Demands for fast, efficient and flawless customer service have never been higher. Luckily, artificial intelligence is introducing a brand new selection of opportunities for us to exceed expectations.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is bringing numerous advantages for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s helping us to boost productivity, maximise efficiency, save time, save money, accelerate product development, enhance innovation… and more. But perhaps one of the biggest and most exciting benefits is that AI holds the power to completely revolutionise how we engage with customers.
And right now, many businesses could do with rethinking their approach to customer service.
Evolving customer expectations
It’s clear that customer behaviours, needs, desires, and expectations are changing. And they’re changing quickly. The days of ‘we aim to respond within 7-10 days’ are long behind us. Today’s customers expect a real-time experience; they want instant back-and-forth communications; they need to be able to interact wherever and whenever; they’re seeking super fast resolutions.
And these demands can sometimes be a little too much for businesses to keep up with.
But the fact is that keeping up with changes in customers’ expectations isn’t optional. If customers don’t receive the experience they expect from you, they’ll go and find it somewhere else.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire a load more customer service representatives. And it definitely doesn’t mean you need to have your employees working around the clock. In many cases, it simply means embracing new technologies that bridge the gap between what you’re currently able to offer your customers, and what your customers want from you.
So what are those helpful technologies? Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
AI in customer service
AI and machine learning combine their powers to act as an additional member of your customer service team, supporting your employees as they strive to provide the best experience possible.
Through AI and machine learning, there are opportunities to…
Chat with customers when they need you
While business may be 9-5, customers aren’t. They may have a question about a product or service outside of standard business hours. And if you ever deal with consumers directly, it’s perhaps even more likely they’ll need to interact during evenings and weekends. Failing to make yourself available when your customers need you is one of the biggest ways to isolate them and miss out on a sale. This is where AI can help. AI chatbots present an opportunity for you to be ‘always on’, becoming accessible to your customers 24/7, and being ready to support them whenever they need it.
Speed up resolutions
While some customer service enquiries can be quite complex and require human input to identify a suitable solution, the fact remains that many enquiries are remarkably simple. Customers may want to know more about a product or service. They may want to know about your delivery times. Or they could have a question about a return or refund. This sort of thing is so straightforward that it doesn’t make much sense to have customers waiting around for a human representative. AI chatbots present an opportunity to provide an instantaneous automated solution, satisfying your customers.
Prioritise critical messages
At certain times of year especially, the number of simultaneous customer service enquiries a business can receive can be challenging to manage. And they can be almost impossible to prioritise in any smarter way than the date of enquiry. While this may be a fair system, it’s not always the most valuable. You may have an enquiry that isn’t particularly time-sensitive, for example, alongside an enquiry that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. AI tools can automatically pick up on particular keywords and phrases that suggest some enquiries may need to be dealt with quicker.
Right now, many businesses need to take a stronger approach to customer service. And AI and machine learning technologies hand us the opportunity to do just that. If you’re not already embracing AI for customer service, get in touch with us and we’ll guide you through the process.