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AI: How Can it Be Used to Help with Customer Service?

6 minute read

July 14, 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not exactly a new concept. The field of studies that created the technology to make AI possible was founded in 1956.

There are plenty of counter-arguments regarding AI, especially when it comes to implementing such technology in fields where flexibility and agility are imperative. One of those fields and areas where a business can see the real benefit of implementing AI options would be the customer service field.

So much so, that a report from ten years ago, created by Gartner, contained the below statement:

"By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human."

Of course, customer service is a complex field. The vast majority is under the impression that something as rigid as data and bots can't provide any flexibility when it comes to customer service.

But is that true? The short answer is that it is not. But what about the long answer? Let's take a look.

AI for Personalization

Calling the customer service line and waiting on hold to be connected to an agent, only to hear that they can't access your information, can be a real hassle.

Businesses need to take note of using AI for personalization to avoid that hassle. And not just when it comes to their marketing tactics and strategies

Using your data for email personalization, landing page creation, and website optimization can be significant. But this is not where personalization ends.

Let's assume that you've created an app or a gaming website, complete with a forum, a blog, and everything in between. And of course, a customer service center, for those times when the FAQ's won't do.

You can take a good look at your data and make use of the most common questions asked in your community. This example of data will allow you to study your users' behavior and figure out the problems you haven't somehow covered yet.

Your second step could be the creation of a chatbot. "Feed" it the data you've gathered. Create a different "FAQ" section. That one will cover your product's most common misconceptions that stem from your forum or your social media marketing pages.

That way, you allow your agents to save time, energy, and resources for the more significant problems that data cannot solve—some things need more personal contact to be addressed.

By gathering data through your community software platform, email marketing platform, and website, you can not only train your AI bots, but you can also train your agents to address the problems that cannot be solved by AI technology.

Which is what personalized customer experience is all about.

webinar-Community and AI How Not To Build Skynet

Self-Service First

Self-service is not necessarily a bad thing—in fact, studies show that your customers prefer to serve themselves. Self-service helps the customer quickly understand what exactly went wrong and whether or not contacting support is mandatory in their case.

Self-service is essential, as most people need to create their own solutions to a problem. A chatbot that has all the right data can point customers in the right direction.

The most crucial benefit of self-service is that it doesn't keep the prospects waiting. 

So, unlike a customer service agent, who has a queue of customers to assist, AI technology can be used on chatbots to reduce waiting times and provide a quicker solution to a customer's query.

Reduced waiting times can increase customer satisfaction.

And these facts can lead here:

Facts on self-service

Now, let me circle back to personalization.

You already know that it's something any business needs to have. It's a brilliant way to turn your endeavor into a success story. And it plays a crucial role when it comes to your customer's experience.

AI technology, when used on a customer service basis, can turn your customer's experience around. Through data analysis and implementation, brands of all kinds can create chatbots that will provide personalized solutions.

And by solutions, I mean products, services, recommendations. Your chatbot can quickly become a prospect's consultant that offers tailor-made recommendations based on your prospects' and customers' needs, wants, and overall customer profile.

AI vs. Human

Chatbots, and AI technology as a whole, can handle plenty of tasks all at once, creating a stronger bond between prospects and brands.

A chatbot can perform one task while "servicing" X prospect and a completely different job while "servicing" Y prospect.

Handling many different tasks and keeping nobody waiting is one of the many pros of implementing AI technology in customer service and support. But it's not the only pro.

If we embark on the "AI vs. Human" train of thought, we'll see that AI isn't harmful. On the contrary.

As I mentioned before, chatbots can collect data to help customer support agents in the long run. Not to mention that brands can run a 24/7 customer support scheme by using chatbots, seeing as most customer queries can be resolved through the use of AI.

AI-powered chatbots can identify and handle the "easy" tasks. Having a chatbot deal with "front-line" queries allows agents to tackle any complex issues a prospect or customer may have.

That way, customers and prospects can get all the information they need. On the other hand, customer support agents can get additional data to tackle the issue at hand.

Another benefit of using chatbots and AI is the following:

If the issue is unresolved through a chatbot, it can be programmed to redirect the query to a customer service agent with all the relevant information already provided. This saves the agent time by not having to ask the basic questions, as they can just review the chat log. Additionally, by reducing an agent's workload, companies can ensure their staff will always be available.

That type of availability will inevitably increase customer satisfaction, primarily if the chatbot's data is used through the pain points of a customer's journey.

For example, a chatbot can see whether a customer is eligible, say, for a loyalty program. However, if the customer's query is "Why haven't I received my loyalty card yet?" a chatbot can only do so much.

This would be the time for a customer support agent to take over. And again, by having the data needed information—name, email address, possibly the referral program that enabled the prospect to get a loyalty card in the first place—the agent can resolve the issue in less time.

So, it's safe to say that AI technology can provide significant help to a customer support agent and improve customer service and customer satisfaction as a whole.

The Takeaway

AI technology is one of the most useful things a company can implement for various reasons. 

It can create a tailor-made user experience by analyzing data and offering the right thing at the right time.

Since AI can detect the smallest patterns in data, it can create a hyper-personalized user experience. This experience will match specific and timely needs, rather than make educated guesses. 

Finally, AI and chatbots can help customer service agents by taking on what can be characterized as "front-line queries". That way, customer service agents will be able to save time, energy, and resources, focus on more complex issues, and provide a tailor-made solution.

All thanks to chatbots and AI.

ebook-transforming the customer support journey

 

Customer Service

Téa Liarokapi

Written by Téa Liarokapi

Téa Liarokapi is a content writer working for email marketing software company Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with.

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