Use AI to delight your customers

Published December 7, 2018

Back to AI basics

What exactly is AI again, anyway? Originally, back in the 50s, the fathers of artificial intelligence, Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy, described AI as any task performed by a program or a machine that we would say would ordinarily take human intelligence to accomplish. Which is quite simplistic. As a result fierce debates continue over what makes something truly AI.

Many people still think of AI as a human-like entity, a robot – but  this is only one manifestation of AI. For the purposes of this article about AI and the consumer and how AI could benefit your business – we thought it would be useful to compare the way AI is used in the games industry to see what might be learned for non-game type products and services.

What games can teach us about better business

In video games the role of AI is to provide the competition; a challenge. The intelligence of AI allows for the competition to be suited to the player.  AI learns how you play and then updates its overall system so that everyone regardless of skill-set receives an appropriate challenge. For example, you’re racing in Gran Turismo and you’re about to cross the finish line first when suddenly a car that has been in your wing mirror the whole way round, pips you at the post.

That car drove you to do better all the way round, kept your adrenaline going, then beat you just as you were about to claim victory. So you try again, because you so nearly won. If there was repeatedly no challenge, you’d give it up. Those first few levels in candy crush? That’s AI trying to figure out what kind of player you are. AI is excellent at engagement and retention generation.

Aim for delight 

The other thing that AI is there to do in games is to deliver delight to the player. Game makers use AI to make people smile because smiling means fun which means engagement and a desire to continue: retention, again. By providing thrilling motivation along with just enough of a challenge and adding delight in the feelings generated by the look and sound and response of the game – gamemakers use AI to great advantage.

If you can’t find the fun neither can your customers

There is much talk about gamification in a lot of businesses, especially those introducing technology, or those based on technology of some kind. And there’s a lot to be said for having gamification weave a thread through your offering. Whether it be within the functionality of your customer service ‘chatbot’, your website UX, or the motivating of users or customers from one point of achievement or sale to the next, gamification can bring both retention and delight to customer experience of your brand. Add to that AIs ability to motivate and provide just the right sort of challenge – and you have built an ecosystem that customers love to be in and feel fulfilled by.

Given that Millennials, or Generation Y, will account for 75% of the workforce by 2025 – it’s worth getting your gamification on early. This generation and the ones to come live in a gamified reality – and are discerning when it comes to being delighted. We love working with clients to get to the fun heart of their enterprise – whatever it may be, there is always space for introducing play.