Did you know that almost a third of large, global enterprises are already using AI to support customer service? And there’s one great reason why: customer satisfaction.
Whether it’s through faster resolutions, more empathetic conversations, or streamlined processes, AI is now playing a pivotal role in delighting customers across the world. But that’s only one side of the story.
AI’s busy delighting service team agents and managers too, helping optimise resource allocation, super-charge agent and team productivity – and ultimately deliver those faster, smarter, more nuanced customer experiences.
Let’s look at just a few AI-assisted customer experiences, and the service efficiency and productivity gains they’re making possible.
We all know how frustrating it is to speak to someone who lacks the knowledge – or authority – to handle our problem. But future generations might not.
AI-assisted routing is already helping businesses ensure their customers are directed to the agent with the most relevant skillset, based on a real-time picture of agent availability.
What’s more, it’s freeing agents to give customer cases their full attention, and apply themselves where it really counts.
"AI can assist agents in completing repetitive tasks, or even completely take these tasks over. Yet, instead of replacing humans entirely, AI will enhance agents’ skills and allow them to focus their attention beyond routine tasks. Agents instead will handle customer interactions that require deeper insight, and analysis." Kate Leggett, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester
When your issue can’t wait, there’s nothing worse than being put in a queue.
AI can also help deliver priority routing for the issues that matter the most to your customers – and your organisation. The result? Fewer full-blown customer service catastrophes, and a service strategy that’s even more closely aligned your wider business goals.
In customer service, some delays are unavoidable. But others aren’t. AI-powered analytics can help supervisors spot inefficiency in their teams and processes – with clear insight into agent work behaviours that damage productivity and, in turn, service performance.
AI can also help heads of service slice and dice data on a much grander scale – identifying if a particular product is responsible for the lion’s share of cases, and surfacing team- and organisation-wide trends around wait times, handling times and SLA adherence, and enabling timely remedial action.
It may sound unlikely, but Artificial Intelligence is also hard at work putting the humanity back into customer-agent interactions.
When we converse through a screen or over a telephone, a huge amount of information that informs face-to-face interactions can fail to make it through – from our facial expression, to the tone and volume of our voice.
But more and more customer service teams are using AI to help fill in the gaps – analysing everything from what customers are saying to how they’re saying it, in real time, and guiding agents towards the best possible response, and fastest possible resolution.
Chatbots are also becoming an increasingly widespread customer service technology.
In a recent survey of AI start-ups, 37% singled out ‘chatbots and virtual agents’ as an area in which AI is set to take off over the next few years – almost double its nearest rival, ‘smart objects and environments’. (More on which in just a moment…)
Chatbots don’t have bad days, they don’t sleep, and they’re great at handling simple, predictable questions – and recognising when they need to hand over to a human.
With their help, agent workloads can be cut, and service teams can refocus their time and energy where it really counts.
As products of all kinds become ‘connected’, AI has a crucial role to play in delivering proactive service and maintenance.
When a ‘connected’ crane, for example, reports a fault, AI can help diagnose the issue, gauge its severity, select the most appropriate service technician – based on skillset, location and availability – schedule the appointment, and inform the customer.
This is exactly the kind of innovation that optimises customer experience, while helping field service teams catch and fix issues early on, and fit in more jobs into their days.
There’s an inextricable link between service team productivity and customer experience.
As AI permeates service organisations, it’s rapidly transforming both – helping today’s leading teams work faster and smarter, and surprising, satisfying, and delighting customers along the way.
Check out our Second Annual State of Service report to discover how service teams across the globe are leveraging technology to make customer service more personal and more memorable than ever before.