AI is changing the way we do business, particularly customer service. Chatbots are helping businesses provide support and service to their customers, which means slashed costs on human resources.
However, the game/show has been rocky for some medium-scale businesses making it difficult for them to align with the trend, even though prediction states that by 2025, 95% of customer service will be powered by AI. At the same time, others have found it amazing to plug in their tools and system for exceptional delivery of services.
In this article, we'll look at AI in general and customer service, why it matters for customer service, the types, valuable examples, benefits of AIs in customer service, and more.
What is AI and Why Does It Matter For Customer Service?
Artificial intelligence AI in general, is the ability of systems (computers or robots) controlled by a computer to carry out tasks that humans naturally do because they require human instinct and intelligence.
AI in customer service means businesses can now use computer science (machine learning like computers or robots) to perform and solve customer-related issues without human intervention, such as speech recognition, translation, visual perception, and decision-making.
However, no AIs can fully perform many tasks an ordinary human can do; many AIs can compete and match humans in specific tasks. Having known this, why does AI matter for customer service? Are you ready for this? Let's take a look.
Since almost all industries, including customer service, are facing a technology disruption from the diverse application of artificial intelligence technologies and innovation, the application of AI to Customer service delivery will provide an excellent response to business customers to reach their audience faster.
It will also enhance business and revenue growth, leading to awareness and adoption of new trends.
Types of AI
When highlighting the different types of AI, it's essential to categorize them based on their respective functionalities. With this in mind, we can now name the types:
1. Reactive Machine AI
2. Limited Memory AI
3. Theory of Mind AI
4. Self-Aware AI
Let's explain each, so you know why each has its name in how they appear.
Reactive Machine AI
Reactive machine AI operates solely based on the available data, taking into account only the available data to produce its results. It cannot form references from the data available to evaluate future actions. They only perform a streamlined pre-defined task. An example of a reactive machine AI is the well-known IBM Chess program.
Limited Memory AI
Limited memory AI speaks best with its name, this type of AI can make an informed and improved decision by studying the past data from its memory bank. This type of AIs has short or temporary memory that it can use to store past records/experiences and evaluate them in future action.
Examples of these types of AI are self-driving cars that use limited data received in the recent past to make immediate decisions. Self-driving vehicles have sensors that are used to identify when commuters are crossing a path, road, traffic signals, and steep roads.
Theory of Mind AI
The theory of mind plays a significant role in psychology. This AI focuses on emotional intelligence to get human beliefs and thoughts to understand feelings better. It is a more advanced type of AI than the previously mentioned types.
This AI is still in a developmental stage as rigorous work is ongoing to ascertain clarity.
This stage of AI is where machines have their own consciousness like humans, and become self-aware of what to do. If this manifest, the world wouldn't need real humans to carry out some technical tasks.
Elon Musk has warned about the impact and evolution of AI. With the rate at which the government and individuals are sponsoring machine learning and artificial intelligence projects, we might reach this stage a couple of years from now.
What is Natural Language Programming (NLP)
Natural language programming NLP is a categorized assisted way of programming in which natural language sentences are structured with content, sections, and subsections for explanation in NLP documents, often known as a computer program. It is more or less related to Natural language processing.
AI Customer Service Examples
Let’s look at some outstanding results and examples of AI customer service example.
An amazing transformation to the customer service industry is the introduction of chatbots. The transition happened at a time when the world is busy, and business owners seeking a medium to reach their audience faster with ease without human efforts call for AI.
These chatbots can respond to customers and help them solve their problems, giving the customer service team more opportunities to help more people simultaneously. You can get a freelancer in Legiit to help you build a chatbot at a reasonably low price.
Customers are always happy whenever they encounter an issue with a product, and prompt response and solution is given. Companies can use smart speakers and assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri to provide quick answers and solutions to customers on the go.
Suppose businesses can introduce smart and simplified communication techniques to their customer service unit, where if a customer purchases physical products, solutions are provided with smart speakers like Alexa and Siri. If this is achieved, we would agree that we have come to the age of Self-aware AI: This stage would make every impossibility possible when done right.
If you are wondering how AI training could improve customer services, consider remote work's impacts on individuals during the pandemic. With AI at our disposal, companies can construct simulations that test employee aptitude for handling various tasks.
When implemented correctly, it could help the company's customer service test out other channels of responses to better the brand.
The Interactive Voice Response IVR systems introduced to customer service ticket routing and transaction help customer and customer service agents achieve more quickly.
Some IVR systems have biometric features with AI automation that helps customer service agents receive data faster and streamline the process to favor both parties. Many companies nowadays have turned to visual IVR systems through mobile applications for their transactions and ticket distribution.
Natural Language processing
Artificial intelligence works hand in hand with other technologies to make chatbots and other automated customer interactions a reality. Of these technologies, AI works with Natural Language Processing NLP: Natural language processing is a branch of artificial intelligence that works on a machine learning algorithm to help computers, robots, and systems understand natural human language.
Natural language processing helps machines to understand and process natural language, which usually takes a large number of teams and time. It also helps to eliminate mistakes, errors, and repetitive data during a customer service interaction. The introduction of NLP to the company's customer service team will help achieve more quickly while saving the team millions of dollars annually.
Machine learning in customer service is key to achieving a huge milestone. With machine learning, an AI application can learn and improve from experience (previous messages, chat, and queries) without actually undergoing any programming.
Machine learning allows you to continue to improve on an existing customer support system. And with AI, chatbots become a more exciting experience as it learns, discerns, and responds to customers' needs with automated responses, which makes them more outstanding and convenient for continuous use.
Robotic process automation
If you are familiar with inventory and financial institution daily tasks, you will know that we can automate many repetitive tasks with the help of an AI. Robotic process automation bots can help automate these repetitive tasks, allowing the customer service team to focus on more human tasks.
To know this task quickly, ask your company customer service team about the job that can be automated with these bots to help save time and cost for the business. When done right can help save the company a lot of money that could be channeled to grow their business
People want to try things out on their own, have a sense of belonging, and tell colleagues and friends that, yeah, I did this myself with the help of AI. Self-service allows them to do so at their convenience.
With the introduction of AI to customer service, the customer will be able to help themselves, do more on their own and save the customer service team more time from focusing on other things AI can do. This will allow them to focus on more technical issues that need human touch or assistance.
It pleases people more when they stress themselves less and achieve more quickly. In today's world, agent assist technology uses AI to interpret what a customer asks and displays them to the customer service agent while on the call or face to face.
The process has proven to save time, energy, and resources, ultimately helping business owners, customer service agents, and multinationals achieve more in a world where everyone wants things at the snap of a finger.
Some tools are available now to discern when a customer is upset or distracted and notify a customer representative about such intent for a possible solution. These tools help to analyze and identify how a customer feels and inform the customer service agent of action.
Another way these tools can help the customer service team is that it gives a clear picture of customer satisfaction in the workplace.
AI Customer Service Statistics
Below are some of the remarkable statistics about AI customer service
"Servion Global Solutions predictions show AI will power 95% of all customer interactions by 2025, including live telephone and online conversations." Source
Undoubtedly, this is becoming a reality as some online conversations in many cryptos, eCommerce, and marketing agency websites are powered by AI chatbots. If you follow through with the discussions and answer correctly, you can request a live customer representative to solve your challenge if it needs a human touch.
"Only 27% of global consumers declare AI can deliver the same if not better service than humans. However, 38% opine AI will soon improve customer service." Source
Suppose we get to the self-aware stage of AI. In that case, we will no longer require human efforts to perform basic and technical operations in our industry, like healthcare, engineering, technology, transportation, and more. With the current trend in AI, if we keep going at this pace, AI will power and deliver better service.
"73% of global consumers opine they are open to brands/businesses using AI if it makes life easier." Source
If AI delivers more and faster, consumers will prefer to get results faster than waiting for decades. If AI customer service companies create tools to help customer service, companies will be happy to acquire them to help their businesses scale new grounds.
AI Customer Service Limitations
The joy of seeing your query solved instantly by a robot cannot be overemphasized, but does it apply to customer service?
A report shows that above 50% of respondents in a survey report that they would rather wait for a human customer service agent to attend to their query rather than a chatbot. It tells you we have limitations to the AI thing; below are a few limitations to AI to customer service.
Time-Sensitive Operation Delays
Chatbots can make things more complex and complicated, especially with eCommerce and logistics. For instance, if you are managing an urgent request for wrongly ordered products, chatbots cannot effect the desired changes you want with another item. When this happens, it causes delays in operation.
On the contrary, humans can discern, analyze, and change the wrongly ordered product to the customer's choice. Several other reasons make humans a better choice than AIs and chatbots.
Reading Between the Lines
The goal of every customer service agent is to ensure customers are satisfied with exceeding results to show. To do this without flaws requires a commitment to listen to every detail of the consumer.
Take, for instance, a customer who orders pizza from domino pizza and has a tracking number that they can use to track the pizza; per adventure, the pizza didn't arrive, and they intend to track it. If you provide the tracking number to an AI chatbot, you will not get the exact location of the pizza. But a human can give the precise location of the pizza and tell you what happened.
Artificial intelligence will not have the patience to wait for consumers to finish laying complaints before rendering a solution. Sometimes the resolution may fail to meet customer satisfaction; this is a turn-off for most customers.
Hard to Make an Instant Decision
There are decisions a customer service representative makes, and if an AI makes that decision, it may cause the organization billions of dollars to correct.
For example, your lawyer mistakenly sent a bill to transfer all your property to a charity unknown to you; the AI on your computer accepted the request by saying yes, you can go ahead. You will probably be mad when you get the letter allocating each of your properties to charity.
When you receive such an email, you will call your lawyer to inquire if this is for you. You see, with humans, you can't make such a mistake. AIs have their limitations; it's what you put in you will get.
Understanding Language Subtleties
Even with the various tools built to understand sentiments, AI customer service tools need help understanding the emotional states and language of the audience.
States like irritation, depression, and more are complex to discern by a chatbot, making AI a turn-off for most sensitive or worse situations. On the contrary, humans can understand when someone is emotionally down or irritated.
When a customer agent notices some emotional breakdown in a customer, there is a more brilliant move they can take to ensure the customer feels lively again. That said, Human customer service agents precede AI chatbots in this case.
Adapting to the Brand’s Tone and Values
To catch and retain attention for your brand, you need to be consistent with your content delivery and value. Your brand tone and voice must appeal to your audience to keep the glue.
Can AI do this? Can AI learn and adapt to changes? This is a question you're asking yourself too. Your answer will be as good as mine.
But sure, AI will not deliver much like a human with emotions, especially copywriting. You want to maintain your reputation and business that you might have taken years to build.
Benefits of AI Customer Service
Undoubtedly, AI is revolutionizing the customer space by providing swift assistance with sales-related inquiries, assisting companies and brands with administrative tasks, and helping insurance companies assess risks for their brand and customers.
The following are some vital benefits of AI that matter to customer service.
It Reduces Costs
Chatbots and other automated channels are already helping companies to reduce the cost of providing customer service to their customers. Businesses of all types nowadays are engaging AI to provide customer support without a human operator to end the endless waiting of customers and loss of sales due to impatience.
These AIs are developed to give real-time answers and customer interaction, thereby reducing the cost of employing human customer support specialists. When customers are attended to swiftly, it ultimately guarantees more sales closing and revenue growth for the company thereby helping the business to scale faster.
Easy to Adapt to Changing Trends
There has never been a time when a company rendering online service will not have a log of messages. These messages require a considerable customer service specialist, requiring more qualified customer service providers for such jobs.
With the invention and introduction of AI, businesses can achieve more using strategic machine learning in customer service. The following remarkable feats AIs can help achieve in the customer service industry.
* It helps to know when a customer is abandoned
* It can analyze the data available to make an informed decision
* It can help gives directions on how to solve different customers' situation
* It helps reduce worker workload to focus on what only moves the need
* It can adapt to changes in the customer approach and behavior
* It helps identify gaps in the service delivery
* It provides insight into the customer details, which helps customer service delivery efficiently.
Efficient Performance Tracking
In every work environment, measuring your input to track performance is crucial to know how your company or team is doing. It not only gives a clear pictorial of your team's performance but also gives insights into metrics.
Since it can be difficult to put together all resources and strategies to improve your team's performance, you need to introduce AIs to your customer service team to help improve your results.
Many AIs platforms provide a variety of data, metrics, graphs, and infographics that can be of help to your team.
Quicker Response to Customers
Customers these days hardly have time to wait while a customer service representative is solving a problem. To this effect, introducing powerful AI that actively solves customers' problems quickly and actively is a game-changer.
AI can perform various tasks based on previous conversations and interactions to know the cause of an issue or bug. It also can help prioritize bugs based on urgency, such as high or low risk.
Since AI technology is getting more advanced each day, providing quicker and more proactive support helps to identify opportunities for improvement and recommendations for companies to run swiftly.
Create Time for More Complex Issues
With AIs available at a moderately priced, companies' employees can have more time to focus on more complex duties while allocating light tasks to AIs and other automated channels.
Facebook recently launched an AI-powered speech translator that can translate spoken words into any language. The tool helps individuals and business owners communicate with understanding, saving more time for complex activities.
Several AIs have been developed in the eCommerce space to help know the exact positions of items for fulfillment purposes.
Ability to Personalize Products and Services
AI has significantly increased in diverse industries such as financial services, retail, technology, healthcare, and more. The breakout is yet to feature in customer service-related endeavors fully; thus, AI in customer service will allow instant and self-reliant assistance for delivery.
Although prediction has shown that AI will reach a $36+ billion market by the end of 2025, this figure may exceed, given the rapid adoption of the technology in recent times.
Specifically, we can use AI in customer service to perform the following:
* AI allows brands with many customer service teams to save costs and increase service delivery.
* AI can improve customer experience by offering personal support via regular live chat or popular voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.
* Lastly, AI can help companies automate the easy tracking of customers' issues and queries without human intervention.
Easy to Highlight Customer Needs and Expectations
Personalizing content to customer service delivery using the power of AI can help you get better with your customer's needs and expectations. However, a major challenge with customer service delivery is that you may never meet the ever-increasing demand and high standard of customer satisfaction.
Personalizing content with AI to learn how to highlight customer needs to better your business and brand.
Forecast and Predict Future Trends and Changes
With AI, you can forecast and predict future trends in the fashion industry, especially in a brand or product that will resonate rapidly with a particular audience.
By this, businesses can adjust to changes and focus on products and services that will produce the best ROI, especially in volatile markets. Popular eCommerce marketplaces and stores use AIs to generate data and trends for future trends and plan toward them.
Perform and Steer Large Volumes of Data
Artificial intelligence AI is the new oil in customer service and has the potential to solve many business problems due to its large volume of data.
AI technology and innovation are creating an evergreen industry, transforming it into a more reliable, cost-effective, and productive space to thrive.
Can you implement AI into customer service? If not, read on to find out.
Can You Already Implement AI Customer Service?
If you can implement AI customer service to your site or system, that's a nice feat. But should you be eager to know this, it's pretty easier to do it than climbing the highest mountain. Read on to find out.
How To Implement AI Customer Service Trends
To implement AI customer service trends to your site or system successfully, the following are shortcuts to achieve that quickly.
1. Determine the Purpose of the AI
You must be sure that the AI you are executing solves your customer's needs and answers your customer's nudging questions. Furthermore, will your customer's nudging be answered with a chatbot? Discern and analyze data within machine learning or Natural learning processing.
2. Choose the Channels
If your choice of AI is a chatbox, there are many options, from mobile applications, social media, websites, messengers, and more. At this stage, you must choose a specific tool that suits and solves your needs.
3. Adapt the Solution to Your Needs
It is what you give to the AI that it will render, so you must train it, test it with real-life applications and see if it's right for your business purpose.
That is relatively easy. You have successfully implemented AI into your customer service.
AI Customer Service Trends
We have seen many trending topics on AI; the following are some AI customer service trends for 2022 and beyond.
1. Scalable technology will be crucial for automation at the enterprise level
2. Automated chat will be the main channel for customer service
3. Companies will build highly intelligent chatbots that are even faster
4. Conversational AI will retain the human touch for actions
5. Proprietary algorithms will replace off-the-shelf models
6. AI will bring automated phone support system into the 21st century
7. Chatbots will work consecutively to provide better service
8. AI chatbots will support human workers, not replace them
9. Chatbots will become less information but more transactional
10. Chatbot design will become increasingly evidence-based, not factional
AI Customer Service Frequently Asked Questions
Quite a few questions are often asked about AI customer service that need real answers; below are some of the frequently asked questions we have curated for your benefit.
How does AI affect customer service?
AI in customer service allows for quick, efficient, reliable assistance and self-service. The method allows companies with vast customer base teams to save costs and increase efficiency. AI can help automate the tracking of customers' previous records and queries without the need for human assistance.
What companies use AI customer service?
A variety of companies could use AI customer service for customer support and transactional solutions. Tech companies, eCommerce businesses, logistics, engineering, healthcare, automotive and more.
Companies like Alibaba, Uber, Volkswagen, Lexus, and more are a few examples of companies that use AI for their customer service.
Will AI take over customer service?
The customer service industry is a big one that needs human interaction for some of the tasks. IVAs can assist agents by increasing customer satisfaction, optimizing workloads, and ensuring clients return for more projects. That said, AI can't replace human interaction, no matter what.
How does AI help customer experience?
Undoubtedly, we have seen that AI is helpful in customer service delivery. AI can help derive customer behavioral patterns, evaluate data, and simplify complex tasks.
Additionally, we can use data gathered from AI to construct customer preferences, personas, and dislikes and, more importantly, help businesses suggest to customers similar products and services for customers to buy
AI has its place in customer service, and if combined with human efforts, individual businesses and companies will provide top-notch service to their consumers.
That said, If you want to get the best from AIs for your customer service team, you will need to spend a substantial amount of time learning about the process, the chatbots, machine learning, and Natural language processing.
The benefits are enormous when used rightly, and business wants to take advantage of a promising tool. You, too, can be part of the eruption of artificial intelligence.
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