Artificial intelligence and machine learning are everywhere, and they are impacting all types of business operations in sectors. That’s also true with customer service: a highly crucial arena that determines things like conversion rate, customer loyalty, and more.
To maximize your brand’s effectiveness and ensure it stays on top, it’s a good idea to look into how you can use AI in customer service. Let’s take a closer look.
How Is AI Used in Customer Service?
Artificial intelligence, like AI technologies and machine learning algorithms, are deep learning tools that take a lot of data to simulate human responses and decisions. Generative AI models and automation tools are commonly used in data analysis, social media, customer engagement, and a variety of other use cases. Indeed, the applications of artificial intelligence are limitless, particularly in this age of big data.
Put simply, AI in customer service is the ongoing, transformative introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies into the customer service sector. One of the easiest examples of this transformation is the widespread adoption of chatbots.
Chatbots are simplistic AI customer service tools that provide pre programmed or scripted answers to common customer queries. As an example, a customer might ask where they can contact a customer service department representative, and a chatbot might provide them with an automatic answer.
However, AI is becoming increasingly more sophisticated and robust. These days, many customer service teams use AI to:
- Provide more personalized experiences for their customers
- Supplement the efforts and workflows of their human customer service agents
- And more
AI is available in customer service through distinct tools, software programs, and platforms. However, it’s also available through machine learning cloud platforms and ongoing services. No matter how big your brand is or what your budget might be, there are ways you can leverage AI in customer service to excellent effect!
The use of AI even extends to decision-making by business leaders. For instance, they might use AI learning models and data sets to make decisions regarding:
- Business processes
- And more
Natural language processing (NLP) tools like ChatGPT are just the start. Microsoft, Google, and other companies are looking to extend AI tools and apps in healthcare, manufacturing, the supply chain, and more. As the applications of AI become more universal, startups and small companies like yours will need to use these tools as well to maintain their competitive advantage.
Benefits of AI in Customer Service
When you adopt AI in customer service, you can see several important advantages sooner rather than later. For example:
- According to SEMrush, 80% of marketers use customer service chatbots as part of their customer experience (CX) strategies already, and 40% of businesses say that artificial intelligence helps them produce better customer service experiences overall
- More importantly, 85% of customer service interactions were responded to by AI-powered chatbots across industries
- On top of that, AI can help your customer service agents keep track of personalized information points or data regarding specific customers. This, in turn, will help your agents provide more personalized and emotionally resonant experiences for callers, website visitors, and buyers
- AI can supplement the efforts of your human agents by taking some of the work off their shoulders, especially by automating rote or repetitive tasks
Perhaps most critically of all, eight out of 10 businesses have already implemented or are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution. Consequently, to avoid falling behind, your brand must employ AI-powered customer service to deliver comparable top-notch, personalized experiences to your customers, keeping pace with your competitors.
When you leverage AI effectively, you’ll see:
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Higher rates of customer loyalty and improved customer relationships
- Better ratings for your customer service interactions
- Higher conversion and retention rates
- Better brand reputation across the board
With all these major advantages, there’s no reason not to look into integrating customer service AI tools at the earliest opportunity.
How Can Your Business Leverage AI for Enhanced Customer Service Results?
If you don’t know where to start, you’re in luck. There’s an AI tool or enhancement for practically every aspect of the customer service process and department. Here are some ways you can use AI in customer service to provide better experiences than your competitors.
Chatbots and Customer Funneling
Chatbots are phenomenally useful tools that your customer service department can and should utilize. Not only can they answer some of the basic FAQs that your website visitors might have, thereby freeing up time for your customer support teams to reply to more complex or important queries, but they can also funnel customers to the right sources.
Does the customer need to visit the customer service page? A chatbot can tell them where to go. Should a specific support agent handle a particular customer request? Chatbots can do that, too.
In this way, AI tools streamline your customer service department simply by routing people to the correct touchpoints.
Proactive Product Recommendations
On top of that, AI tools and technologies can provide proactive product recommendations to customers, especially through chatbot windows. Through AI assistants, customers will be directed to the products that best suit their needs, budget limitations, and other attributes faster than ever.
In the long run, this might result in a higher conversion rate. Regardless, you can bet that it will result in better customer satisfaction across the board.
24/7 Customer Support
In addition to the above, businesses are using AI to provide 24/7 customer support. When you have an online business, you can receive site visitors anytime, any day. However, your customer service agents need time off.
Chatbots and other AI tools allow your brand to provide at least limited 24/7 support and question answers to customers who need them. This is phenomenal for your brand’s reputation, but it also enables your business to provide some services to customers, even when everyone is asleep or the proverbial lights are out.
Multilingual Customer Support
In keeping with the above, many companies use conversational AI in customer service to provide multilingual customer support. For example, if your customer service agents don’t speak Chinese, an AI tool or chatbot can do the heavy lifting for you and answer some basic customer questions.
It's always wise to have multilingual customer service experts, of course. That's the only way to provide personalized services to those who speak languages other than English as their primary language.
That said, AI tools can supplement the efforts of your multilingual workforce and help shore up your multilingual customer support if you are currently training your customer service agents to learn more than one language.
In some cases, AI translations are so powerful and accurate that your English-speaking agents can even use them to muddle through multilingual conversations, all while providing excellent customer care.
Personalized Interactions and Support
Speaking of excellent service, AI tools allow your customer service department to provide better, more personalized customer interactions and support.
As an example, an AI tool can remember a specific data point or preference for a customer, then discreetly tell a customer service agent about that information in the midst of a call or web chat. Once your CS agent is armed with that information, they can use it to make the customer’s experience better and special.
This is an especially good benefit for bigger brands with hundreds or thousands of customers to track. When you have such a big customer base, even the best CS agents can remember everything by themselves. AI tools can supplement their efforts, plus provide customers with personalized recommendations and product offers (something that your marketing department can benefit from, as well).
Collect Consumer Insights
In a broad sense, AI tools allow your CS department to collect much more customer data and, crucially, analyze that data for accurate insights. By collecting and leveraging customer insights, your CS department will be able to provide ever-better services, respond to customer pain points, and address any issues or weaknesses that might currently be impacting the department.
This is a good way to continually and meaningfully improve your business operations. Sentiment analysis and data collection are just another example of how AI and machine learning technologies can not just revamp but also revitalize your customer service processes for the better.
Create More Powerful, Effective Workflows
If you have a lot of customer service agents, AI tools can create streamlined and effective workflows. It can schedule customer service agents during the time windows when you receive the most queries, ensure that there isn’t a lot of overlap, and even handle automatic scheduling so that someone on your team doesn’t have to do it.
Putting your people in the best places possible is key to maximizing the efficiency of your business operations. AI tools can help improve your response times, streamline your user experience, and do much, much more.
Agent Onboarding and Training Assistance
Want to bring someone else onto your CS team? AI can help here, as well. In fact, many businesses use AI for the recruiting and onboarding process, specifically, to:
- Scan and vet resumes
- Send resumes to HR department team members so they know who to interview first
- Guide new hires and CS agents through the first few days of work to ensure they aren’t lost
- And more
With AI support, you’ll be able to bring new CS agents onto your team faster than ever, plus ensure that they are trained quickly and capably.
Contact Awesome CX Today
When it comes to AI in customer service, there's no one better to partner with than Awesome CX. That's because we offer a variety of solutions to help your brand meet its goals and help your customers feel more catered to than ever.
Alternatively, you can rely on Awesome CX for data analytics insights, helping your brand better understand its target audience.
Whatever the case may be, we’re confident we can help you lean into AI development and customer service, taking full advantage of these new technologies and powers. Contact us today to get started!