Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the latest buzzword that everyone loves to throw around, and why not? It is indeed a groundbreaking technology of this time.
High-speed internet has made the world come closer; every communication, information and entertainment avenue is available at the tips of our fingers. All you need to do is subscribe to a package such as Xfinity TV deals and services and get entertainment and convenience packed into one.
With AI, we are creating something eerily akin to human intelligence, so the fascination associated with it is warranted.
Not only giants like Google, IBM, and Amazon are developing and employing powerful AI algorithms, but we are seeing more businesses take advantage of this tech across hundreds of fields. In fact, B2B companies are developing AI solutions to help improve their clients’ businesses.
One field that has seen a lot of stellar improvement because of AI is customer service. By 2020, AI melded with customer service in businesses will see a whopping increase of 143%.
How is AI helping Companies Improve their Customer Service?
1) Intelligent Automation
Automation in customer service driven by AI can have a crucial impact on customer service agents’ performance, by taking over monotonous, repetitive, and manual tasks so they can direct their energies to tasks that purely require human elements.
Starbucks captures detailed customer profiles via its app utilizing AI. Based on the information gathered from the app, it changed its visit-based program to a dollar-based program. AI helped Starbucks send over 400,000 highly personalized emails with relevant perks every week, as compared to the 30 personalized emails that Starbucks was previously able to push. Consequently, these personalized and omnichannel interactions spiked customers’ engagement and sales kicked up.
2) Understanding Emotions
AI incorporated in customer service can help human agents understand what their customers’ prefer; their sentiments, emotions, and behaviors by recording and scrutinizing hoards of data acquired via AI-customer interaction. The natural language processing (NLP) in AI performs sentiment analysis, which gauges customers’ sentiments in real-time. Armed with this information, customer service representatives can have better control over a call’s outcome and influence their customers’ choices and decisions positively with the right word and tone of voice, increasing the chances of making a sale.
Macy’s On Call is a smartphone-based AI assistant that provides a personalized in-store experience to customers. As soon as they enter the store, the assistant on their smartphone chats with customers and asks a series of questions, so it can offer recommendations and helpful directions around the store. Upon sensing a customer’s frustration, the bot alerts a human assistant to come to the rescue.
3) All-time Support
AI-based chatbots provide 24/7 customer support without the availability of a human agent. They are capable of interacting with a huge onslaught of customer calls, simultaneously engaging customers at the front-lines and identifying their needs and problems. Additionally, the cost of human customer support exceeds that of chatbots tech integration.
Kia Motors’ AI-powered assistant, known as Kian, utilized a chatbot and managed to have 50 times more engagement with customers on their site as it determines user intent and replicates human-like conversation. The chatbot converses with 115,000 users every week and converts around 21% of them.
4) More Proactive Than Ever
Chatbots can proactively converse with customers, supplying relevant information to easily-answerable questions throughout a customer’s journey so as to completely eliminate wait time and quickly resolve issues, which is a huge factor in customer satisfaction. If a situation turns out to be complex and requires human assistance, chatbots transfer calls to agents.
Levi’s Virtual Stylist, an AI-powered chatbot, attempts to find out what each customer wants in their favorite pair of jeans by learning about their lifestyle and preferences. Further, human stylists are trained with this information so they can provide personalized and accurate recommendations. Customers can even share jean's recommendations with their friends in order to see their opinions.
5) Handpicked For Everyone
Along with customer support, AI is increasingly becoming helpful in customizing the user experience. Since AI can gather and analyze the treasure-trove of customers’ data, organize and unify it from multiple sources and create a customer’s profile, it can determine what a particular customer needs or wants, better than any human analyst. Consequently, the right recommendations can be made to the right person at the right time on the right channel.
Volvo utilizes an Early Warning System, which scrutinizes more than one million events per week, then predicts which customer’s car requires repair or a new car part.
On the other hand, Thread utilizes AI to give handpicked and tailored style recommendations to each of its 650,000 customers by identifying their personal style and patterns. The more data the stylist collects for a customer’s profile, the better the recommendations.
The fact that AI can resolve minor customer issues immediately without having to wait for human availability can quickly spur a company’s customer services to new heights. The weakness of human elements can be complemented by AI’s strength. Simultaneously, deficiency in AI can be fulfilled by humans’ ability to understand the complexity of rigmarole of problems. For example, AI can provide consistent and ever-positive interaction, no matter how frustrated and disagreeable a customer on call is unlike a human, who has chances of getting frustrated.
Recent advancements, however, have only provided AI the ability to form and recognize patterns in a sophisticated manner; we still haven’t reached the stage where AI can understand the context of data provided, which is highly essential for customer service in order to have an impeccable human-like interaction. Hence, AI is not yet capable of replacing humans entirely, but an AI and human collaboration can help deliver the level of customer service that was previously thought of as a utopian dream.