Guest Blog by Swati Kungwani, business analyst and content manager for iTouchVision
We are in the 21st century and technology is ruling our personal and professional lives. The millennial generation is more than addicted to the technology to get what they want, whenever they want and from wherever they want. It has made brands re-think their strategies and welcome the new era of customer service.
‘Artificial Intelligence‘ has redefined the customer service standards. The advanced Chatbots powered by AI rules have taken customer service to a new dimension. It’s no more limited to simple question and answer scenario. Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning are making these Chatbots work far better. The scope of Chatbots in providing service is increasing as these bots process more information and detects consumer behavior in all terms.
Gartner suggests that over 50% of enterprises will invest more to develop AI-driven bots and Chatbot than traditional mobile app development by 2020.
Forward-thinking businesses have already adopted the trend. There are various examples where AI assists customers in booking tickets, buying products, ordering food, making reservations, scheduling appointments, etc. and asking recommendations via smart devices like Alexa, Siri, etc. Google’s latest Contact Center AI solution promises a set of new features in the Dialogflow Enterprise Edition that will give access to the AI-powered virtual agents for the contact centre.
For those who are yet to get started with AI-assisted customer service, here’s a list of benefits that may prompt you to dig in the world of AI Chatbots:
The growing Internet speed and connectivity has made us seek everything ‘instant’. Millennials lack patience. That’s why; businesses need to ensure high availability to provide support. AI-powered Chatbots are of great help. They engage in intelligent conversations 24*7 without a dull moment. Chatbots are able to attend to the customers without any time limits.
There is no clause for holidays, sickness or frustration with Chatbots. Once in a while, a human agent may get exasperated or give up on solving an issue, the same won’t happen with technology. A business can rely on the trained Chatbots to serve the customers irrespective of time and other barriers.
Also, artificial intelligence is revolutionising business quick, accurate and standard service in real-time. The bots will never leave your company, so there is no dependability or fear of losing them or their data.
A business would always look for ways to maximise revenues and minimise expenditure. With AI Chatbots providing customer support, it is possible to cut down the costs. AI has the capabilities to automate workflows, attend more customers in less time, free up resources, and generate more leads and convert them into sales.
Chatbots will never be overloaded. It means that their functionality can be scaled to meet the needs of growing customer base as well as increasing complexity of queries. They can address multiple customers and a variety of their concerns with ease. Customers can seek their help in requesting a service, finding a product, escalating an issue, completing a transaction, getting information, etc.
An uninterrupted service is natural with the artificial intelligence platform. The businesses need not invest in hiring extra staff. Chatbots can take care of Tier 1 queries with accuracy and can be made more intelligent with each interaction.
As humans, we tend to make mistakes. But the same is not the case with AI. It performs better when it comes to reliability and errors. AI Chatbots collect and analyse every conversation. The stored information helps it to help the customers in the most pleasing and precise manner. Their cognitive capabilities empower them to deliver a delightful customer experience (CX).
Companies can also ensure that the Chatbots possess sound knowledge about the product, customers, and the overall business. As compared to training their human counterparts, programming and updating Chatbots yields more fruitful and cost-effective outcomes in lesser time.
Chatbots work by using data extensively. Automated bots are pre-programmed to be proactive and take ‘preemptive’ actions compared to the passive approach. They can anticipate the upcoming issues or needs and act accordingly. Customers feel more connected as they get assisted according to their needs.
Personalisation is a hot-selling tactic. Customers are no longer accepting the one-for-all concept. They are happier if they know that a business goes an extra mile to provide them with what they want. And AI does the exact thing. It collects and interprets the history of a customer to come up with the most relevant suggestions.
It opens the room for upselling and cross-selling opportunities. For example, while assisting a customer with a certain product, a Chatbot can recommend him/her better available options and complementary products. Or even better, based on their past interactions and orders, it is beneficial to remind them about the next purchase, timely service and propose the right action.
Customers are the best brand advocates. If you keep them happy, they will definitely refer you to their network. Harnessing the AI features will lead you to recommend them the most appropriate products and in turn, these satisfied customers will bring more sales.
There are many myths around AI replacing the humans. Due to such misconceptions, people are not very much willing to embed AI into their business. But, in reality, AI will replace the tasks, not humans. It will substitute the repetitive and unproductive tasks with automated workflows that lead to productivity.
According to Gartner, AI will become a positive net job motivator by 2020. It will generate 2.3M job opportunities. It will not promote the loss of human touch in customer service. Rather, it will reduce the tasks that take up more time and efforts. AI in coordination with employees can yield efficient and cost-effective outcomes.
By automating certain tasks, a business can involve employees to address complex jobs that require human attention and understanding. Productive and engaged employees will be more successful in retaining the customers. Thus, it will be forming a loop with Chatbots, human resources and customers to realise the ultimate business goals.
The world will witness digital disruption by 2020 with 6 billion smartphone users and over 50 billion connected devices opening more avenues for AI-powered next-generation customer experience.
‘AI ensures that the contact centre can solve problems faster, giving agents more time to deliver that fantastic customer experience they’ve been looking for.’ – UC Today
It’s time for a reality check with the artificial intelligence technology. There’s no looking back to the traditional methods of customer service. Businesses need AI-powered solutions to predict the customer requirements before they ask. AI is bound to make the customer service game stronger for those who incorporate it. For a customer-centric organisation, it is no more an option, but a mandate. AI-driven customer service will improve productivity, increase engagement, reduce dependability and pave a new way to lead the competition.
Get started with the AI plan!
Guest Blog by Swati Kungwani
Swati Kungwani is the business analyst and content manager for iTouchVision, a UK-based customer service platform. She specialises in customer experience management and driving new customer initiatives. Join iTouchVision’s social network: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.