Artificial Intelligence is everywhere today. We interact with it every day, sometimes without even knowing it. Plus, it is getting better and smarter every day. The world is moving from simple mindless chatbots to being more accepting of the notion of AI and what it means. Today, app development companies are integrating AI with their products. AI has shown up in popular SMS platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp. Since AI is already among us, we need to figure out how to take advantage of the opportunities it presents and how best to use them.
AI in the Customer Service Industry
In the Customer Service industry especially, AI is poised to shake things up a lot. Already, AI is being used to play the role of a virtual assistant, performing all manner of daily tasks such as customer support and answering simple questions. However, the potential for AI is enormous in this industry, and merely using it for such simple tasks is underutilizing its potential. Businesses can save a lot of money by automating their processes, and customers will appreciate the improved user experience. For example, telco companies can streamline their customer service provision by harnessing the power of AI.
Today, AI in the customer service world can listen to conversations between the client and the customer care agent. They listen to these conversations and feed the agent data and information to prompt and lead the conversation in a specific direction. For instance, the agent can propose deals or discounts to lure the client into making a bigger purchase, earning the company more revenue. The AI also helps the agent make the best and most helpful responses, to boost customer satisfaction. Most banking and insurance and utility companies do this beautifully. Most of the time, the customer will not even notice what is going on until after they have made the purchase.
AI in the customer service industry, including virtual assistance, are getting smarter and smarter every day. This is partly due to machine learning capabilities and better development practices. The technology as a whole has made leaps and bounds over the years. Today, you can have almost natural conversations with Siri and Alexa. Nuance, a market leader in customer service solutions, has made an AI assistant called Nina, which can handle intelligent conversations and transactions.
Will AI replace humans in the future?
This all brings up one of the most popular discussion topics in this subject. Will AI eventually replace humans in the Customer Service Industry? Short answer, no.
Customer service interactions fall into two categories: urgency and emotion. AI, as it is today, is perfect for high urgency scenarios, but we will always need humans for high emotion scenarios. AI can’t replicate empathy. A lot of customer support interactions need the human element, so humans are not going anywhere any time soon.
Why is this important? Why not just replace all customer service jobs with AI? Get rid of the humans and save money while at it? Well, the answer is simple. High emotion scenarios are the most important in the customer service industry, and AI cannot comprehend them. Imagine this. You have just ordered food using your app. It is 12.30 pm, they said the food should reach you by 1 pm. It is now 1.30 pm, your food is clearly running late. You have a meeting at 2 pm, if you do not leave now you will miss the meeting. In a situation such as this, with such emotionally charged contexts, only a fellow human being will understand what you are going through. How this situation is handled will determine whether or not you order from that business again in the future. AI will have no idea of the gravity of the situation. High emotion scenarios are what stick with customers, and you need to handle them carefully.
To properly use the power of AI in the customer service industry, the most important thing you need to think about is the needs of your customer. How you treat your clients can make or break your business. For example, studies show that more and more clients prefer messaging businesses as opposed to calling them. Does your company provide users with this option? Less than half of all companies do. On the other hand, AI can help you outreach as well to new clients or partners.
In the end, you need to ask yourself what value AI can add to your company. The costs involved in integrating AI solutions with your current systems are falling every year, so you will be saving a lot of money by taking it up. However, it is so much more than just about the money. The bottom line is, implementing AI is absolutely good for the customer service industry, and anyone not already on the bandwagon is losing out.