Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The Implications of Bots and Artificial Intelligence on Customer Service

There are multiple reasons companies cannot successfully implement effective customer service. The lack of adequate training, leadership and management issues, employees who lack expertise and determination to handle customer service, lack of self-service solutions, uncertain customer service goals – all contribute towards customer service failure.

Customers these days prefer fast and personalized experiences, and artificial intelligence effectively caters to this need. Artificial intelligence is a facet of computer science that deals with the creation of highly capable and sophisticated machines that are programmed to execute certain tasks.

The self-driving cars, Alexa and similar Smart Assistants are examples of AI-driven solutions. Artificial intelligence is slowly but steadily gaining traction in the present scenario. In this article we’ll go through the various implications of Artificial Intelligence on Customer Service.

automated artificial services
customer care support

What is customer service?

The conventional definition of customer service is providing apt support and guidance to the customers prior to and post the purchase of a product or service. However, the conventional definition has undergone some transformation in the last couple of decades. The most modern customer service revolves around an omnichannel customer support concept which is highly proactive and at the time prompt. Customer service is an integral aspect of a business and it helps in customer retention and building the reputation of the establishment.

The right balance between EXPECTATION and SUPPORT is the secret to an effective customer service. The customers expect support from the customer service team in varying degrees. The right balance is established when the customer service team understands this and takes the necessary steps to meet those expectations. Afterall, customer service is not a one-way process. It’s a joint effort that involves the participation of both the customer service representative and the individual on the receiving end.

How Bots & Artificial Intelligence help customer service?

Improves customer experience - Providing a personalized customer experience is one of the majors benefits of AI powered solutions . AI successfully tracks the browsing and purchase patterns of the customers, and based on this gathered information, provides product recommendations or suggestions for customers. AI is equipped to collect a wide variety of data like the existing weather condition and location of the customer. AI can track the preferences and patterns of customers on an individual basis and this helps to create a database of the individual customer. This helps to send highly personalized recommendations to the customers.

Predictive insights – AI combined with machine learning helps businesses make vital forecasts related to events, customer sentiments etc. The relevant data regarding the previous purchases, activities, interactions etc can be used to take marketing decisions.

artificial intelligence

The role played by chatbots - Based on the studies conducted by Fortune Business Insights, it is predicted that the chatbot market would reach 3 billion in 2029 – 2030 with a CAGR of 22%. There is no wonder in the statistics mentioned above as more and more establishments are moving to a chat-based customer care system. Attending huge number of calls and sorting out the customer query in minimum time can be daunting at times. The chatbots take up this responsibility with utmost efficiency. What chatbots do here is that, they

  • Give quick, accurate answers to customer query in real-time.
  • Attend a large number of calls
  • Lower the burden on the employees.
  • Facilitates interactions that closely resemble humans.
  • Bots can work even when your agents are not active.
  • Bots help in customer self-service.
  • Bot communications are cost-effective and saves money of the service provider.

Collect customer data - AI enables data collection from customers and tracks their behavior patterns too. AI powered systems are so capable that they take prompt and apt decisions based on customer’s reaction or response.

24/7 support - Automated customer service can provide 24/7 customer support in a very consistent manner. Customers are selective in nature and they demand high degree of freedom these days. They like to use their most preferred channel of communication to interact with the agent. Gone are those days, when the customer calls the agent, registers the complaint or query and waits for an indefinite period of time. An effective, 24/7 customer support improves customer retention. Prompt, seamless and efficient customer service is a predominant aspect of every successful business.

Reduces overall expense of the service provider - Companies invest in trillions annually on call-based interactions with the customers. Artificial intelligence via chatbots brings down the expenses involved in the customer service process. A large chunk of the general, repetitive questions is answered by the chatbots with improved precision and response time. This significantly reduces the involvement of human personals in the process. The employees who are otherwise involved in the mundane calling jobs, can engage themselves in high-priority tasks which add revenue to the business.

automated artificial services

Artificial intelligence and retail sector

Artificial intelligence is employed in self-service kiosk domain, particularly in the retail sector. AI-powered self-service kiosks make the check-out process highly convenient in retail chains. Self-service kiosks loaded with AI-powered camera helps to scan the purchased item for billing. Moreover, retailers make use of AI to offer personalized offers to the customers. Retailers can also determine the customer traffic inside a retail establishment using heat maps. Data pertaining to movement, direction of traffic, sudden, aggressive behaviors from the part of customers can also be tracked with AI.

Even social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have their role in the present customer service scenario. Users can make use of these platforms to review a product or service of any vendor anytime. Or else, the user can create a video and upload it on platforms like YouTube. These reviews can reach millions of users or potential customers world-wide in a matter of minutes!

When it comes to AI, the future of AI is beyond anyone’s imagination. AI is supposed to make significant transformations in multiple domains like manufacturing, healthcare, education, transportation and customer service. For example, AI-powered robots are already in the scene in manufacturing industry. AI systems are used for medical diagnosis purposes connected to specific illnesses in the healthcare industry.

May be, what we are witnessing right now, is just the beginning! Let’s wait and see.