How to Use AI in Customer Service for a Better Experience
How to Use AI in Customer Service for a Better Experience
We’ve all dealt with it before in customer service before. You fill out a contact form, or you send an email to support, or you hop on the phone to relay an issue you’re facing with a product or service. Then… you wait. Or, you get to an automated voice system that wants you to choose a number from their menu, but nothing in the menu quite fits your inquiry, so… you wait. By the time you get a hold of someone, whether over email or the phone, you’re already annoyed.
Now, think about how this experience affects your feelings about the brand as a whole. Chances is are, even if the customer service representative was ultimately helpful, you’re not as excited about the brand as you were before this experience.
What if, when you finally get in touch with the customer service representative, the experience is not great? Poor customer service interactions can be inflaming. Oh boy, sometimes you’ll never consider transacting with that company again. This scenario can be detrimental to a brand.
It’s well known that today’s customers are experience-focused. You may sell a great product or service, but if you have mediocre customer service, you’re not going to get very far. And, even if you have a rockstar customer service team, they can’t always be available to your customers and potential customers.
AI in Customer Service
In steps artificial intelligence (AI). AI can fill many of the gaps and pain points present in the customer experience with customer service. AI can also solve a lot of pain customer service representatives themselves feel and free them up to focus on the most high-value interactions and objectives.
On top of all this, AI can give companies rich insights into their customer service representatives’ interactions so they can know what’s working and what’s not without manual intervention required.
Let me share with you my top four favorite use cases for AI in customer service.
Top 4 Use Cases for AI in Customer Service
Now I’m going to outline the top four use cases for AI in customer service in order of the customer journey – from finding your website to improved sales calls and the valuable insights AI can provide. Of course, these are by no means the ONLY case studies available. In fact, there are dozens! These are just a few great starting places for businesses like yours.
Chatbot is a household name by this point, but the chatbots of yesterday aren’t nearly as natural, helpful, and beneficial as the chatbots of today. Today’s chatbots have machine learning (ML) built in so that they can learn from previous conversations and continually improve their conversations with customers. This helps the conversation flow become more natural and beneficial to the customer over time.
An intelligent chatbot, or AI assistant, can not only facilitate natural conversation with your buyers and potential buyers, it can also answer their questions and point them toward the resources they need. This not only helps answer customers’ questions immediately (Remember that wait-time pain? It’s gone!) but also takes some of the burden off your customer service representatives.
This way, customer service reps aren’t repeatedly answering the same questions over and over. The chatbot will handle that for them while representatives deal with more complex customer inquiries.
Now, let’s say the conversation is a bit too complex for the chatbot, today’s chatbots can often use intelligent scheduling to make sure buyers get connected with a customer service representative or sales rep that can best suit their needs and availability.
An AI assistant that incorporates intelligent scheduling can mine all customer representatives’ schedules to find some available times to propose to the customer. When the buyer chooses the most convenient time for them to meet, the assistant will send a confirmation with both parties. If either party needs to reschedule, the assistant will find another available representative or times to suggest to the buyer. Finally, if the buyer needs to cancel, the appointment will be removed from the representative’s calendar.
Many AI assistants and advanced chatbots can give the customer service or sales representative conversational context never had before. The AI assistant can give the entire conversation it had with the customer to the representative whom it scheduled a meeting with. This way, the representative gets a wealth of context to have the most relevant conversation possible with the buyer or potential buyer.
No more guess work for the representative and no more repeating the inquiry over and over for the customer. Now, when the representative and customer connect, the representative has all the details they need to provide a high-value conversation to the buyer and get straight into the reason the buyer wanted to chat in the first place – whether solving their problem, answering their questions, or completing a purchase.
Many companies that rely on phone calls to solve customer service issues and answer questions also rely on manual reviews of calls by other workers who have to listen back to random or problematic calls to ensure the representative was compliant. With an AI assistant, you can get so much more insight into these calls and without taking up the valuable time of your human workers.
With conversational intelligence, calls with customers can be analyzed for sentiment (positive and negative) and analyzed for the percent of time a representative talks about specific topics as well as how much the representative talks versus the buyer throughout the call.
This not only helps management ensure representatives are following company policy, but also helps managers extract best practices they can pass on to the entire team.
The Benefits of AI in Customer Service
There are many benefits to leveraging AI in customer service (and I’m going to list a few of them for you here) but the biggest benefit of all is AI’s ability to help your brand build better customer relationships. Every following benefit is a piece in the puzzle toward this overall goal. As I stated earlier, today’s customers are all about experiences. A customer’s experience with a brand is the make-or-break piece that will have them either be raving fans or go elsewhere.
AI can help your brand differentiate itself from the competition. Here are some of the benefits organizations are reaping after deploying AI for their customer service efforts.
24/7 customer support
I’ve already touched on this one quite a bit, so all I’ll say is: no wait time, frequent questions get answered on the spot, and meetings can be scheduled intelligently.
Customized user experience
From entry through to sale, the customer will get a personalized experience having only highly contextual conversations.
Decreased operational costs
Eliminate manual reviews of support calls.
More productive agents
Let your customer service representatives only focus on high-value objectives, actions, and customer conversations.
Get richer insights into the customer journey from interacting with your site to talking with a representative.
Now that you have a better understanding of how and why you should consider AI in your customer service streams, I want to know…
What use case is calling to you? What do you think would be the barriers for implementing this use case?
Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.
To see how Social27 can help you implement AI for your customer service efforts, reach out to us here!