Artificial Intelligence or AI has been the buzzword in the last couple of decades. AI technology is constantly evolving, with better software & tools coming up constantly. There is hardly any sector that AI has not positively impacted.
Manufacturing, logistics, Healthcare, Aviation, Banking, Financial Services, Operations, Human Resource Planning, Marketing, and Customer Service, the list goes on…
We have just seen the tip of the iceberg as far as AI is concerned. The technology is still in its nascent stages and, with increasing investment, is bound to reach great heights in the future. So it comes as no surprise that there are several programming languages in AI development that are gaining ground.
In this blog, you will get to know what AI is and how it work. You will discover, in detail, how AI can strengthen Customer Service effectiveness.
Do I have your attention?
Table of Contents
What is Artificial Intelligence?
So, till the last century, only humans and some animals, birds, were known to have some form of intelligence.
Now, even computer systems, machines & robots have intelligence, which can do complex tasks like calculation, data processing, manufacturing, and recording. This intelligence is referred to as Artificial Intelligence.
Simple, isn’t it?
No, it is not that simple! So, let’s see how it works.
How does AI work?
In general, Artificial Intelligence works by receiving large amounts of data and analyzing it for patterns and correlations. This analysis is used for making decisions whenever the AI system is asked to do so.
For example, a chatbot used on apps/websites for real-time Customer Service can respond to queries based on data fed to it. The chatbot can interact with the customer like a trained executive.
There are two basic types of AI.
Narrow AI: The term itself is self-explanatory; AI, which is meant for a specific purpose, is called Narrow AI. E.g., Self-Driving cars, Natural Language Processing.
General AI: As the name suggests, this AI is not meant for a specific purpose and can be used for diverse things. E.g., Robotic Process Automation.
AI in Customer Service
A chatbot is an example of the use of AI for Customer service effectiveness. A large firm may need hundreds of Customer Care executives to provide effective service to their customers, who can number anywhere from thousands to millions.
However, a single chatbot platform can answer the queries of thousands of customers at the same time, quickly, tirelessly, and effectively!
In Customer Service, AI is being used to serve customers online in real-time. The end result is satisfied customers and cost-cutting for firms. Deploying AI systems is much cheaper than hiring hundreds of Customer Service executives.
AI-based Customer Service frees up time for the executives to focus on more complex tasks.
Let’s have a look at some AI Use Cases in Customer Service to understand its effectiveness.
Use Cases of AI in Customer Service
Use Case#1 Speech Recognition & Analysis
Speech Analytics focuses on the tone & intent of the customers to serve them better. Such tools analyze the customer’s speech to collect relevant data for faster resolution. These AI tools are meant to deliver excellent customer service by providing real-time assistance.
Use Case#2 Contact Routing
You would all have experienced this while trying to connect with Customer Service executives. A software program directs you to the concerned executives based on the nature of your initial interaction with the software program.
This saves a lot of time and money for companies with thousands of customers.
Use Case#3 Customer Journey Analytics
This AI tool analyzes customer behavior since they made their first purchase. This analysis can be used to take the next-best action for that customer. This includes offering discounts or promoting relevant products.
Use Case#4 Natural Language Processing(NLP)
NLP is a branch of AI that makes use of machine learning algorithms to understand human language. NLP has a very wide scope which includes receiving input, processing it, and generating a response.
Use Case#5 Automated Ticket Creation
A software created specifically for Customer Service, generates a ticket with a unique number, which can be used to identify that customer complaint or request. The ticket stores all the details regarding the interaction, including timestamps, customer name, contact details, and employee to whom it has been assigned for resolution.
The ticket is closed only after the customer receives an email regarding the resolution and is satisfied with it. This helps in faster resolution and tracking of customer requests.
So, What do you say? Isn’t AI fascinating…
AI is being increasingly adopted due to the various benefits it provides. Now, let’s have a look at the benefits it provides to the firms who make use of it for Customer Service effectiveness.
Benefits of AI in Customer Service
- Cost Reduction
As we have already discussed, AI can replace hundreds of employees who can hardly attend to 40-50 calls in a day. However, a chatbot can attend to hundreds or even thousands of customers in a single day. Thus, a lot of monetary resources can be saved by employing AI for Customer Service.
- 24X7 Support
As a chatbot can function during odd hours as well without any change in its functioning, they are a better option than humans for round-the-clock Customer Service. AI does not need any breaks or even holidays and can provide support throughout the year.
- Saves Time for Complex Tasks
As AI takes care of routine queries & complaints of customers, executives can focus on other complex tasks that require human intervention. Thus, the use of AI keeps executives ready and energized to reach out to Customers who need to be attended personally.
- Behavioral Insights
AI systems gather data about customers and their interaction with the system. This can be analyzed to find patterns in customer behavior, which can be used to make decisions regarding products, pricing, and promotions.
- Streamline Workflows
A large firm has thousands of customers, and at a time, many of them may need attention for routine queries or for complaint resolution. AI tools like chatbots or IVRS can resolve most of these queries/complaints.
If AI cannot handle the query/complaint, then the tool will forward it to an appropriate department that can resolve it. This saves time, resources and streamlines the work of the company, increasing Customer Service effectiveness.
- Store & Process Large Volumes of Data
The more customers you are having, the more data will be generated, and handling such large amounts of data is humanly impossible. However, AI systems can process it in a matter of seconds.
This analysis can be used for making important decisions regarding products/services and their promotion.
- Employee Performance Tracking
AI tools can keep track of all Customer Service executives and their performance. A detailed report will be generated regarding their activity, the number of calls they have handled, or the number of customers they attended. AI tools will also keep track of handle time for each customer and whether they were satisfied or not satisfied.
Performance Tracking can be very useful in improving Customer Service effectiveness in the long run.
- Better Lead Generation
Especially in the case of eCommerce, AI can help in increasing leads and sales. AI tools can customize suggestions of products based on customer preferences. It can guide the customers to reach the relevant webpage, learn more about the product, and save time.
- Augments Marketing
The marketing department can make use of vast amounts of data that are generated when chatbots or virtual agents interact with customers. This data can be further analyzed and inputs given to the marketing department to plan their campaigns accordingly.
(10) Proactive Customer Service
AI gathers data whenever there is an interaction with the customer, either via the software tool or directly with the Customer Service executive. The volume of data increases with time, and through analysis, it can provide insights, which can be used to get in touch with the customer, even before an issue arises.
Future of AI for Customer Service
Most multinational companies have already invested in Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service. As the technology progresses, we will witness a greater degree of involvement in Customer Service by AI systems.
We will also see virtual Customer Service agents who can speak like humans, interact with customers and resolve their complaints in real-time.
AI has already made inroads into Customer Service and is being utilized extensively to shorten turnaround times. This helps improve overall Customer Service, creating an environment of trust and transparency.
It is still the early days for AI in Customer Service, and we will see a lot more involvement in the coming years. At present, chatbots and software tools are being used to strengthen Customer Service effectiveness.
If you have hundreds of customers and have not incorporated AI in Customer Service, you are at a disadvantage because your competitors are already using it. So, go for Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service!