There is no denying the fact that the age of the customer is here. You may be in for a surprise when you contact customer service only to be carpet-bombed by a litany of questions about you and the issue you’re facing – as if they don’t know you or anything about the business you’ve done with them. Because when you pick-up your phone and call the customer hotline, you expect a friendly voice – IVR or real – that identifies your number and asks if the call was about a recent purchase or request you made. And you expect a similar experience over all digital touchpoints.
This level of personalization and sophistication is the norm now and the impact it has on customer service is invigorating. However, delivering such experiences is also a challenge for service mavens. This is where AI can help bridge the gap between expectations and reality.
It can not only improve the quality of customer service but also accelerate business outcomes, including improving the bottom line. To achieve this feat, it automates a number of straightforward, mundane tasks that don’t require human interaction.
Organizations Want to Use AI but Don’t Know How
Salesforce’s latest State of Service Report revealed that over half of the service organizations – including 69% teams with excellent CSAT – are diligently looking for ways to embed AI into their operations. However, it all seems to be largely elusive for the service leaders as only 39% of them have a well-laid-out AI strategy.
AI is still a relatively new addition to the customer service toolkit with less than a fourth of organizations having already adopted it. Yet its future seems solid with a projected growth rate standing at a jaw-dropping 143% in less than two years.
Amalgamating AI with Customer Service
AI hasn’t fully emerged with our everyday lives yet, but for digital support leaders, the not-so-distant future presents an array of opportunities to revitalize current strategies and efforts with AI. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can use AI to improve your support offering.
1. Route Cases to the Best Matched Resource
When I’m in a pickle, I would expect the brand to help me immediately. But in case the agent assigned to me lacks the knowledge to handle it, I’ll be furious to say the least. Anyone in my place would feel the same way, wouldn’t they?
Well, AI-assisted routing provides an easy fix. It helps businesses ensure the customer in distress is directed to the support engineer with a skill set that is relevant to the reported issue based on availability. So, it won’t be wrong to say every case reaches someone who, at that point of time, is the best man for the job.
2. Triage Cases Smartly
When a customer is facing a serious problem, say their server just went kaput leaving customers out to dry, it is obvious that the issue cannot wait. And if they realize that they’re ninth in the queue, they cannot feel particularly jolly about it.
First come, first served basis can force the customer to walk away. Here again AI helps prioritize cases for the issues that may be time-sensitive and matter the most to your customers – and hence your organization. The result is fewer service catastrophes and happier customers.
3. Be Proactive with Intelligent Insights
Every second counts in customer service. AI can take charge of analytics to help you with that. It can help managers to identify inefficiencies in the team or processes and work on ironing them out. When agent performance improves, so does the service experience.
For example, it can leverage data to facilitate training and upskill support staff in light of incoming cases. How? Zeroing in on particular products, services, or issues responsible for a lion’s share of the caseload. Then the resources can be trained accordingly to bring down the handling and wait time. This way, your firm can provide remedial action and become synonymous for SLA adherence, not violations.
4. Empower Agents to Become More Productive
As technology evolves, speed increases at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, customer patience continues to roll down the hill. As soon as a ticket or question arises, the company that can provide an effective solution in the shortest possible time often wins. There are two ways AI can help you do that.
- Chatbots: Truly a godsend for customer service! 24/7/365 availability, no fatigue, multi-lingual, ability to hold multiple conversations, blistering fast, and surprisingly accurate. What’s not to like? They take a significant load off your agents’ shoulders which elevates the quality of support. Additionally, it reduces dependance on live agents and reduces operational cost.
- AI-Assisted Responses: Here’s another nifty touch that can lower the turnaround time (TAT). As soon as a new case comes in, AI quickly analyzes and pits it against similar cases from the past and their subsequent responses. It then suggests a relevant response to the agent. This way, AI has your agents’ back too.
AI has unquestionably started taking the reins of the support vertical in enterprises. There is no looking back at traditional ways. For customer-centric organizations, AI is no more an option but a mandate.
There is a clear correlation between service quality and customer experience. As AI continues to slowly seep into service organizations, it is helping support teams work faster and smarter while keeping customers delighted and satisfied.
Want to transform your customer service?
It’s about time you began planning some AI action for your business as well. Check out this ebook to learn how you can improve your contact center quality and productivity.