Image Credit: TibetandTaylor via Creative Commons

Reality Check, Your Customers Probably Don’t Care About AI

Can we just be honest a second, most AI or Machine Learning tools are going to be overkill for most small business. The amount of marketing saying that it’s going to increase ROI and all that, well it’s starting to sound as snake oil as the social media snake oil of 2011.

The only time customers care about AI is when it’s being used against them, for your gain. Back to the creepy line again….

It’s not about VR goggles to view your products (two words: Second Life). It’s not about virtual currency, it’s definitely not about blockchain. It’s not about Hadoop, or Spark, or Kafka or TensorFlow. It’s only about connection and service. Delight your customer and the tools don’t really matter.

Delight 101

It’s easy really, if you are a retailer or ecommerce company, even better. Know your customer’s birthday. Simple.

Step 1 – Once a week, do the birthday run.

Go to your CRM or customer database every Monday morning, first thing, before start of business and find out which customers have their birthday that week. Make a list, save it to Excel…. whatever.

Step 2 – Send them something

Give them a voucher, make sure the barcode or QR code (yeah I know, I said it) is unique to the birthday boy or girl. A 10% off ain’t gonna cut the deal, it’s gotta be real good, a free product, free consulting for an hour or anything else you feel like.

Delivery? Twitter message, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Linkedin, postal service, SMS message? On a cake with those little silver balls….

As long as you can trace back who came back delighted. In fact, you don’t even need the barcode. They’ll be delighted.

Step 3 – Do Nothing else

That’s it. Just do it out of good will, nothing else. I’ve been watching too many Gary Vaynerchuk videos, it’s starting to show, I think that’s a good thing.

The Times You Do Need AI, ML and BigData?

When you have a million customers, forty million transactions and tens of thousands of unique products, that’s when you need those tools (or if you’re making self driving cars, then you definitely need AI/ML). For the rest of us, we can get away with simple databases and CRM’s for the time being.

It’s not difficult, you just have to commit doing it every week.

 

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