What Is Customer Service AI?
Artificial intelligence (AI) can provide efficient and personalized customer service experiences. Combining AI and customer service allows you to provide real-time assistance, automate data collection and analysis, and find opportunities for process optimization. Using AI, the customer service process can be sped up and improved, providing a more satisfactory experience for customers and a better bottomline for businesses. Customer Service AI can sometimes be confused or conflated with Contact Center AI. Customer Service AI encompasses both customer-facing and internal-facing solutions that support the full service and support relationship with a customer, while Contact Center AI deals primarily with technology used within the contact center.
Basic Overview of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) performs tasks and processes normally done by humans. AI intends to simulate human intelligence and contains different subcategories such as machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), deep learning and more. These can be used to automate tasks, interpret data and text, make predictions, and streamline processes. In customer service, ML algorithms can be trained to collect and process data relevant to a customer query. NLP can be used in chatbots and virtual assistants so that AI systems can understand what a customer is saying and respond accurately.
How is AI Used in Customer Service?
There are multiple uses for AI in customer service. One of the most obvious is chatbots, which can provide the first line of customer service and engage with an unlimited number of customers simultaneously. AI can also be used to collect customer data, where it can be analyzed to gain an overall picture of customer feedback so you can personalize customer interactions.
How can AI Improve Customer Service?
From answering customer queries to analyzing customer feedback, AI can improve multiple processes in your customer service operations.
Chatbots use pre-programmed workflows to understand customer queries and provide sophisticated, personalized responses. They can give your customers constant access to support and take care of any general queries whie passing along more complex issues to human agents.
When analyzing customer feedback, AI can perform sentiment analysis. But what is AI analytics? It is the automation of data analysis and is used to discover patterns and trends without needing human intervention. The addition of sentiment analysis means you can categorize customer feedback based on the emotions they exhibit, with the most basic being positive and negative. This is an easy way of understanding what is working and what is frustrating your customers.
Categorize Service Requests
Like understanding and categorizing customer feedback, AI can also work to group customer support tickets. This helps structure and process data. Tickets can be organized based on priority so that customers with pressing issues are helped as soon as possible. Categorization can also highlight common problems plaguing certain services or systems.
Measuring AI Effectiveness
The first step to measuring the effectiveness of your AI is setting KPIs. What are you hoping to achieve when integrating AI into your customer service? If you’re hoping to alleviate pressure on human customer service agents and solve customers’ problems quicker, you might look to your first-call resolution (FCR) rate. If you want to increase customer loyalty and engagement, you might look to your customer churn rate as a measure of success.
Pros of Customer Service AI
AI-infused customer service can bring a variety of benefits to your business.
AI can assist in customer analysis, allowing you to gain a clearer picture of who your customer is. You can deliver personalized messaging and advertising based on their browsing history and previous interactions. You can suggest products and services to customers based on what AI analysis has highlighted they would be interested in, increasing the number of successful purchases.
Being the front line of customer service, AI can remove the burden from your human agent’s shoulders. Chatbots can work to solve general queries and pass along the cases that require more specified attention. AI can also find more automation opportunities or highlight inefficiencies in your current customer service processes.
Running AI costs less than employing customer service representatives or data analysts. While the overall cost of your AI depends on your needs and the scale of its implementation, incorporating it into customer service operations can save your budget in the long run and deliver a satisfactory ROI.
Cons of Customer Service AI
As with any new technology, there are also some drawbacks to consider before implementing AI into your customer service operations.
Less Personable Messaging
While AI introduces the possibility for personalization, it can sometimes remove the needed human touch. Customers often say they value when they are being handled by a real person more than when they’re being assisted by a machine. For some, an over calibration toward AI could be a factor that turns them away from your brand, particularly if they are accustomed to having human-to-human interactions with your business.
Potential for Error
AI may help reduce the risk of human error. But this doesn’t mean the chance of error is removed completely. AI algorithms can only produce results as good as the data being used to train the AI. If the data fed to the algorithms is incorrect, incomplete, or biased in some way, then the results provided can be just as painful as those resulting from human error.
There’s a common misconception that AI simply needs to be set up and will then continue to run forever – completely unaided. But that’s not true. Maintenance is a crucial part of keeping your AI systems running. This can re1quire employing an AI specialist who can perform health checks and optimizations on your AI solution.
How Can Incorporate AI Into My Customer Service System?
When introducing AI into your customer service systems, there are some things you might want to consider:
- Purpose. The first thing to do is establish why you are introducing AI. Are you analyzing customer feedback or trying to automate responses to customer inquiries?
- Channels. Where is this going to be implemented? Figuring out which channels this will take place on can help narrow down which AI solution best fits your needs.
- Testing. When you find a solution, it’s important to train and test it before full-scale implementation. This way, you can adapt the solution to fit your business and its needs best.
Security Measures to Consider
It’s also important to think about the security measures you might need once you’ve started using AI in your customer service:
- Use a secure infrastructure. Locking down data and access means that your AI systems can operate securely and with a lower chance of a data breach.
- Encrypt data. Especially when handling customer data, it’s important that it is encrypted and that sensitive data is anonymized to keep it protected.
- Understand the dangers. You can take time to understand the current risks AI is facing and adapt your security measures to protect against these.
Will AI Take Over Customer Service?
Conversations around AI often lead to the question: Will AI replace humans altogether? For now, both as it relates to customer service and beyond, the answer is no. AI has its limitations, and while it can assist processes, humans are still needed for many of them. Chatbots, for example, can deal with general inquiries or questions, but human agents are needed for any issues that need a more in-depth examination and human touch.
Where Else We’ll See AI Working for Us
One thing we can expect from the future of AI in customer service is expansion. As AI develops more capabilities, its application to customer service processes will only grow. One of these is attended AI (or attended bots). Attended AI can provide real-time intelligence, assist and advise human agents through customer interactions, as well as automate repetitive tasks like searching for specific details about customers, the problems they experience, and the questions they ask. Chatbots are also seeing advancements, being trained with much larger databases which allows them to answer a wider variety of questions and even create content.
About Sutherland Conversational AI
By integrating with your CRM and enterprise systems, Sutherland can design, develop, monitor and maintain an advanced AI chatbot custom-built for your business needs. Sutherland Conversational AI helps ensure consistent, satisfactory interactions for your sales, support and other enterprise processes.
An evolving service that adapts to the needs of your customer lifecycle, Sutherland’s enterprise-grade conversational AI applications can help:
- Automate customer self-service interactions and business processes.
- Convert website traffic and generate more qualified leads.
- Improve customer service and user experience.
- Expand after-hours support.
Sutherland Conversational AI features:
- A dynamic, interactive user interface.
- Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing technologies.
- Customized conversational design.
- Integration with common CRM and enterprise chat platforms.
- Conversational analytics.
- GDPR-certified program.