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How to Supercharge Customer Service with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may seem like a futuristic concept, but its uses are spreading like wildfire. Garnering worldwide momentum and adoption, AI is on the path to becoming the new electricity – an innovation that customer service teams need and can’t operate without.

From transforming customer engagement to hitting targeted business goals, AI is proving it’s not the technology of the future but rather the technology of today. As our world continues to be engrossed in the exponential gains it will deliver, learn how your business can amplify customer service by leveraging AI in a way that makes the lives of consumers and employees better.

AI chatbot

Creates differentiated and proactive customer experiences

AI helps customer service teams further distinguish themselves from competitors in today’s highly-saturated marketplace by leveraging new customer data to deliver more personalized customer interactions. AI-fueled technology can fluently translate the information from various channels while determining patterns in customer behaviors to further transform customer service operations.

With this knowledge, AI holds the power to push out more productive conversations as well as anticipate needs based on context, preference and prior queries. As organizations calculate more data on customers, predictive accuracy will increase and deliver proactive customer service that anticipates and acts before an issue arises.

Provides “always-on” service

As the Internet continues to enable instant gratification, customers want service on their terms and issues resolved quickly no matter the circumstance. With automated customer service, businesses won’t be constrained by time zones or public holidays, giving organizations the ability to deliver always-on customer service to resolve issues as soon as they arise. This can greatly influence customer satisfaction as well as highlight a company’s commitment to its customers.

Delivers smarter operations

While AI is not the sole driver of customer service, it is the fuel that takes contact centers to the next level by streamlining inquiries and capturing resolutions. By extracting useful information from voice and digital conversations, images and machine-to-machine communications, AI can quickly predict trends and customer sentiment that may affect retention and loyalty. AI can also intelligently optimize resources to provide on-demand service, schedule maintenance appointments, push fixes to connected devices, and make field operations more efficient.

Real-time training

According to Accenture, a call center manager can spend an average of 53 percent of their time during the week focused on administrative tasks, drastically reducing the time they can work developing agents. AI can streamline the information-gathering process to provide real-time, in-line updates for supervisors that in turn serves as real-time, in-line training for agents. With AI monitoring call center systems, supervisors can receive at-a-glance coaching objectives based on agent performance and tools for review and feedback directly.

To impact agents, supervisors can push appropriate training modules to their agents’ interface, and these modules will be relevant to supervisor feedback based on AI-provided insights. The cycle of monitoring calls, training agents and improving for the next call is quicker and more insightful because of the AI’s ability to gather and aggregate data.

Generates more jobs, supports better human interaction

According to Forrester, nearly 40 percent of contact center decision makers are exploring using AI technologies to differentiate their service, adding to the theory that AI will take away human-powered jobs. However, customer service experts also report that chatbots are only able to resolve 10 to 35 percent of customer inquiries without a human touch.

Since AI takes over routine tasks like collecting and reporting, customer service teams will seek out ways to reskill agents rather than replacing them with AI. With new skills in their back pocket, agents will be better equipped to handle interactions that require more complex insight and analysis, delivering faster and more effective customer experiences.

Final thoughts

AI is a game-changing solution for customer experience (CX), holding the key to greater customer insights and enabling real-time decision making. While you may be eager to start leveraging AI, take a step back and prepare yourself for the task ahead by first following these tips:

  • Determine readiness: Begin by assessing your organization’s readiness for AI to ensure your insights-driven company has the time and resources to make the transformation.
  • Vendor up: Don’t try assembling the building blocks of AI. Seek out vendors with AI-infused customer service solutions to incorporate into your own infrastructure.
  • Find the right technology: The sophistication of AI is increasing exponentially, and techniques are in play today that didn’t exist a few months ago. It’s essential to make the right choices regarding technology, so select a solution that can keep pace with a rapid rate of change.
  • Pinpoint small wins: It’s impossible to make all processes more intelligent simultaneously, so identify a set of key processes that matter most to your customers. Use it as proof points when measuring results and success.
  • Staff up: Hire the right staff members to help with the implementation of this process.