Did you know that about 64% of all business owners believe that AI can help improve customer support? Most businesses are already using chatbots to improve customer service and reach. While you might think that AI making its way into business and customer service is quite far ahead, it is already happening.
With the popularity of Chat-GPT and other AI-powered bots, customer service bots, voice-assisted call centers, and machine learning algorithms to tailor user recommendations are becoming very common in business. In this article, we will look at ways to use AI in customer service to improve your business’s efficiency and customer satisfaction.
24/7 Customer Support
Customers, irrespective of the industry, require speed. They want their problems solved quickly with very short waiting times, mainly if they’re contacting customer service. That is where chatbots come in. The chatbot industry is expanding swiftly and is projected to capture a market value of around $1.25 billion by 2025; more businesses will be relying on chatbots to drive company growth and improve customer service.
Chatbots are AI-driven customer support agents that are available 24/7. It helps customers with general questions by directing them to the company’s online resources that might answer their queries. More sophisticated options can also handle other routine inquiries, such as order tracking, frequently asked questions and account management.
Not only is using chatbots more efficient than keeping customers on hold or in a long waiting line, but it also relieves some pressure off the company agents, who can focus on the more complex company issues. Chatbots can also redirect customers to human agents when they can’t solve the problem. That way, agents are only required to solve unique and complicated issues.
Chatbots can also automate small tasks, such as scheduling appointments or sending automated responses to customers’ frequently asked questions. They can scan the company’s customer inquiries and determine the most asked questions with potential answers. With chatbots, companies can now provide frictionless customer ‘self-service’, where they won’t need to wait for agents for help.
If necessary, chatbots can extend to voice-assisted support called voice bots. These bots offer customer support over the phone by using AI features like speech-to-text, natural language understanding, intent detection, and context. These can be especially useful for industries like hotels, where customers prefer to call to make bookings or reservations. Voice bots are relatively new compared to chatbots and are still evolving alongside interactive voice responses, AI virtual assistants, and natural language processing. Chatbots can also provide multilingual support, allowing companies to expand their customer base internationally through adequate customer support in many languages.
AI tools can analyze data and customer behavior to customize the recommendations or advice specialized for their customer. For example, if you run an e-commerce business, AI tech can help boost your sales by suggesting products to your clients based on past purchases, browsing history, and other customer preferences.
AI can also provide automatic updates to returning customers on any new product or service launches for a company. They can also offer discounts to customers based on the products in their cart. Also, personalized messages, such as for a customer’s birthday, can enhance customer retention rates.
By leveraging AI to tailor your customers’ experience according to their preferences, you can provide them with a deeply personalized surface, resulting in them coming back for your products. That gives your company a competitive edge and helps build long-term customer relations.
AI tools can also perform sentiment analysis on how customers react to the business online (especially on social media) or how they feel about the company based on their tone. Social media can be especially tricky since all sorts of informal language or slang is now used. Determining brand health and visibility from user comments needs an AI that is well-versed in how humans express their sentiments, formal or informal.
Since AI typically relies on data, these sentiment analysis systems use speech trends, patterns, and word choice information to determine the overall sentiment about a brand or its general customer satisfaction levels.
By monitoring data from social media, customer reviews, and other online sources, AI-powered tools can gauge brand health and customer sentiment in real time. With information from these AI tools on factors that might harm the brand image, companies can alter their marketing and lead generation strategies accordingly. Since this overall process is fast, it’s likely to improve the company’s social proof and general reputation among its clientele.
Drawbacks of Relying on AI for Customer Support
Implementing AI in a workplace, especially in the customer support sector, can be a difficult transition like any new technology. Previously, customer support was entirely reliant on human interaction. If you overdo chatbots and voice bots for customer support, it may seem too robotic and have an adverse effect, such as driving away your customers. You need to balance automation and human interaction for your customers.
These systems also take their time while they learn. Data feeding and training an AI may take months if you’re building one for your company from the ground up and don’t have the proper technical support. If you’re not a tech expert, it’s best to use already available AI tools and tailor them to your desired features. AI and machine learning applications also lack common sense and might take time to learn basic problem-solving. Only implement the system once you’ve test-run it and can have your customer support team transition to it.
While AI has its drawbacks for customer support, its pros outweigh the cons. Not only can you automate mundane tasks like scheduling, but you can also have chatbots and voice bots that can provide live customer support 24/7. These AI-based tools can solve simple customer problems and reduce customer waiting times significantly.
AI tools can also provide personalized recommendations to customers based on their preferences, and previous purchase history. That plays a role in customer retention and improves their satisfaction levels dramatically. These tools can also analyze the general customer sentiment about a brand and suggest potential alterations to the company’s strategy for enhanced client retention.
Some drawbacks of relying too much on AI for customer support include AI giving generic responses to customers or leaving them unsatisfied. You need to ensure that your AI algorithm or system has been test-run for multiple use cases before being implemented in your existing customer service network.