Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, August 16, 2022

7 Top AI Trends in Customer Service 
Sponsored Content by Zendesk

Ever-evolving technology is constantly changing how customer service is done. From call centers to contact centers, businesses are looking for ways to automate manual tasks and take care of their customers better. Customer support has always been a challenging task for companies to manage, and with the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, it's easier than ever before.

In this article, we will explore the top trends in AI and how they are transforming customer service.

1. Personalized Interactions

80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. - Epsilon

One of the biggest needs for customers these days is getting a personalized experience while interacting with brands. This holds true across any point of the customer journey, and A.I. can help make this happen. By leveraging data such as browsing behavior and past purchase history A.I.-powered customer service software like Chatbots and other digital assistants can provide more personalized recommendations and suggestions to customers.

63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics. - Smart Insights

Moreover, these assets can integrate with help desk and CRM software for smarter decision-making from a larger data pool and enable better-personalized experiences.

2. Smart Emails

More than half (54%) of all customers use email for customer service marking one of the most preferred communication channels.

With AI you can now do away with automated responses and offer smart email support instead.

Here's an example:

The Muse is a famous site for young job-seekers. While they prioritize email outreach as a crucial marketing channel for the site, they also provide another important customer service function — delivering custom, curated lists of job postings and training opportunities to users.

And to do so they collaborated with AI marketing platform Blueshift to ensure that their emails catered directly to individual needs. This “segment-of-one” kind of automation used predictive analytics to predict user preferences based on factors more than their expressed interests like location, previous behavior, and professed skills to enrich the AI algorithm even further. With this, customers responded positively, effectively doubling the visits to the pages recommended in the AI-powered emails with an email open rate of around 60 percent.

3. Advancements in Chatbot Technology

Conversational AI has become a popular feature in customer support software, with chatbots being their main application. Conversational AI refers to the use of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to enable computers to understand human speech and respond in a way that simulates human conversation.

They are generally used to automate mundane, high-frequency customer service tasks such as answering frequently asked questions, providing basic customer support, giving product or service information, and promoting products or services.

Their main benefits are that they operate 24/7 and provide an always-on customer service. Also, they cut costs by mitigating the need to have a customer service team on board round the clock.

4. AI to Reduce Errors

To err is human, and to avoid them - AI.

AI-based automated responses are a great way to do away with human customer service errors, leading to an excellent customer experience. This is the reason why there has been a massive adoption of AI and automation across business silos - especially customer service.

AI doesn't lag or forget the name of a customer or their query. AI gathers massive data and uses all of it to offer proactive customer service. A sync between AI and customer service agents can help deliver a magnificent customer experience.

5. Virtual Reality

The uses of VR in customer service are multifold. It can be used for training service agents in role-playing different scenarios and situational awareness to serve customers better. It can also be used by customers in a “try before you buy” experience. Here are some more examples of businesses that can use VR tech to enhance the customer experience - How to improve customer experience with Virtual Reality

One of the most appealing things about VR is that it's versatile. For instance, even if a business has employees that work face to face with customers, answer phones, or use live chat — they can simulate all these experiences in as authentic a manner as possible for the trainees.

6. Natural Language Processing

Several customer service teams use natural language processing (NLP) today in their customer experience or voice of the customer endeavors. They do this by having the interactions across email, phone, chat, and SMS channels and then analyzing the data for certain patterns and trends. This gives deeper as well as overall insights into the customer and their problems allowing an agent to assist them proactively. Before NLP, analyzing customer interactions was a long and tedious process that often involved several teams and resources. Now, natural language processing mitigates these redundancies to offer deeper and lasting customer satisfaction.

7. Guided Selling

AI analyzes case data gathered in the case creation process combined with historical case data, thus offering data-driven recommendations for the next steps or actions to agents. These actions include selling activities like providing an extended warranty quote for a product coming off an initial warranty, offering discounts and cashback to close sales, and service activities like sending how-to guides.

AI enriches the agent-customer experience and enhances their bond by equipping the agent with more robust information and allowing them to deliver it to the customer.

To sum

Businesses have realized that keeping the customer at the center of the product or service is essential and therefore customer service has become their most valuable KPI. Artificial intelligence and its branches like machine learning are the most rewarding pieces of technology that enable businesses to go above and beyond with the quality of customer experience they deliver.

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