Home Artificial Intelligence AI In Customer Service: A Detailed Guide

AI In Customer Service: A Detailed Guide

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It’s no secret that customer service has been a sore spot for many companies. With the advent of new technologies and disruptive marketplaces, customer expectations have changed over time.

Customers now demand more personalization, more transparency and more accountability from both their vendors and themselves. Conversations are expected to be had in real-time with agents who are knowledgeable about your product or services and how to solve both basic and complicated issues relating to your business.

As technological tools continue to evolve (and companies continue their quest for AI), the future for customer service looks promising — particularly where artificial intelligence is concerned.

But just how effective is AI in the customer service department? Is it a viable strategy to invest in technology and work with AI? Perhaps it’s best to ask some of the smartest minds in the industry.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at where customer service is today (with some strategic recommendations for you), where it’s headed (with predictions of what to expect by way of investment) and why AI is a viable option. We’ll also take a look at some options you might consider — including how AI can be an integral part of your overall customer service strategy.

What Is AI In Customer Service

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Artificial intelligence is definitely something everyone should be aware of. AI is no longer being talked about as a potential, but rather something that companies can, and do, implement on a daily basis.

By 2025, it is believed that the AI market will be worth more than $3.9 billion, and during the next several years, it is anticipated that the artificial intelligence in customer service market will reach $197 million. By 2025, live telephone and internet chats will make up 95% of all client engagements, according to Servion Global Solutions.

AI provides businesses with an opportunity to increase their customer service offering by providing a more customized experience for their customers based on individual preferences and behaviors.

This means the AI in customer service can work to anticipate what each customer might need before they even have the chance to ask for it. The next level of personalization is providing personalized communication based on past interactions between the customer and your business.

This further evolves into a more interactive and natural conversation between the business and its customers, which then leads to a higher level of customer loyalty.

AI is not something that you’re going to see as soon as you purchase a set of software or new device from your vendor. It’s not something that someone will come up to you at an event and start listing benefits of before they leave — which some vendors are doing with their high-end solutions.

Customer Engagement Is The Key

According to Gartner, by 2020, 85% of client interactions with the company will be handled by automated systems.

Customers expect to have a great experience with your business, and they’ll appreciate any steps you take to ensure that they get exactly what they need — and that you get what you need out of them.

But don’t just engage them for the sake of engaging them. Engagement without the right front-end tactics will have minimal impact on your bottom line. Luckily, there are certain ways that you can engage your customers while also maximizing your chances of making more money by helping to create a better experience.

Risks Of AI In Customer Service

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The cost of customer satisfaction is a major concern for businesses. customer service representatives are the most common type of customer service agent, but there is a growing trend towards using customer service ai to provide customers with a more efficient and satisfying experience.

By 2020, 78% of brands claim to have already integrated artificial intelligence and virtual reality to better serve their customers.

1. Lack Of Clarity

When we think of AI, our thoughts often turn to Hollywood and science fiction stories. We can become confused as to what is real and what is not — which leads to a lack of clarity in the market.

No one wants anything they’ve invested in or trust without knowing exactly what they’re getting. It’s all about knowing how AI works, how it’ll benefit you in all areas of your life and knowing exactly how to use it most effectively.

2. Cost/Value Proposition

A mistake companies make is assuming that just because AI is becoming more common place that there will be a direct benefit at the end of their investment. And while the ROI is there, it’s important to remember that AI is a long-term investment, not a short-term one. Businesses need to see value in the long term or they may end up disappointed and opt out.

3. Artificial Intelligence Is Relatively New

While having a technology that incorporates artificial intelligence might seem enticing to a business owner and other stakeholders, not everyone in your company may be able to understand or relate to what it means. It’s important to get people on board with AI so that you can have them involved throughout the process of implementing it for your business.

4. A New Vocabulary

It can be difficult for people from a non-technical background to understand exactly what AI is, or how it can help your business. When you’re searching for an app or service to implement as part of your customer service strategy, it’s important to research which vendors are using AI and how they plan to utilize it.

Make sure you get the details about workflows and processes involved with AI use for each vendor before making a decision on which company will work best for you. Also, make sure you invite those in your company who aren’t technically savvy so they can give you feedback on how the technology works in their line of work and how they might utilize it more effectively.

5. Brand Perception

While no one wants to have negative brand perceptions, it’s important to remember that when people think of a company’s image, they often associate it with the technology and services that the business offers — as well as the people behind them. If your name is associated with AI rather than a person, your brand may not have longevity.

6. Lack Of Understanding Of The Different Types Of AI

The three main types of artificial intelligence are: real-time data analytics, predictive analytics and virtual assistants. Artificial intelligence can be used to augment your customer service across all three of these models.

Decide on a strategy for the type of AI your company plans to use — and then work with a vendor that has the capabilities to provide you with AI that fits your needs.

7. The ROI On AI Isn’t Always Linear Or Clear

Only 27% of consumers worldwide believe AI can provide the same level of service as or better than humans. But according to 38%, AI will soon enhance customer service.

While your company is likely expecting some sort of ROI from their investments in AI, it might not meet your expectations or they might be unclear as to what you should be expecting. Prioritize the things you want most out of AI and then look at vendors who are specializing in that area — and will give you results accordingly.

8. The Long-Term Impact Of AI Is Unknown

While you are likely to know what you will get out of an investment in AI, it’s impossible to be sure about the long-term benefits. It’s impossible for vendors to give you a crystal ball or tell you exactly what will happen when your team begins using an AI program — and this can be a bit unnerving.

You have to take the chance on whether or not it works in your favor or not — but consider the reality that this is a new technology with lots of short-term perks that may end up with very long-term rewards.

Benefits Of AI In Customer Service

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As customer service agents begin to use natural language processing and AI-powered customer service, customer service interactions will become more efficient. Machine learning will allow customer service agents to better understand the needs of customers and provide them with the best possible service.

Consumers throughout the world are reportedly 73% open to firms embracing AI if it makes their lives easier.

The customer experience is the most important part of any business. A great customer service team can resolve customer queries quickly and efficiently, transforming customer service into a positive experience. Customer feedback is essential to understand what needs to be improved.

1. Personalized Customer Service

The accessibility of AI and the ability to automate certain aspects of customer service allows you to offer a more personalized experience for each individual. The more data you have about your customers and their preferred practices, the better equipped you are to provide them with the information they need so that they’re able to get done what they need done in a timely manner.

2. Convenient Customer Service

The whole idea behind AI is convenience — making it easier for both your customers and your employees to find what they need, when they need it. By implementing AI, you can cut down on the amount of time it takes for your customers to get the help they need. And by automating some processes, you can provide faster resolutions for issues that your customers might be having.

3. Enhanced Customer Service

When a business uses artificial intelligence and other technologies to speed up processes and accomplish tasks easier than before — the people who use it will become more efficient at their jobs and more inclined to work better when AI is involved.

When workers are able to shift from non-essential tasks to improve efficiency, they’re becoming more productive in their work and are able to provide better customer care.

4. Automation Creates Less Errors

Because AI gives businesses the ability to speak, act and think like their customers, they can make fewer mistakes when it comes to automation. By creating systems that are responsive to the needs of your customers, you’ll be able to eliminate a large amount of errors and misunderstandings that might have been present otherwise.

5. Greater Customer Loyalty

A hybrid human-bot customer service channel would command a higher price from 43% of millennials.

Artificial intelligence can help your business win over new customers by providing them with a more personable and convenient service experience during their interactions with your business.

Your customers will come to recognize your AI and vote with their feet — or at least with the website they use to check you out. They’ll be inclined to work with your company because they’re able to have a better experience and feel that they’ve earned their loyalty.

6. Improved Support For Existing Customers

AI is great for helping you develop new policies and procedures that can serve as guides for your employees in addressing customer concerns and issues. By augmenting the interactions of your employees, you will be able to improve the quality of support you offer, which will ultimately lead to greater loyalty among existing customers.

7. Scalability In Customer Interactions

You’ll be able to scale the amount of AI that you have to work with. Once you’ve built your presence in a certain area, you can expand it by adding more agents or by adding more AI capabilities to your business. It will help you provide better support to your customers no matter how large your team grows.

8. The Power Of Prediction

AI will help businesses provide their customers with predictions about what could happen because of their interactions with the business. It will tell you where the best customers are likely to be and how you can gauge the likelihood of those customers being happy or unhappy. It’s a chance for businesses to improve their engagement and satisfaction among their customers.

Final Note

With the use of AI, businesses are able to automate certain tasks that previously required a fair amount of human interaction. While some AI is already being used by companies such as Uber and Starbucks, the use of these advanced technology tools are still relatively new and in their infancy — and it’s going to take a while before we see them take over completely.

Today’s AI has to be able to calculate the probability of what’s most likely to happen based on previous interactions with customers in addition to completing a certain action or task.

For example, AI can predict that a customer will likely buy a product when they’re offered a discount for taking a survey. This might be overwhelming for customers to take in, but this is where AI will certainly come in handy in the near future.

It’s all about building trust — which means that your company needs to start with real human interaction before you move on to using technology as its enhanced extension. AI programs are not foolproof — yet. They tend to make some mistakes, and they’re sometimes unable to react quickly enough to solve certain problems and make decisions on their own.

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Priyanshi Sharma