[How To] Supercharge Your Customer Support with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
February 12, 2018 | Nabanita Nag
From the pages of science fiction, AI has stepped into our daily lives today! Be it Alexa ordering your monthly groceries or Siri searching the web at your command, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making its presence felt to the billions of people across the globe. But, it can do much more than follow simple commands. In fact, AI has been disruptively changing the way businesses serve their customers since its very inception. With technology growing by leaps and bounds, today Artificial Intelligence is more available and affordable than ever.
Be it Microsoft’s Watson, Zoho’s Zia or Salesforce’s Einstein; today AI technology is amazingly affordable, not just to the big boys, but to the small and mid-size businesses too. And with businesses increasingly using AI-powered tools, soon it is going to be one of the crucial requirements for serving your customers.
The smart thing to do here is to grab the early starter privileges and boost your customer services to get an edge over your competitors.
Here’s how to supercharge your customer service with Artificial Intelligence.
Chatbots for 24/7 Customer Support
The quality of your customer support is directly proportional to your customer retention rate. And thus, this is one area that you simply cannot overlook. While most businesses do their best to offer as good customer support as they possibly can, often budget constraints, and work hours come in the way. How? Well, do you have anyone to answer the phone 24/7? Or, do you have any customer support personnel on call during holidays? If not, then how do your customers reach you during off-hours? Do they leave you a voice message or an e-mail?
This scenario may have been okay five years back; but not anymore! Consumers today are used to instant gratification and often do not have the patience to wait for your reply. Moreover, in the highly competitive business climate, offering support when customers want it has become super-critical for success.
So, does that mean that your business must suffer if you do not have the deep pockets for hiring a 24/7 customer care team? Not necessarily so! Here chatbots are your knights in shining armors!
What are chatbots?
The name Chatbots came from ‘Chat Robots’. The term simply refers to AI enabled software programs that can hold a conversation with a human through text, voice or graphical inputs, depending on its programming. The Chatbots can be customized for mobile devices, web browsers, and social media or messaging platforms such as Facebook, Slack or Skype. Although today’s Chatbots have a long way to go for achieving human-like conversation capabilities, they can hold a pretty decent conversation using Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Natural Language Processing features.
How can Chatbots Supercharge Your Customer Support?
1. Chatbots can be your first line of customer support, offering answers to the routine questions and assisting customers with repetitive tasks. This way, you can save tons of time on the part of your customer support team who can focus on solving complex problems.
2. Chatbots can be deployed to engage customers on multiple channels, such as social media platforms, mobile applications, websites etc. So, no matter where your customers want to interact with your business, you always have an automated agent in place to take care of their requests and offer support quickly.
3. With Chatbots work-hour problems are going to be the relics of past. While Chatbots can definitely help your support agents during peak hours, they can work as automated agents during holidays and after-hours. Thus, unless and until the customer is presenting a complex or a vague issue, the Chatbot can satisfactorily answer the questions and notify the concerned person for any service requirements.
AI Enabled Predictive Services
AI is not limited to Chatbots only. While Chatbots let you engage customers anywhere and anytime, AI enabled CRM systems can take your customer support to a whole new level. How? By offering predictive suggestions! This way, your customer support team can work smarter and work better for offering better customer service.
How Can an AI Enabled CRM Supercharge Your Customer Support?
1. AI enabled CRM system can help your customer support team in working smarter by predicting their actions. For example, when integrated with CRM system, AI can employ machine learning and predict the best time to contact a customer by phone or e-mail.
2. With an AI-powered CRM in place, your support team will never ever miss an e-mail or forget to return a support call. How? AI uses Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to read and identify support e-mails as urgent or not. Moreover, AI can identify the tonality of the messages to flag it as negative, positive or neutral. Depending on the set rules, AI then notifies the concerned support executive about the urgent emails, negative ones, missed calls etc. This way, your support personnel can keep track of and respond to negative e-mails urgently, even when away from their desk.
3. Powerful AI solutions, when paired with CRM systems, can help you deliver proactive services. The AI can identify issues and notify your support team before they even occur. This way, your support team can offer proactive services to your customers and avoid any crisis that might have occurred.
AI has definitely emerged as a game changer for the field of customer support, especially so for small and mid-size businesses. While big corporates have always invested heavily in customer support, it was the small businesses with budget restrains who compromised in this department. But, with AI this situation is about to change for good. So, if you are looking at increasing your customer retention rate by supercharging your customer support, it is time to take the AI route.