It’s the era delivering exceptional customer service. Data by Gartner adds credibility to our claims: “More than two-thirds of companies compete mostly on the basis of customer service.”
But what do we mean by exceptional customer service? And how does Artificial Intelligence (AI) fit into the overall CX picture? Those are the pressing concerns we’ll be addressing in this article today. Let’s get straight to the point.
1. Chatbots to the Rescue: How they can Enhance your CX
“75% of online customers expect help within 5 minutes.” – McKinsey
One of the basics of providing quality customer service is to offer holistic solutions at both the granular and holistic levels. But where AI tools (think: live chat and conversational chatbots) take the prize is their ability to be available 24×7, engage with customers in real-time and instantly, and allow for complete automation of critical touchpoints in the customer service journey.
Plus, chatbots can store and extract contextual as well as basic data (think: emails, addresses, name, contact, keywords, product information, etc.), thanks to their ability to analyze and generate information through the methods of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP). The benefits trickle down to the customers, who ultimately don’t have to repeat the same information and go back to the (proverbial) drawing board every time they speak to a company executive. In fact, data by Zendesk claims that “72% of customers blame their bad customer service interaction on having to explain their problem to multiple people.” Undeniably, getting customers to repeat their concerns time and again can prove to be a big turn off for the customers and a huge loss for the company.
2. AI Boosts Productivity and Profits in Equal Measure
I think we can agree that every company’s end-goal is to scale operations in an organized, cost-effective, and agile manner. AI-driven tools can help you achieve the same in addition to improving your customer experience, generating more inbound leads, and boosting brand loyalty. That’s not all. AI can also engage in customer service analytics by analyzing the company-customer conversations on social media, emails, chat, among others. This not only helps you to gauge what your customers think and feel about your brand but also ensures that your profit margins shoot up due to smooth customer experience. Practically speaking, if your customers are happy, your employee will be happier, and churn rates for both are sure to take a hit. Research by Bain & Company suggests that “Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues 4-8% above the market.”
All in all, whether you look at it from a strategic standpoint or a customer-centric advantage, using AI in your CX model results in a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved.
3. Proactive & Preemptive Support: The Best of all the Worlds
“84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.” – Salesforce
Every client-facing team knows that the customer’s needs are dynamic and ever-changing. So logically, it makes sense to provide proactive support and reach out to customers before they come knocking at your door. If enterprises wish to stay ahead of the competition, they need to predict and act on their customer’s requirements and continually adapt to the dynamic CX landscape. In this regard, AI acts as a boon for companies and takes off much of the load by catering to the users and offering personalized and proactive solutions before the customers most need it. Additionally, it makes business and logical sense to offer stellar CX from the beginning instead of going into the fire-fighting mode later on, when the damage is already done. This is where AI can step in and provide consistently excellent service from the get-go.
4. Inter-Connected Integration for Greater Synergy
“42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications.” – Aspect
Nothing kills employee morale and confidence like a disjointed work style. Enter: AI. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of using AI tools is that you can integrate it with other applications relating to Sales, Analytics, Customer Support, and other diverse functions in an organization; and deliver a true-to-form omnichannel experience to the users – an added advantage when it comes to retaining customers:
“Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared with 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.” – Aberdeen Group Inc
As you can imagine, this results in greater synergy, flexibility, and convenience for your CX teams, other internal teams, and your customers. Plus, it boosts customer happiness while freeing up time for your human agents who can redirect their energies towards solving more complex problems that require a human touch.
5. Onboarding New Employees & Customers becomes a Breeze
“65% of companies provide effective tools and training to their agents to gain trust with their customers.” – Peppers and Rogers Group
It goes without saying that before you can service your customers, your employees/agents need to be trained with respect to the tools, resources, and knowledge available at their disposal to provide excellent support. In addition to this, training them on key soft skills such as friendliness, confidence, and a positive attitude can ensure speedy and smooth query resolution. Chatbots specifically can be used to assist customers as well as new employees in creating new accounts and guiding them throughout the onboarding process, step-by-step. You can think of them as the company’s eyes, ears, and voice for all intents and purposes when interacting on both ends of the spectrum – with customers or with new recruits.
6. Predicting Future Trends to Improve Customer Engagement
AI, if used correctly, can offer great insights and relevant suggestions from unstructured data belonging to a host of platforms such as text and voice conversations, support tickets, social media, emails, among others. This data-driven approach can help you to alter your approach to customer service and get a better pulse of your customer’s expectations. Plus, this technology can enable you to streamline certain integral parts of the work process on a deep and fundamental level.
That said, AI has to be fed enough inputs and real-time data to be able to analyze and make viable (and accurate) predictions for the future. Typing back to point number four, integrating AI with other apps can help you to view your operations from a 360-degree perspective, predict customer loyalty, and chalk out relevant CX trends that can further your company’s bottom line.
7. Every Customer is Heard, Every Need is Addressed
Get this: According to Esteban Kolsky, “55% of customer requests for service on social media are not acknowledged” – a big mistake.
Ask any customer what their top-most complaint is, and nine times out of ten, they’ll mention poor customer experience as the primary reason behind switching brands. Understandably so. On the other hand, employees get tired of repeating the same monotonous and time-consuming task day-in-day-out. With the help of AI, companies can address multiple customer queries in a single, sweeping shot. Take a look at Google’s example, where, their feature, Google Calendar stopped working. The company made it a point to address every one of their customer’s queries instantly and win praises and hearts in the process:
In sum, most companies have to deal with thousands of complaints in a single day. Factoring in coffee breaks, mood swings, and sick leaves, manually resolving those tickets are no match as to what AI can achieve in terms of quality, quantity, and scale. How you ask? For starters, AI tools can read, process, tag (based on topic, sentiment analysis, language, keywords, urgency, etc.) and ultimately route the complaints to the relevant teams so that the issue can be handled effectively and in a time-sensitive manner. According to David Harrison, Customer Experience Operations Analyst at SeatGeek, the biggest advantage of using AI tools for auto-routing is that it can save about 14 agent hours a day.
Over to You
Here’s the bottom line: Customers today place a high value on consistent, authentic, instant, and personalized service – all of which are strengths of the AI technology. So integrating these four pillars of CX foundation can augment your business profits, enhance customer happiness, and pave the way for an exceptional customer service experience, not just an acceptable one. Are you game?
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Now introducing Social listening. Try it for free.