The odds are that you’ve interacted with AI in the past few days, even if you didn’t know it.
AI is being used in almost every facet of business to improve processes and create efficiencies. With the power of artificial intelligence, businesses across a wide range of industries have seen positive growth and change for their employees and their customers across all areas of business, but most specifically in customer service and the customer experience.
The great thing about AI and digital-first solutions is that people want them. In fact, AI-powered chatbot solution adoption is on the rise with a forecasted 37% increase in technology adoption across customer service teams.
Customer service is changing for the better and with the help of AI will benefit both the people delivering that service and those seeking it. In this blog we’ll break down 8 benefits of AI in customer service.
1. 24/7 Customer Support
When people have questions, they want their answers right here and right now. In order to meet customer expectations, it is necessary for support teams and their human agents to be able to offer customer service at every hour of the day — especially if you’re a global company with customers in different timezones.
AI powered customer service solutions enable 24/7 customer support that helps offer customers the support they need no matter the time of day or their location. With 24/7 customer support, support agents aren’t required to be online around the clock and can still help customers even when they aren’t live.
2. Increase Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is the emotional connection between a customer and a brand. It’s not limited to sales, services, or support and is an ongoing process where a company can anticipate a customer’s needs to gain loyalty.
Because AI continues to learn from your customers and their data, AI can be an important driving force behind customer engagement and can help you learn more about your customers and where you can better meet their needs. With sophisticated AI tools, support teams can gain insights into improving the quality or effectiveness of their products or services. AI can also help uncover gaps and opportunities in the market.
3. Positive Customer Satisfaction
When businesses implement AI solutions into their operations, it allows customers to interact better, get their needs met faster, and ultimately improves customer satisfaction. With AI, businesses can learn more about their customers’ needs in order to positively impact CSAT. Because AI allows teams to do more and do it in a smooth and efficient way, customers walk away satisfied with their interactions instead of frustrated with wait times and delays.
4. Reduce Ticket Resolution Times
Customer support is full of repetitive tasks and redundancies that when positively influenced, allow agents to perform better and optimely. The life of an agent can include answering the same support ticket hundreds of times a day, labeling and triaging tickets manually, and seeing increased response times to more complex tickets.
AI can help every one of these aspects of support by automating repetitive queries, automating the ticket triaging process, and allowing agents an assistant when responding to the more complex support questions. Don’t believe us? AI has already helped support teams reduce response times by up to 77% in some cases.
5. Collect Data and Optimize Accordingly
At the end of the day, customer support is really a data collection tool. We’re finding out what customers are unhappy with, what they’re seeking information about, what they want more of – all different points of data that give more insight into customer desires, expectations, and needs.
With artificial intelligence woven into your operations, support teams can do this data collection in a much more organized way that allows for strategic optimization. By finding out more about what your customers are looking for, organizations can create more knowledge articles, optimize workflows, and uncover satisfaction gaps within a product or service.
6. Reduce Support Costs
The curse of customer support is being seen as a cost center rather than a revenue driver. In a time where companies are reducing costs and looking for ways to optimize their staff’s abilities, AI is a partner for growth.
With AI, teams are able to do more with less —AI-powered chat widgets and assistants have allowed teams to deflect up to 40% of new ticket volume, automate incoming ticket triaging to free up agent time, increase cases closed by up to 30%, and reduce time spent on tickets by 20%.
7. Scale Operations
The goal of any team is to grow at the same pace the rest of the company is growing, but scaling is not an easy feat for customer support teams. When a company is at a point of growth and products and services are accelerating or sales is in a rapid growth phase, businesses will also see a fluctuation in support demand. How are teams managing those fluctuations?
AI can help support teams seeking to scale operations. AI allows support organizations to do more with less by automating the most repetitive and redundant tasks, automating ticket triaging, allowing for 24/7 support, and optimizing interactions to get the most out of them.
8. Quickly Adapt to Changing Needs
When it comes to meeting customer needs, support organizations need to be able to pivot whenever needed. Being able to pivot means support teams are agile and working to move strategically and quickly to adapt to changing needs. AI enables support teams to be agile in meeting customer needs because it removes the need to manually make changes to your processes. AI continues to learn from your customers in order to help you better meet their needs and can provide actionable insights into where customers need more help.
Frequently Asked Questions About AI In Customer Service
What Are the Disadvantages of AI in Customer Service?
As much as we’re moving toward fully adopting digital-first solutions and new technologies, not everyone trusts artificial intelligence. AI has burned companies in the past, breaking the promises it ensured. The chatbots and AI solutions of today are nothing like the solutions presented a decade ago—those chatbots and technologies were much more artificial than they were intelligent.
Traditional chatbots are no-code tools that interact with visitors based on rules-based or keyword-based decision trees. The AI of today is powered by machine learning and natural language processing and understanding that works to understand the sentiment and intent of incoming support tickets. Despite these changes and advances, some might say that there are still disadvantages to utilizing AI within customer service.
Disadvantages of AI come in the form of lack of human touch which some may say is not worth the interaction. Many who have had bad experiences with chatbots may also claim that AI does not meet the same expectations that an interaction with a real agent would. AI has also been designed to replace support agents, but that is not the case with today’s AI; today’s AI is meant to augment humans and allow them to do more with less and help meet more customers’ needs.
How Can AI Enhance the Process of Customer Service?
AI and customer service go hand in hand. AI can enhance the process of customer service in many ways including: lowering customer service costs, increasing customer satisfaction, creating contactless customer service, making customer service available 24/7, increasing agent efficiency, removing redundancies and automating repetitive tasks, optimizing data collection, allowing for improved knowledge delivery, and creating consistency in support.
With the help of AI solutions, customer support teams are able to do more with less and do it in an efficient way that benefits both the customer and your customer support agent.