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Chatbots are Amazing, But Stop Relying Only on Them to Improve Your CX

In the world of customer service and support, artificial intelligence is often associated with chatbots. But chatbots aren't the only option for scaling your CX. In fact, they're often just one good solution in a suite of intelligent tools designed to help your customer at each point in their journey.

Artificial intelligence can also work behind the scenes to help employees deliver great customer experiences. With the right approach, AI is an invisible hero, creating delightful, humanized connections between you and your customer.

Here's how you can use emerging AI technology to re-think traditional approaches to CX and put your customer's needs front and center:

1. Identify and measure insights at each point of the customer journey

Customers have high expectations for their engagements with your brand. They expect consistent, excellent customer service at every touchpoint, whether they're browsing the aisles in your brick and mortar location or shopping online.

Before you invest in artificial intelligence for a specific customer touchpoint, take a step back. A holistic view of your customer journey from marketing to sales helps you provide even better CX. Where is the biggest pain point at each moment of your customer's journey? How can technology help at each of those touchpoints?

As you analyze every moment in your customer journey, you'll likely need solutions that go beyond a chatbot. Maybe conversational search can help your customers surface the right product more easily on your website. Maybe an intelligent knowledge base can help agents find the right solution at the right moment during a customer interaction.

Your goal should be to determine the best customer and agent outcomes at each step of the customer journey. Wherever customers and agents are escalating problems and moving to a different channel, you'll find opportunities to ease friction with AI.

2. Transform your UI from an "unassisted" to an "engaged" approach

"Unassisted" approaches to customer-facing UI make customers do all the legwork. For example, a customer might sift through answers on an FAQ page in order to try and find the right answer to their problem. Or they might browse through a list of products or offerings to identify the brand solution that works best for them.

Instead of putting your customers on a pre-defined pathway, listen and engage with their pain points so you can offer better solutions throughout their journey. When you put your customer's goals first, you adopt an "engaged" approach to CX that transforms your interactions with every user.

AI solutions can help you adopt this customer-centric approach. For example, AI-powered search tools understand customer intent and identify the best way to engage your customer. Maybe they just need a simple answer that lives in the help content of your website. Their query might even indicate that an agent can solve the problem more effectively. With one click of a button, they'd be routed to an agent who can help them. That's the power of AI.

3. Leverage AI across your customer journey to delight customers

Adopting technology at key moments in your customer journey improves outcomes for both your customers and your agents. In addition to chatbots, AI can power a robust set of customer- and agent-facing tools, like:

  • Proactive customer outreach uses specific profiles or web signals to engage customers in personalized conversation during pre-sale opportunities.
  • Intent-based channeling allows you to collect information about customer problems and rout customers to the proper agent the first time they request help.
  • AI-powered search makes libraries "findable" for customers, guiding them to the correct solutions.
  • Contextualized journeys leverage personal data for return customers to tailor conversations with agents or chatbots.
  • These tools engage and delight customers, make agent responses more efficient, and humanize your company's CX.

4. Face powerful AI solutions to your customer agents, too

According to a recent study conducted by LogMeIn, only about 40% of an agent's time is spent resolving customer issues. The other 60% of their time is devoted to understanding the nature of a customer's inquiry and searching for relevant customer information in customer databases.

When you face powerful AI solutions to your customer agents, you make agent time more effective by solving for operational inefficiency. AI technology and machine learning make knowledge databases more robust, giving agents the right information at the right time to solve complex customer problems. Bot technology speeds up the collection of basic information, like contact details or the context of an inquiry, so your agents can use interactions with customers to get down to the business of solving problems.

By analyzing your customer journey from an agent support perspective, your brand can find ways to embrace AI technology that helps agents do their jobs even more effectively. When agents get the same powerful AI tools as customers interacting with your brand, you'll improve customer satisfaction, reduce volume for simple requests, and increase customer engagement — all while making your CX more delightful, and more human, than ever. 

Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Journey Mapping, Director