In an ever-increasingly competitive marketplace, many businesses strive to enhance their customer experience amidst changing customer behaviors that came with the advent of the Covid pandemic. Traditional customer experience (CX) systems must adapt to rapidly ensure business continuity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a key solution to give companies the edge they need to stand out in the marketplace.
AI is revolutionizing customer service with its ability to mimic human intelligence and process vast amounts of data. Its use helps unlock valuable customer insights that standard IT systems can't, enabling a more personalized and efficient service. This article explores how AI is transforming the customer service industry. Let's dive right into it.
Key AI-in-CX stats
By 2025, 70% of all digital service workplace transactions will be done via automation, compared with just 30% today (Yahoo Finance).
Generative AI revenue is expected to reach $1.3T by 2032 (Bloomberg Intelligence).
50% of companies accelerated AI adoption occurred post-Covid (Harvard Business Review).
There are 50 million employees currently working in the customer support industry (Yahoo Finance).
Chatbots alone are expected to bring $11 billion in cost savings across sectors such as retail, healthcare, and finance (Juniper Research).
The demand for AI continues to increase with the rise in the demand for semiconductors – an essential component in ICT technology – which has been in shortage since 2020, the year of the pandemic.
What Are the Benefits of AI in Customer Service?
In a post-Covid global economy where ecommerce and remote work have become normalized and information democratized, AI impacts how businesses interact with customers and employees. Implementing AI tools in customer service can have several benefits.
AI contributes to a healthy balance sheet as companies can now channel funds to other activities that help secure more revenue. More specifically, advanced call analytics and pattern recognition help enterprises identify inefficient areas and take mitigatory actions effortlessly. Automation-induced cost savings also lowers the cost of labor, as well as the cost of training and recruiting.
Streamlining customer requests to resolve issues faster
The emergence of chatbots, AI-driven VoIP systems, and virtual assistants means that brands can automate the customer-facing aspects of CX. Consumers now get instant responses to their queries and concerns without hassles.
In a blitz, AI can analyze the chronological customer information and their interaction patterns with the company, setting them on their way to having their issues resolved. It predicts future roadblocks, resulting in happier customers. Support agents also have more time to focus on higher-value tasks.
Personalization and customer satisfaction
AI-powered VoIP systems equip businesses to provide consumers with personalized communication experiences. The result: improved caller satisfaction rates and a desirable brand image. The problem-diffusing nature of AI eliminates the risk of customer attrition, inspiring the company to develop more customer-retaining services.
24/7 availability and quick response times
AI is accessible all day, every day. This round-the-clock availability of virtual assistants, VoIP systems, and chatbots – all powered by AI – means that customers can get momentous assistance beyond regular business hours. Prompt resolution of customer queries by automation systems contributes more to increased customer loyalty compared to traditional support systems that are slow and tardy.
Examples of AI in Customer Support
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems
IVRs are designed to automatically respond to callers and are a staple in many industries. They greet customers and address their queries. The infusion of AI into this system will enhance CX by collecting and displaying the caller's personal information, call history, and previous transactions.
It can also reroute more nuanced queries to the specific departments that can best resolve the customer's specificities. Aircall relays all this information to the agent even before the call gets connected, allowing for informed communication and issue resolution.
AI can convert speech to text, allowing companies to manage their comms. The voice-to-text feature saves valuable work time for employees who prefer to read comments instead of listening to lengthy playbacks. Messages in textual form are highly unmissable; hence, keywords can be easily searched and evaluated.
For customer service reps with hearing impairments, voice-to-text transcription features can improve accessibility. Companies stand to increase their employees' perception as an inclusive brand when they provide a transcript of voicemails.
Aircall's call transcription service is a landmark AI breakthrough for facilitating deal closures. The cloud-based VoIP phone service provider offers swift transcriptions as well as seamless integration with the customer service tools of companies. With this feature, support team members can unlock a whole new level of on-call interaction with the ability to assess previous interactions, and talk-to-listen ratios, allowing for the refinement of communicating strategies while creating highly personalized consumer experiences.
For companies seeking to refresh their VoIP systems, AI retooling can elevate the precision and reliability of their voice recognition features. AI supplementation leads to the faster recognition and differentiation of voices, accents, tone, and speech nuances to detect fraud and glean pain points. Its machine-learning algorithms can minimize errors to enhance the overall quality of voice communication. This, combined with Aircall's revolutionary transcription feature, can bolster the efficacy of communication in customer support teams while reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings during conversations.
Unarguably the most common of AI manifestations, chatbots can be powerful when combined with AI-powered VoIP systems. Businesses going down this route enjoy a host of benefits, such as creating customized customer experiences. VoIP-linked chatbots can suggest relevant products and services by analyzing data about a caller's past conversations, leading to a faster closing for the company and improved customer satisfaction.
How to Implement AI in Your Customer Service
Define your goals
Clearly outline your intentions for AI induction into your customer service. What consumer pain points do you want to alleviate? You need to prioritize your objectives, whether it's increasing response time, predicting user intent, personalizing interactions, or automated call rerouting.
AI relies on data. Find out the volume and quality of the consumer data you have on hand and the tools you have been using to organize them. The richer the quality of the data, the more accurate your insights and recommendations will be.
Choose the right AI innovation
The most powerful AI tools for customer service are VoIPs, chatbots, virtual assistants, and sentiment analyzers. Select the ones that are amenable to your business goals.
Perform a pilot test
Simulate your chosen AI in a test environment as your pilot run. This allows you to envision what things would look like when it's released to the mainstream. As you understand its impact, gather feedback from customers and affiliates. Of course, you need to start small to minimize the risk of a massive implementation collapse.
Keeping tabs on your AI systems is the key to successful AI integration. Analyze KPIs like response times, close rates, and customer satisfaction scores and make tweaks. Before long, you'd be in charge of a robust AI-powered CX system.
Find out how your customers feel about your AI-driven services through surveys to gauge their satisfaction levels and identify improvement areas.
The Future of AI in Customer Service
Predictions for AI's role in customer support
Businesses will use AI frequently: as customers become more comfortable with being served by AI, businesses will ramp up its use in as many areas as possible to cut costs and drive efficient service delivery. Juniper Research shows that chatbots alone will bring $11 billion in cost savings across retail, healthcare, and finance sectors.
Personalization and predictive accuracy will evoke trust: CX experiences are expected to become more personalized as AI advances. AI can detect when a person is due for a discount or a product upgrade. When the customer care rep delivers such tailored information, the customer becomes elated.
Endless debate about relevancy in CX: the arguments surrounding the role and impact of will brew on for the foreseeable future. Arguments such as how AI's perception as an at-mass solution rather than one with a human touch or issues surrounding compliance, security, and imperviousness to hacking and cyberattacks will only spur companies to make longstanding improvements to their various AI iterations. Others opine that AI is, at best, a conceptual buzz with no real practical applications.
For all we know, Aircall is not a run-of-the-mill conversational AI for customer service. It is a solution that businesses all over the world trust. Several companies have seamlessly integrated it into their operational architecture.
Evolving technologies and trends
Increase in search interest: since 2020, search interest among business managers and customer service personnel for AI-related applications and technologies has quadrupled. Innovations such as Google Bard have sparked a wave of innovations in the CX industry.
Hyper-personalization: the combination of sentiment analysis, predictive issue resolution, and workforce management is set to bring AI technologies and people from multi-sectoral areas (e.g., gaming, HR, and media) into one place. Using emerging environments such as Web3, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the metaverse, customer service teams can orchestrate a new AI service sector by 2030.
AI tools have already proved to be a game-changer in the CX landscape. They have a lot of potential to take customer experience to the next level and unlock business growth. Adopting AI in customer service can be a transformative process, but with careful planning and integration, it is worth the effort. As customer expectations continue to rise, AI tools are key in meeting these expectations and creating a loyal customer base.
Many companies are implementing AI in customer service operations, and Aircall is one of their favorites. Want to learn more on how to build better conversations? All your questions about AI for customer support teams have been answered.
Published on January 2, 2024.