Aug 24

Customer Service 2.0: Exploring Trends With AI

Customer service is the backbone of any successful business. Over the years, we have seen considerable growth in customer service. In the pre-digital age, customer service was more about face-to-face interaction and was limited to the local market and traditional methods of communication like gathering feedback through mailed surveys or conversation.

Customer service has come a long way. With the inclusion of AI, self-service options like chatbots and knowledge bases have gained more prominence, which allows customers to find solutions on their own.

According to An Exploratory Research Study: Customer Experience and Customer Self-Support by Higher Logic Vanilla, out of 285 people being surveyed, 83% people said they would use an online‌ community for self-service support if it was available and 92% said they would use knowledge base for self-service support if it was available.

From advanced chatbots to sentiment analysis, companies are utilizing AI to deliver 24/7 customer support, predict customer behavior from data analysis, and enhance personalized interaction with customers.

Chatbots and knowledge bases are not the only ways to utilize AI to improve customer service; there is much more than that.

Keep reading to understand the future trends in AI in customer service and learn how far customer service can go by leveraging AI.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding AI in customer service
  2. Benefits of AI in Customer Service
  3. AI trends are shaping customer service.
  4. Use cases of AI-enhanced customer service
  5. Challenges with AI in Customer Service
  6. The future of AI in customer service
  7. Final Thoughts

Understanding AI in Customer Service

AI in customer service simply means performing customer service tasks using artificial intelligence to create more enchanting interactions with customers. It will do all the lower levels of customer roles without human intervention so that customer agents can utilize that time to do the more important tasks.

AI in customer service can do multiple tasks, such as mimic human conversation using language processing and some pre-programmed prompts, and have conversations with customers in the form of chatbots.

It can enhance customer service in several ways by categorizing and segregating support tickets based on priority, features, and issues, and by analysing and scrutinizing customer data. It can also make personalized recommendations.

It can perform sentiment analysis by analysing the open-ended responses and also analyse text data like competitor and support queries to extract valuable insights and trends.

The surveys prove it; according to HubSpot, 79% of customer service agents say that AI tools have improved their overall strategy and have greatly impacted their work.

In a nutshell, AI’s role in customer service is to help businesses nurture their relationship with their target customer segment.

Benefits Of AI In Customer Services

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized customer support by offering assistance in extracting valuable trends and providing support with chatbots and a knowledgebase.

It is estimated that by 2025, 95% of the interaction between businesses and their customers will be driven by artificial intelligence.

Doesn’t it sound amazing? If yes, then keep going and learn the benefits of artificial intelligence in customer service.

Manage A Large Amount Of Data And Pinpoint Customer Needs

It’s always good news when you have a huge customer base, the more customers you have, the more data you have. But it is humanly impossible to analyse this large chunk of data; even if you have the brightest minds in your team, you can’t handle and process such large amounts of data.

With AI-enabled tools, you can process tons of data in a matter of seconds. Using current and past data, you can conclude customer behavior and make predictions about future trends.

By utilizing all the data and predictions, you can set marketing campaigns, identify the issues that your customers face, and rectify them.

Reduce The Average Resolution Time.

The average handling time was reduced considerably with the use of AI tools. AI can help the team in the form of passive voice biometrics and chatbots.

Passive voice biometrics reduces the call handling time by recognizing the voice of the caller within a few seconds. This saves a lot of time as the customer doesn’t have to provide the information repeatedly, and it also ensures that the customer’s data remains secured and classified.

On the other hand, chatbots can handle basic issues and questions. Here, the customer doesn’t have to wait for the agents to assist them. They can simply ask for chatbot assistance for small issues.

Provides Anticipatory Support

You can provide a remarkable customer service experience to your clients by taking some pre-emptive actions. Yes, that’s possible with AI tools. The database you gather from the AI tools can help you find information on customer issues. You can generate FAQs with solutions on the basis of those issues, so customers won’t have to search for answers. This way, you offer outstanding customer support to your clients.

So, chatbots are the proactive support system that is available for your clients 24/7. Users can get their problems solved even when the customer support agents are unavailable.

Easy Performance Monitoring 

You can effortlessly track the performance of your team with AI tools. Tracking the performance of the team not only benefits the employees but also boosts your customer support efforts. It can track the number of calls each of the agents handles plus the duration of each call. All of the details are rightly available on your dashboard.

You can even customize the dashboard based on what metrics are important to you and skip the ones you are not interested in. This way, you can analyse the performance of your team for the betterment of their performance and enhance your customer support efforts.

Cost Effective

AI tools seem like an expensive proposition. But truly, it is just a one-time investment, and it will provide you with the best ROI. It will automate all the simpler tasks and allow your customer agents to handle the complex tasks where the customer would need their assistance.

What’s more, AI tools will point out areas where you might not need to spend money and give you valuable guidance on how to cut costs.

So you can say that AI is not only a customer service boosting tool but also a money-saving tool.

AI trends shaping customer service.

Before the advent of AI in Customer support, It had always been considered a challenging job owing to limited access to information, high call volume, repetitive tasks, limited availability, and so on. But with the inception of Artificial intelligence, things have changed forever.

How AI is transforming customer service, let’s understand the trends below.

Natural Language Processing

NLP is another potential way to enhance customer service, it allows customer service to interact with customers through chat, phone, email, and SMS and analyze them using NLP.

We know that AI-enabled chatbots are smart enough to analyse the reviews left by customers. By doing so, it can narrow down the pain points of the customers and suggest what action to take.

 Name entity recognition retrieves the exact date, time, and location, which helps in understanding customer needs in more detail.  

Leveraging AI And Data To Enhance Customer Support

According to The State of AI in 2023 report by INTERCOM, 66% of the support team leaders are positive about using AI to increase the efficiency of the team. By utilizing AI to analyse data, customer support agents and teams can make better decisions to improve the overall business. A provision such as self-service helps identify loopholes and areas of growth.

Earlier, the whole process used to rely on customer agents to report the issues and conduct regular reviews, but now, with the inception of AI, it is much easier to extract valuable insight from the data that pinpoints which area needs the most attention.

Analysis Of Customer Feedback With AI

AI is not only about easing up the task of a customer support agent, it’s also about changing the customer service experience at each step by listening to what your customers want to say.

For example, if the customer is not happy with the product it received or is facing a delay in receiving the order, AI can notice it and send it as a report to your inbox, This process will save a lot of the agent’s time and effort.

AI To Boost Sales

In the near future, AI will help the customer support team contribute to the sales process. As we know, AI helps businesses utilize chats, which means it reaches out to customers who are unsure about the product or thinking of abandoning the cart.

Based on these customers, AI uses chats to provide promo codes or make them happy by offering free delivery.

AI tools are able to identify the intent of the buyer by analysing customer behavior and patterns, see the chances of buying the product, and equip the customer support agent to gear the customer towards buying the product.

Use cases of AI-enhanced customer service

Explore 10 different ways in which your business can utilize AI in customer service.

Chatbots

Chatbots save a lot of your and your customers’ time and they can troubleshoot most tasks. However, sometimes they can’t tackle complex problems. This is where augmenting jumps in. The Augmented messaging tool can identify the spots where there is a need for human intervention. Chatbots are pre-programmed to comprehend the problems faced by customers, understand their problems, and then provide troubleshooting with instant and automatic responses. They are available 24/7 to your customers.

Sentiment Analysis

With sentiment analysis in place, bots can handle issues without escalating them to the support agent. A sentiment analysis tool like natural language processing helps to infer the customer’s response. It helps the bot respond according to the emotions of the customer.

For example, sentiment analysis helps the team understand the emotion of the customer behind the messages. Intent recognition is used to infer the intent behind customer queries, and language translation allows multilingual support, which allows the business to grow in the global market.

Routing And Prioritization Of Requests

Routing and prioritization mean you can analyze the nature of the customer request by identifying the keywords and assigning the request to one of the customer representatives. It enables you to analyze customer issues and assign the right representative to the client.

Self-Help Resources

Creating a knowledge base and FAQs can take a lot of time. But don’t worry, writing tools like Jasper.ai can help in creating copy on the basis of the desired topic. You can use this content for FAQs and knowledge bases.

Data Management

You can use AI tools to trace customer data. AI tools can be integrated with your CRM to extract customer data for the customer representative, this will be very useful in providing enhanced customer service.

Voice Analysis

This tool automates the call center interaction. Here, the AI tools are trained to handle the initial inquiries of the customers so that your agent can handle the more complex tasks.

Omnichannel Service

The AI tool addresses the customer and directs them to the right support channel. For example, if your customer representative is busy with other tasks, they notify the customer to use another option, like live chat.

Multilingual Support

AI chatbots help you in several ways, and one of them is multilingual support. If you are running your business globally, then this would be very helpful. It can translate your responses according to the language used by the customer.

Machine Learning Plus Predictive Analysis

Machine learning helps in analyzing data through AI. Using it, you can extract valuable insights and utilize them to understand customer behavior and future trends.

Challenges With AI in Customer Service

Every good thing comes with its own set of challenges, and while AI is the new electricity, it certainly brings some challenges along.

  • Many customer support agents believe that customers prefer to interact with a human than with AI, as they feel that machines lack empathy. 
  • Other customer support representatives fear that AI will replace them and they will lose their jobs.
  •  According to Hubspot, 55% of representatives think that apps like ChatGPT provide incorrect information

The Future Of AI in Customer Service

Companies had been using AI long before we knew it. From smart TVs to driving cars, AI is everywhere. Companies are already using chatbots, virtual reality, and many more technologies. But, does the future hold for us with AI in customer service? Let’s dig into it.

Companies Will Use Chatbots More Commonly.

Chatbots ease the work of customer support, they can handle simple queries or complex tasks. According to a survey by HubSpot, 36% of representatives feel the most important benefit of a chatbot is that it is available 24/7.

AI Will Provide A More Customized Customer Experience.

As per one survey, 50% of the respondents trust AI’s personal message ability, and 46% trust its personal experience ability. AI can utilize data from customers’ purchasing histories, choices, and behavior patterns. Which will result in creating personalized recommendations for the customer.

AI Will Have Better Predictive Analysis.

AI can predict future trends on the basis of customer behavior and buying history. It will become more sophisticated with time. On the basis of purchasing history, it can recommend products, coupons, and discounts.

Final Thoughts

AI is going to stay in customer service, from chatbots to knowledge bases. From sentimental analysis to augmented messaging, AI is aiding customer service at each step. AI has transformed the customer experience, and it’s unthinkable to see the future of customer service without AI.

However, representatives should remain vigilant and not rely totally on tools like generative AI. In the end, it’s a combined effort of AI and human expertise that will enhance customer satisfaction, which in turn will increase customer loyalty and boost your business.

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