2020 Company Standouts

By Team Session AI on March 6, 2022

This Year’s Leaders in Customer Personalization & Predictive Engagements

While a shift toward personalization and predictive engagements has been dominating for years, COVID-19 accelerated the pace of technological adoption and innovation almost overnight. According to a global survey of executives, in just a few months’ time, COVID-19 accelerated the digitization of their customer service, supply chain interactions, and internal operations by three to four years. Further still, Gartner reported 69% of board of directors accelerated their digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. 

Some organizations have used the challenge at hand as a launching pad for becoming even more digital, engaging, and agile—which is essential both today and for the future. Let’s explore how some of these businesses found success in 2020.

Men’s Wearhouse: Personalized Shopping Experiences

In September 2020, fashion retailer Men’s Wearhouse opened a new, 3,000-square foot concept store in Shenandoah, Texas, featuring interactive technology that creates a more personalized shopping experience. 

While the retailer already offered omnichannel personalized experiences to connect with customers in person and online, the new store offers even more customized service. Customers can use a touch-screen tablet to access a hands-free fitting and measurement experience tailored to their preferences. As they add items to a virtual fitting room, employees are notified of requested selections and bring them to the customer. 

The store also features “The Shirt Shop” modern display wall for easy selections, and a personal shopping area named “The Vault.”  Rather than utilizing a traditional inventory space where associates can pull items, The Vault offers an immersive in-store destination where the customer enjoys a personalized shopping experience with a fashion expert. These offerings provide a frictionless experience between digital and physical shopping journey, and provide customers a unique and personalized retail experience that satisfies their every need.

Hilton Hotels: AI-Enhanced Guest Services

At Hilton Hotels, AI and technology have always been key to guest service—like “Connie”: the first Watson-based hospitality robot that was introduced in 2016. In 2020, Hilton expanded further on AI in China, with its new chatbot, “Xiao Xi.” This bot provides guests with a one-stop source for travel services, like hotel information and local weather, check-ins, smart suggestions and tips, and promotion details. Since its launch in February 2020, Xiao Xi has assisted with 50,000 customer inquiries, resulting in a 94% customer satisfaction rating.

Hilton also offers various digital capabilities, like a remote check-in process and the ability to select a room from a digital floor plan or list from a mobile device, tablet, or computer. It also provides digital keys for touchless room access through the Hilton Honors app, allowing guests to avoid the front desk completely.

Panera Bread: Google-Powered, Customized Ordering

Panera Bread has long been considered a leader in digital and customized food service, and 2020 inspired the fast casual restaurant to make its customer offerings even more personalized and easily accessible. 

Panera recently integrated with Google to make it easier for customers to order food through Google Search, Maps, or Assistant. In Google Search and Maps, consumers can search “Panera near me” and they will be presented with an option to order from a local bakery-cafe. In Google Assistant, they can say “Hey Google, find Panera near me”, where they will be directed to the nearest restaurant to their physical location to place an option for pick-up or delivery. In addition, Panera is integrated with contactless payments such as Google Pay, allowing for a seamless end-to-end ordering experience.

Panera also uses predictive analytics to customize offerings and recommendations based on customer preferences. With data from its app, online orders, in-store purchases, and self-service kiosk, it can compile a clear picture of the customer and note their specific wants and needs—like their favorite items or the time of day they tend to order lunch. With this information, the restaurant can send push notifications or emails to customers offering a deal on their usual “You Pick Two” meal of a salad and soup. With the push of a button in-app or at the in-restaurant kiosk, the customer can place an order for dine-in, rapid pickup, curbside pickup, or delivery. 

Capital One: Customer Assistance and Offers Anywhere, Anytime

Capital One recently invested in their AI and ML efforts by implementing two larger machine learning teams in its credit cards division and at the enterprise level. The company utilizes AI and ML in nearly all areas of the business, including customer service, fraud prevention, internal operations, and more.

For customer interactions and support, Eno is Capital One’s intelligent assistant that helps with fraud alerts, balance inquiries, tracking spend, account monitoring, and other common tasks.  It’s available on customers’ phones, computers, smart watches, and in their emails or text messages. The assistant provides customers 24/7 access to information and helps them maintain their account with ease.

Capital One also uses location-based customer data to push offers to customers shopping at partner retailers. Real-time notifications and offers are delivered within the banking app when a customer is located at one of their 100+ partner venues. These location-based offers incentivize users to purchase goods and services with their Capital One cards at specific stores and restaurants.

Personalized Service Boosts Customers Satisfaction

2020 has been a year of technological innovation for companies and greater digital adoption for customers, with AI and ML, personalization, and predictive engagements playing a critical role in elevating the customer journey. 

Customers today are looking for personalized experiences that makes getting what they need—when they need it—easier and quicker than ever. Contact ZineOne today to discover how our Intelligent Customer Engagement (ICE) platform can help you personalize your customers’ experiences.

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