Artificial intelligence (AI) is radically revolutionizing the way customer service works within different industries. More and more businesses and companies are taking advantage of AI in customer service to improve their CRM (Customer Relationship Management), enhance their brand reputation, improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Recently, AI has gained immense popularity when it comes to customer service. AI perfectly automates various actions that are usually done by people. Not only that, with AI-powered automated customer service, companies can collect precise data on their customers, provide proactive and round-the-clock support with a maximum human-like voice. So, it’s no surprise that artificial intelligence is succeeding and, overall, has produced outstanding outcomes.
Today, AI can assist in ways that actually help human customer support agents perform their tasks better and streamline their workflow. It also helps companies understand what their customers want, and, thanks to AI advancements, it provides human-like communication through conversational platforms such as chatbots, IVRs, and visual bots. The benefits are boundless.
Let’s look at different aspects of AI in customer service.
AI Enhances Customer Service Quality
For any business, excellent customer service needs to be a top priority; it is the company’s focal point. It shouldn’t just engage with customers but also produce a high-quality customer experience (CX) and focus on acquiring new customers while simultaneously retaining existing ones.
In this sense, AI is helping companies improve customer service by optimizing interactions with customers, driving customer loyalty while at the same time allowing employees to focus on more complex tasks with customers.
It’s no surprise that 64% of businesses believe that chatbots allow them to provide a more customized support experience for their customers.
As to how different companies and brands have integrated AI into their customer service, let’s look at some examples:
1. KFC — In 2016, KFC opened its first smart outlet in the Chinese capital of Beijing. You may be wondering, how does a smart food joint?
Customers can take pictures with a machine at the restaurant, which will identify the customer’s face, age, gender, mood, and more. The machine then makes suitable meal recommendations through a pleasant ordering process. When customers revisit the store and take a picture with the machine again, the machine will recognize the customer and show their previous purchase history.
With its new AI-enabled restaurant, KFC plans to expand this version of outlets to create more innovative experiences for customers.
2. ASOS — What makes the famous clothing brand ASOS — a business with excellent online customer service?
One of the reasons is its ability to utilize AI in customer service seamlessly perfectly. Their app records consumer behavior and makes personalized recommendations for specific customers. Their machine learning model is able to calculate and suggest outfits based on a given product.
ASOS also has an AI feature called “Fit Assistant” that recommends what size clothing customers should purchase. The recommendation is based on previously answered questions and purchases by the consumer. It also provides customers with how many other shoppers responded similarly and which sizes they purchased.
3. Sephora — French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products, Sephora has invested in AI to enhance its retail experience.
Sephora uses different types of AI, such as natural language processing, machine learning, and computer vision, to create an approach that provides a seamless experience for the customer across both digital and retail outlets.
Sephora recommends personalized product recommendations to customers thanks to its investments in AI. Just some of the services they offer include the ability to tap on a product in-store and try the product on virtually, as well as and a device that scans the surface of your skin and reveals scientifically precise makeup foundation matches.
These examples show that one of the main reasons for investing in AI is that it allows individual personalization for the customer through product recommendations.
Banks also use AI to improve customer service and enhance the quality of the work. Financial Institutions such as Morgan Stanley, J.P Morgan, and Bank of America are also taking advantage of AI technologies.
Morgan Stanley has invested in AI to crawl through client information, providing financial advisers with concrete data to recommend the “next best action” to clients.
JP Morgan has started to implement AI for fraud detection and customized credit card offers.
Bank of America uses AI to predict the likelihood of companies defaulting on loans.
As we can see, companies, banks, and businesses are experiencing new levels of breakthrough success when using AI. With limitless opportunities and its versatility, AI continues to improve every day. Industry analysts expect the AI market to reach $1.3 billion by 2024.
The Infinite Benefits and Concerns of AI in Customer Service
In the past, customer service employees struggled to keep up with their workload while trying not to sacrifice service quality. With consumers’ growing demands, keeping customers satisfied has become a difficult task. However, today, AI-powered assistants are here to lessen that burden.
AI customer service automation platforms, such as Hoory, come with an integrated chatbot that helps businesses reduce costs, increase interaction quality, establish customer loyalty, and reduce employees’ workload. Moreover, AI chatbots don’t need vacations; they are available 24/7 with prompt customer support.
The field of AI in customer service is expanding on a daily basis, but views about its expansion and use are divided. Some people are concerned that AI chatbots can lead to unemployment within the customer service industry, which is why some view its expansion and development negatively.
However, it should be noted that AI chatbots are not meant to replace real customer service teams but rather help them become more effective and strategic. With AI chatbots, companies that are expanding and growing don’t have to employ more workers. Instead, they are ensured with a high employee retention rate.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to take into account that human help is always necessary for AI to work properly. AI is good as long as you train it in the best way possible. Naturally, it requires human intervention to be innovative and foster a good user experience. It needs to have relevant data, natural language processing, smooth front-end, and human support to train it properly for a better experience.
AI won’t replace or replicate real humans; it always needs to work hand-in-hand with them!
Other concerns regarding the expansion of AI — especially chatbots — is the emotional aspect; it is crucial for customers to feel comfortable and trust an AI-based chatbot.
Customers usually pay attention not only to easily accessible and flexible services but also highly value personalized approaches. Customers don’t want to talk to an automated robot that gives stiff answers. Instead, they want to see social presence and emotions.
Today, AI allows businesses to humanize their customer service assistants. It is the business that decides what tone of voice a chatbot or virtual assistant will talk in. It’s possible to train and automate an AI chatbot that closely mimics human dialogue.
After all, artificial intelligence is the science that personifies human-like learning.
All in all, the use of artificial intelligence technology in customer service is not new. However, its success can be impactful and well worth the effort. AI is easy, fast, and ideally improves customer service efficiency. Having AI automated customer support is not just an option a business can choose from but a necessity that will ensure its growth and success.