Using Customer Support AI to Navigate Customer Needs

By Deon Nicholas

“We just need a few more agents.”

“We could train a bot to take issues, but that will take forever, and do they even work?”

“We need more articles so customers can self-service better.” 

When thinking about improving customer support, we forget that customer support is the lifeblood of an organization. We try to put a band-aid on issues by increasing headcount, creating more knowledge resources, or installing a bot with a ton of rules. 

We cross our fingers that these solutions will somehow resolve the issue.

When I think of a customer support org, especially a busy one (which is most of them!), I think of the customer questions, issues, needs, and problems continuously flowing in. These customer needs are part of the business. 

But customers having issues isn’t the root problem. In actuality, when an org gets no tickets or issues coming in, it’s a sign that no one is using the product enough to break it and test the limits. 

When people interact with a product, and when they start using a product, it’s good! 

But inevitably, customers will have needs, questions, lack of clarity, concerns, and goals. So, how can you make customers feel more invested as they experience your product or tools? ‍

First, Reframe the Problem.

The problem is not the incoming flow of customer needs, but, instead, how we navigate it.

If you try to dam up a river’s flow, what happens? The flow of water stops. And with customer support, it’s no different. When you stop that flow of customer needs with things like bad chatbots, you end up not only creating inefficiency, but you also create a negative customer experience. 

You can anger customers with bad automation and send them rushing away from your business when poorly deflecting their needs or mishandling their issues. No one wants that. And it leaves room for improving customer experience.

Now, how do you navigate this flow of customer needs without drowning? 

  1. Automate intentionally. We want to overall reduce the number of issues that agents have to handle. We want to automate mundane tasks like routing and copying and pasting templates. We want to bring all your institutional knowledge into one place. We also want to make sure customers get what they need and that the automation doesn’t ruin their experience, which is why Agatha, Forethought’s customer support AI platform, only provides answers of any kind when she is truly confident she is right.
  2. Analyze what’s happening. We want to help your org understand which macros, templates, labeling systems, or past knowledge are working well, which ones aren’t working at all, and how successfully your customers and agents are getting what they need.
  3. Zoom out and consider the process. As Rose our Head of Customer Experience said, “We spend most of our time digging into the problem itself with companies. We’re not being reactionary and creating a band-aid. What we’re focused on the process that will lead our customers to a better outcome.”

By generating machine learning models built on your business needs and history, the Forethought team and our customers can identify significant business opportunities and quickly move towards success.

Control the Flow of Needs

Forethought’s customer support AI helps you find strategic ways to manage the continuous flow of customer support tickets. Our customer support AI Agatha will ensure that you are… 

  • Deflecting effectively 
  • Automating routing correctly
  • Detecting need quickly
  • Using the power of machine learning

Maybe you have a seasonal influx of tickets around the corner, or you are thinking about 2021 and beyond — and you hope to prepare your team for what’s coming. We want to help you prepare intentionally and we want to empower you and your team to get the most out of customer support AI as possible. 

Dive in.

Interested in generative AI for customer support? Check out this guide to learn about the 3 key pillars you need to get started.

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