How AI Is Impacting Customer Service
Today’s consumers are demanding more from brands than ever before. Customer service has become a round-the-clock job and in order to remain successful, businesses need to be attentive to these requests.
The advancement of technology has not only contributed to the level of service customers expect but also a business’ capability to provide that service. Artificial intelligence in particular is having a drastic impact on customer service. To give you a fresh look at how exactly AI can help your business enhance it’s customer interactions, we’re breaking down some of the top developments.
With technology at their fingertips, customers expect everything immediately. The same is true when it comes time to resolve an issue with a brand or product. To meet these requests brands must be available and responsive at all times. While most companies simply don’t have the resources to maintain a customer service team of this magnitude, AI-powered automation has made the impossible possible. 55 percent of established companies either have made investments in the potential of AI or planning to do so by 2020. This technology trend is rapidly revolutionizing consumers’ experiences with brands.
“With technology at their fingertips, customers expect everything immediately.”
The transformation began with the implementation of chatbots. In previous years rule-based chatbots were primarily utilized for customer service applications. Guided by a rigid “if a customer says A, then respond B” style of programming, their abilities are limited and often require the inclusion of a human representative. Today, thanks to machine learning, artificially intelligent chatbots are popping up on numerous platforms to provide users with highly accurate answers at a lightning speed. Capable of actually understanding human language and behaviors, AI chatbots have grown so advanced customers can rarely tell when they’re talking to a computer. In fact, a PwC report found 27 percent of consumers were unsure whether their last customer service interaction was with a human or bot. This technology is drastically reducing the burden on human agents and providing improved customer service.
Along with greater efficiency, AI technology is improving the personal experience of individual interactions between consumers and brands. Through machine learning businesses are capable of processing enormous amounts of data and utilizing that data to provide hyper-personalized experiences. Rather than waiting to hear complaints from customers, AI gives businesses the foresight to anticipate defection, enabling service reps to address customer concerns before they become a problem. Machine learning’s ability to analyze behavioral data and utilize algorithms to predict trends also adds value to a consumers shopping experience and brand loyalty. Anticipating specific customer needs from this context, previous chat history, and preferences, AI enables businesses to provide the most relevant recommendations and responses to each individual customer.
Satisfaction Leads to Loyalty
According to a recent Zendesk study, 42 percent of B2C customers showed more interest in purchasing after experiencing good customer service. In our hyper-connected world this statistic is especially important. Should a consumer have a poor experience with your company, not only does the chance of them purchasing decrease, the likelihood of them sharing their negative experience on social media looms. Nearly 40 percent of complaints happen in a public format—on social media, review sites, and forums. As this continues to grow in commonality, the importance of following through on every customer issues grows. Implementing AI technology into your customer service strategy is quickly changing from an option to a requirement. As more brands pick up on the trend, an optimized level of engagement and service will be expected across the board. Don’t let your business get stuck in the past. The future of AI in customer service will continue to grow and, properly applied, both you and your customers will benefit.
Co-founder of Enlightened-Digital and tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. Maddie lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.