform your marketing efforts.

Think Big, Start Small

When brainstorming how to incorporate AI into your processes, it's important that you not alienate the humans behind the tech. Machines only go so far, and intentional experiences will always require a human touch.

Allow machines to do what they do best: quickly sifting through gigabytes of information to recommend action. Then, allow humans to do what they do best: using intuition and judgment to act appropriately.

Brainstorm and visualize on a grand scale, but start slowly. A great first step is to involve teams across the business, from marketing to operations to technology to engineering. Ask them to identify a few specific experiences (or processes) that could be better shaped by AI and a deep customer viewpoint. 

Bandwidth and resources aside, you can, at minimum, build a tech roadmap that uses data to inform specific, customer-driven use cases.

Artificial Intelligence isn't a fad that will die down any time soon. If anything, it's just getting started. I think this is a very good thing, as leaders who align their teams on a strategy for leveraging technology will be better positioned to adapt over time and ultimately build deeper, more enduring loyalty.

So tell us, how is your organization embracing AI?


Want to be more EFFECTIVE? Follow us on the journey:

Mike Donnelly is a recognized expert, keynote speaker, facilitator and consultant in customer service and leadership development. Leveraging 20+ years of experience from The Walt Disney Company, he and his team help destination location clients and clients in various customer-facing industries create customer loyalty to achieve positive business results. Learn more at


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