Customer service has become an important area for businesses that want to stand out in a crowded market. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has brought about a new era of customer service that will change the way businesses interact with their clients.
AI isn’t just something out of science fiction anymore, it’s a real thing that can improve customer service. The way businesses talk to their customers is changing because of AI. It’s being used for everything from chatbots and virtual helpers to data analysis and personalized suggestions.
Knowing how AI can improve your customer service is not only a strategic advantage but also a must for businesses, when customers have high standards and use technology first.
We will look at all the different ways AI is changing customer service, from speeding up responses to making conversations more personal. But first, let’s discuss what AI customer service is all about.
What is AI Customer Service?
AI customer service is simply the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the customer experience. These customer service tools can automate tasks, provide 24/7 support, and offer personalized assistance.
It is an important aspect that has revolutionized customer service because it can help businesses improve the customer experience by providing faster, more efficient, and more personalized support.
You can also gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, which can be used to improve products and services.
Some examples of AI applications in customer service include:
- Virtual Assistants
- Automated Email Responses
- AI-Powered Search
- Predictive Analytics
- Voice Recognition
- Sentiment Analysis
- Automated Social Media Responses
- Knowledge Base Management
- Translation Services
- Call Routing
- Appointment Scheduling
How AI Can Improve Customer Experience
24/7 Customer Support
While live chat, emails and other customer service channels can be used to boost customer loyalty and provide adequate support for your business, they lack one thing – round-the-clock support because they’re manned by human agents.
AI-powered customer service tools like chatbots, on the other hand, can provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means that customers can get help whenever they need it, regardless of their time zone or location.
For example, if a customer has a problem with their order at midnight, they can chat with an AI-powered chatbot to get help without having to wait until the next business day.
Although this type of service might be limited to much simpler queries that don’t require technical expertise, it is still a useful way to keep up customer satisfaction during non-business hours.
AI-powered customer service tools can also help resolve customer issues faster. For example, AI-powered chatbots can quickly answer frequently asked questions, provide solutions to common problems or direct customers to the right channels.
Additionally, AI can be used to analyze customer data and identify patterns. This information can then be used to develop automated solutions to common problems, which can further reduce the time it takes to resolve customer issues.
Image source: Starbucks
A real-life example of this is Starbucks’ use of chatbots on its mobile apps to process customer orders. The AI-powered chatbot lets customers place orders, either through voice commands or text messaging and then informs them when their orders are ready.
Reduced Human Errors
Human agents, though experienced and knowledgeable are sometimes prone to mistakes. This can be fatal or simply irritate a customer. In order to combat this, most companies have turned to chatbots to reduce errors by automating tasks and streamlining processes.
Chatbots can analyze and categorize customer inquiries, ensuring they are routed to the appropriate department or agent. They can also automate data entry tasks, ensuring that customer information is accurately captured and deposited in a CRM or easily retrieved when needed.
AI chatbots can also provide consistent responses to customer queries. They don’t get tired, distracted, or make mistakes due to human factors. This ensures that every customer receives the same accurate information, eliminating variations and errors that might occur with human agents.
For example, AI chatbots can automatically collect customer information from a prospective customer who messages outside business hours and route it to the appropriate agent.
While some believe that “the robots know too much about us”, it isn’t entirely a bad phenomenon.
Since AI isn’t limited by our human capabilities, it can easily keep track of what we like and make recommendations based on our previous interactions or experiences.
For example, Amazon uses an AI-powered shopping assistant to recommend products to customers based on their past purchase history and browsing behaviour. It can also be used to personalize customer service interactions, such as by greeting customers by name and offering them relevant support information.
Anticipating Customers’ Needs and Potential Issues
AI customer service tools can also be used to identify potential customer support issues and proactively resolve them before the customer even contacts the company.
For example, AI can be used to predict when a customer is likely to churn and send them targeted offers to keep them engaged.
Image Source: Netflix
A real-life example of this is Netflix’s use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to recommend movies and shows to its customers based on their preferences.
Tracking Conversation History
AI can track conversation history across all channels, including live chat, email, phone, and social media. This allows customer service representatives to quickly understand the customer’s needs and provide seamless support, even if the customer has interacted with the company multiple times through different channels.
For instance, if you run an e-commerce store on platforms like Shopify or Wix and your customers reach out to you from various channels including your website, online store or Facebook Messenger, you can easily track all your conversations from your live chat dashboard to understand your customer’s needs.
Boost Sales Process
AI can be used to personalize sales recommendations and target customers with the most relevant offers. It can also be used to automate tasks such as lead generation and qualification, which can free up sales reps to focus on closing deals.
They can also assist with onboarding, especially for subscription-based or software services. The chatbots can guide customers through the onboarding process, helping them get started with the product or service. This improves the overall customer experience and reduces churn.
Minimizing Employee Burnout
AI can automate many of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks associated with customer service, such as answering basic questions and troubleshooting common problems. This can help to reduce employee burnout and improve job satisfaction.
AI can analyze data to predict busy periods or high-stress times for specific roles or departments. This information can help companies plan and allocate resources more effectively, especially for busy customer service teams.
The future of AI in customer service is very bright. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative and effective ways to use AI to improve the customer experience.
In order to get the best experience, you discover how AI can improve inundated business processes and make your general experience better.