Look around you; automation is everywhere. From checking bags in at the airport to ordering pizza, booking a hotel room, or arranging a doctor's appointment, artificial intelligence is being used worldwide. Customer service is no different. By the end of this year, experts predict 85% of all customer exchanges will be done without human interjection.
The automation of customer service radically reduces human input in repetitive, manual tasks, saving time, effort, and, ultimately, monetary resources. This means the addition of processes that let customers ask and have queries answered instantaneously without the need for any contact with a human representative. It works so well because the customer has to jump through fewer hoops to find a resolution.
Automated customer service removes the need for context or secondary explanations, and gets to the heart of a problem without much fuss. It's not limited by industry either, having potential use cases for retailers, manufacturers, IT pros, and even a Saas marketing agency.
Are you looking to integrate automated customer service into your organization? Or, do you still need to convince those around you of its uses? RingCentral is here to help, and here's why your business should invest in automated customer service.
AI can preempt a problem
Through automation, you gain a level of responsiveness that just isn't humanly possible. In the not too distant future, a virtual assistant will know what a customer wants by understanding how most people interact with a business and using that data to guide the customer throughout his or her journey.
An AI assistant will know who makes up your customer base and give them what they want before they even know they need it. AI-embedded systems can monitor an infinite amount of websites and data sets, identifying distress indicators and customer experience blockers. It can then respond instantaneously through pop-ups or virtual service agents that function across platforms.
This preemptive problem solving can significantly lower customer abandonment rates within a purchasing cycle, while at the same time improving the customer journey and satisfaction.
This type of preemptive problem solving is referred to as "intent prediction." It's an algorithm that figures out where the customer came from, should go next, and what they'll need when they get there. Inputs like clicks, scrolling speed, views, and prior purchases are translated into data that determines intent and selects the right kind of support.
For example, the tech can recognize patterns based on web activity and route the incoming customer call to the right agent or department. Intent prediction lets customer service teams be there at the exact point they're needed.
Not limited by public holidays, sick days, or time zones, an organization with AI-empowered customer service means it can handle customer queries at all times, every day. Meaning, no waiting times for a response. No waiting times suggest better customer satisfaction, thus reduced churn. It also proves a brand's customer commitment - valuable for both trust and reputation.
No need for training or repetition
Onboarding and then training staff is an expensive and time-consuming process. A customer call center operator in the US can cost upwards of $4000 to hire and nearly $5000 to train them on your systems, call center workforce management software, and more. Never mind stationery and office other office expenses.
Automation solutions solve both cost and space problems, which are common issues within a call center. AI can empower team members with the resources they need to serve your customers and find more job satisfaction.
An automatic dialer, for example, can arm agents with all they need for any specific call. Simultaneously, computer telephony integration software links all data into a single dashboard and gives the agent a myriad of methods to help answer customer queries. Such features are just part of the reason why RingCentral is a Stevie Awards winner.
Rather than retraining your entire workforce, the software can be reconfigured and everything else automated. More still, AI-powered customer service platforms free up employees from tiresome and often dull tasks and allow them to focus more on challenging customer issues and think of creative, dynamic solutions.
An easier way to personalize
By combining big data, machine learning, and AI, companies can create an intimate personalization level across a customer’s journey. This can be as simple as using past purchases to suggest new products, or as complicated as detailed website layouts laid out in real-time to match a user’s browsing habits and reading comprehension.
This sort of personalization improves customer experiences; it encourages conversions as well as repeat purchases. AI and automation also give human employees more context as to who they’re talking to, by understanding their purchase history, search preferences, and past experiences with your business. With this information on hand, service professionals are more prepared to give your customers better and more tailored output.
AI-powered customer service technology unlocks a level of reliability that human counterparts cannot match. Chatbots don’t have the same affiliations and biases humans may have. Chatbots don’t show up to work late. They don’t get irritated with customers or crack inappropriate jokes.
They can also be designed to escalate matters to a human manager if they’re not providing adequate service. All of this improves customer service interactions, which is one of the best ways to generate repeat business.
When queries are escalated to a human agent, they’re able to handle the past-call data in an instant and can pick up the baton where it was dropped. As opposed to the customer having to repeat themselves. There’s no need for siloed information or separate databases. Customer service reps, working alongside virtual assistants, can provide consistent, reliable, and friendly service.
Source: Artificial solutions
The ability to scale quickly
AI-powered technology allows businesses to scale customer service up or down with ease and speed, even when resources are limited (like during a pandemic). Upon launching a new product or service, a business can release FAQs or video-based solutions that can handle countless customer questions without human interjection.
Chatbots make it easy to respond to customer inquiries even during a surge, and learn and grow from every interaction. Businesses can break into new markets without limitation or the need to hire and train a mass of staff who speak the language needed in this new market. You can keep your workforce connected, no matter where they are or where they’re working from.
AI is not here to replace human teams but to support them. It can compile massive amounts of data and present it in an easy to read and action format, ultimately for the customer’s benefit. It makes work smarter, not harder, and has already changed customer service forever.
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS and VoIP provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as MarketScale and E-Spirit.
RingCentral won a Gold Stevie for Innovation in Human Resources Management, Planning, & Practice in the 2020 Asia-Pacific Awards®.