“I want to talk to a real person”: Leveraging AI for Customer Experience
Customer service is essential to any company’s success. But issues like long wait times, unhelpful responses, and contradictory interactions are all too common. These challenges present an opportunity for savvy businesses to improve their CX and outpace competitors. How?
By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, companies can streamline their client success strategies, providing efficient and relevant interactions that exceed expectations. When implemented well, generative AI tools can increase CX productivity by 14% by helping CSRs solve problems faster and keep clients happier.
Here are four ways AI can improve customer experience for your business.
4 Customer Service Challenges & their AI Solutions
1. Repeating Yourself? Delegate Common Questions to AI.
The Problem: Re-answering common questions can be a huge time suck. Human CSRs fielding basic requests can end up repeating themselves until they’re blue in the face. Their energies are better spent on complex issues that require more nuanced understanding, instead of simple tasks like resetting customer passwords.
The AI Solution: Through natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, AI-powered chatbots can respond to customer inquiries in real-time. AI can sift through vast amounts of data, including product catalogs, company manuals, and customer feedback, to deliver consistent and accurate answers across all customer support channels. Nate Nead, owner of software consulting firm DEV.co, says that AI chatbots enabled his CX team to immediately address over 50% of recurring questions. Think about how all that time can now be used better!
2. Connect Clients to the Right Agent in Record Time
The Problem: It can be difficult for customers to get in touch with a CSR who can effectively assist them. Extended hold times, multiple transfers, and having to re-explain a problem increases customer frustration and hurts brand loyalty.
The AI Solution: AI can efficiently route customer inquiries to the most suitable customer service agent based on factors like skill set, language proficiency, workload, and the customer’s specific need. This ensures that customers are connected to the right representative quickly, reducing wait times and improving problem resolution. Zendesk has put this exact solution in action, making their CX workflow a breeze.
3. Anticipate Customer Problems Before They Become Fires
The Problem: Proactive customer service builds trust and loyalty. It also reduces agents' workload by preventing a high volume of reactive inquiries. When CSRs aren’t able to assess potential issues early on, it intensifies complaints and makes work conditions more difficult, hurting customer satisfaction and staff retention.
The AI Solution: AI can utilize predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs. According to CX expert Matthew Egol, “Why wait for the customer to call with a problem? AI makes it more cost effective and feasible to engage customers throughout the journey without the need for human beings to take the time to spot the opportunity…” By analyzing customer data, AI systems can identify patterns, forecast potential problems, and provide proactive solutions, enabling companies to address customer concerns before they escalate to CX disasters.
4. Pivot Faster to Customer Feedback
The Problem: Feedback provides valuable insight on customers' pain points and common complaints. And with new product launches, rebrands, and interface updates, your CX strategies need to be attuned to changing customer feedback. By accounting for this feedback, companies can address repeat issues, refine their processes, and enhance the overall customer experience. But it takes time to gather and analyze feedback across different channels. How can you make the most of it?
The AI Solution: Artificial intelligence is capable of synthesizing and analyzing feedback across from multiple channels, like social media, review sites, and client surveys. Instead of waiting for human staff to gather information from different sources, track patterns in pain points and success stories, and report on their findings, AI can help expedite the task. Having a faster reporting system also avoids the issue of customer feedback being out-of-date. This puts you in a better position to leverage feedback to improve your customer journey and CSR best practices.
How We Get There
Given its surge in popularity, it’s not uncommon for some companies to view AI as an end-all-be-all solution. But over-relying on AI can backfire. Customers are frequently turned off by interactions that feel overly scripted or emotionally hollow. AI-driven systems can also create hyper rigid customer journeys that prevent people from getting the help they need. When implementing AI for your CX teams, you need to ensure it's configured and used in ways that don’t alienate customers.
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