The Power of AI Tools in Customer Service
As counterproductive as it may seem, machine-led Artificial Intelligence tools are playing a central role in driving emotion-centric customer service operations. Don’t believe us? Consider the following hard-facts for a second:
- As per research, “42% of customers want to communicate with companies via live chat for customer service.” Plus, “By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more on bots than traditional mobile.”
- McKinsey claims that “By 2030, 70% of companies will have adopted some form of AI and the majority of enterprises will be using a full range of AI technology.”
- Further research indicates that “By 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400% from 2017.”
Clearly, AI has emerged as the key differentiator for businesses offering a host of innovative features such as intuitive virtual assistants, ‘smart’ product recommendations, and contextual visual searches. In this blog, we will deep-dive into how AI is transforming the CX space, one innovative feature at a time. Let’s get started.
The examples given below are based on large retail companies. However, there are lessons here for any type of company.
Top 5 Ways in which AI is Leading – And Acing – the CX Race
1. Role of Chatbots in CX
AI-powered chatbots are all the rage now. And for good reason. First, because people have adapted to a ‘text’-driven lifestyle thanks to social media apps and platforms – from ordering food to booking flight tickets, a good chunk of our everyday tasks is text-centric.
Naturally, using chatbots for communication comes as second-nature to many users. Take, for example, Starbucks’ chatbot – Barista – which allows you to instantly place an order using text/voice command and leverage seamless service:
That’s not all. The bot is Alexa-enabled, which allows users to reorder recent orders, check their Starbucks Card balance, etc. Convenience at its best!
Key takeaway: Chatbots offer 24×7 real-time assistance to users in a variety of ways. Plus, customers can get customized, data-led recommendations, which makes the overall experience more positive and productive for the users.
You may also want to read: 5 Ways AI Can Fuel Your Customer Engagement Strategy
2. AI as a Well-Trained Multi-Tasking Tool
Customer service teams can face overwhelm due to the sheer number of support tickets and queries that come their way. This is where using an AI-powered tool comes in handy. These automated tools can scale operations by handling multiple users at once and respond to routine queries and carry out menial jobs without any bias or dip in productive levels, any time of the day:
Key takeaway: AI tools offer speedy and accurate automated responses – an unparalleled advantage for CX teams who can offload some of the work to the bots and look at redirecting their agents to focus on more complex problems that require human creativity and intervention.
3. AI Leads the Predictive Personalization Race
Ask any customer, and they’ll tell you that personalized recommendation tops their list of requirements when communicating with a brand. Let’s illustrate this with the help of a real-life example. Sephora’s Facebook bot – Sephora Virtual Artist – imitates an in-store experience and enables customers to virtually try on Sephora’s products using their own selfies. This ensures that the customers end up buying the right products without the hassle of returns or refunds:
It is this kind of customized CX that’s changing the marketing and sales equation. It allows users to leverage a world-class experience at the click of a button. Plus, these tools store all the relevant information so that users don’t need to explain their preferences and choices over-and-over again.
In other words, customers can simply pick up the conversation from where they last left it off, in the right context and at the right time. And they can do so across different channels of preference (think: Facebook, website, phone, etc.).
Key takeaway: AI tools such as chatbots can deliver a 360-degree virtual experience for brands where in-store appearance is vital to sales. In the times of a global pandemic, brands are increasingly going virtual to cater to user needs. More importantly, these tools are allowing customers to interact with the brand from the comfort of their homes without compromising on service of quality. This reduces the churn rate and boosts sales.
You may also want to read: The Winning Link Between Customer Service and Marketing
4. AI Tools Allow for Data Unification & In-Depth Analysis
If you wish to understand your audience’s behavioral patterns, you’ll need the help of AI. Artificial intelligence-led CX analytics platforms collect data points from multiple sources and across the customer’s life cycle to offer real-time insights into what makes your target audience stay on your site. Plus, based on the data gathered, you can map out the “next best action” based on the right context and via omnichannel touch-points. You can also get a glimpse of your customer’s pain-points and work towards addressing them – before, during, and after every customer interaction.
Key takeaway: AI-enabled customer analytics tools allow organizations to access high-impact customer insights. These can enhance the overall service and offer a more tailor-made experience to the users from start to finish. AI can mine mountains of data within seconds and offer predictive and accurate insights into customer behavior. AI is leading the way for seamless customer experience.
5. AI Paves the Way for Intent-based, Proactive CX
The era of preempting customer needs and delivering proactive service is here. Today, it is not enough to simply listen to customer queries; brands need to identify customer issues before they arise. Did you know that there are real-time voice analytics agents available that can listen to customer conversations and analyze the content as well as tone to extract insights about the customer’s emotional state? This data can then be used to guide your CX agent to deliver a stellar customer experience.
Predictive solutions such as these can level up your CX game. From defining customer behavior patterns to determining their purchase frequency, AI-led predictive solutions offer proactive and personalized support. Here’s an example of a bot by H&M called Kik, which gathers relevant information about users with respect to their style, choices, and preferences. The bot then creates a relevant fashion profile for each user and offers outfit recommendations so that it can drive sales:
Key takeaway: Providing predictive and proactive customer support no longer qualifies as ‘going the extra mile’ for customers. Users have come to expect brands to know them inside out and offer relevant suggestions that get better with every interaction. And this is a job that perfectly fits the bill for innovative AI tools.
You may also want to read: Best Marketing Analytics Tools That us AI To Improve Customer Service
On a Final Note…
Automation has become an integral part of our everyday life. In fact, AI is changing the way companies and customers interact on a fundamental level. Customers, whether knowingly or unknowingly, are actively using AI technology to make their lives more convenient, and customer-facing enterprises are open-heartedly embracing AI tools to boost sales as well as efficiency.
Needless to say, as the technology evolves, with time, the lines between human and automated support will get blurred, if not replaced altogether. Thoughts?
Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate and out of the box thinking woman with vast exposure in Digital Marketing. She is working as a Digital Marketer and Content writer at Acquire. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results is her professional motto.
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