With the abundance of information and mentions of artificial intelligence (AI) in the modern media and information sources it is easy to imagine that machines have entered even the most non-machine ruled industries and corners of our lives. And those thinking that… would be just right! AI is entering our lives at a striking pace and there is nothing we can do about it except for embracing it and trying to incorporate as many useful decisions into as many spheres of our lives as possible. After all, the role of AI is to make our lives and jobs as easy and stress-free as possible.
And customer support is no exception here. Those working in the field are sure to notice that AI is getting a lot of attention and a lot of hype. Especially when it comes to customer support and service.
So, how can AI compliment human consultants when it comes to customer support and what trends are awaiting AI in the nearest future?
How Much Can AI Be Integrated Into Customer Support?
There are two major combinations when it comes to integrating AI into a support team: partial integration or AI-human interaction and full-on AI-only support. Let’s review both of them to see, which one is better for the final consumer:
- AI only
|The answers can be given almost instantly||AI can display no genuine empathy which will aggravate the end users|
|There is no possibility of a human factor or a human error||Cannot function and accept requests if the conditions are not perfect: the system is rebooting, there is no internet connection, the electricity goes out etc.|
|No resources are spent on teaching the newcomers as there is no need in them||Can take a lot of time to get educated|
|Big flow can be dealt with on the spot and without and delays||If malfunctions, the entire support systems stands still|
|The vendor is paying only once — for setting up the technology||Requires maintenance that needs deep knowledge of the technology|
- Human-AI symbiosis
|The tickets are resolved faster||There is an adjustment period|
|Human can display empathy and AI watches out for mistakes||AI has no prejudice and can distribute customer tickets without understanding of difficulty and skills|
|AI can take over customer communication when a human is indisposed||Not all human consultants are willing to work together with AI solutions|
|It helps provide the best customer experience by combining the best of two worlds||The need to maintain and adjust might cause discomfort and burnouts|
As we can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both — solely AI customer support and a human-AI symbiosis. But surely, when the best of two worlds are working together to provide customers with the best experience, that is when their journey becomes truly memorable.
How Do Human Customer Support Consultants Benefit From AI?
When it comes to cooperation between the two, humans can surely benefit from the experience. In their turn, customers are the ones who can truly feel all the advantages of this collaboration. But why? How does AI help the human consultants to enhance customer experience and what are the results of the process?
- ⏩ Faster answers
When a company implements AI into its structure, it is clear that they expect some instant results from the newly-installed tech. And boy, do they get what they want! AI can help human consultants give faster answers by understanding the problem or seeing a certain pattern in the recent customer inquiries. This means that customer support consultants will be able to see the root of some issues and respond to them much faster.
In their turn, customers will get answers much quicker than they would initially anticipate, which is going to help customer satisfaction KPI grow — simply be surpassing the expectations.
- 🎭 Emotion and language analysis
This is a feature of AI that we at SupportYourApp have been using for years now. One of the algorithms of our in-house developed QCRM — QUOSTON is a tool that sorts customer tickets in accordance with the language, used by the customers — the more urgent and angry the language, the higher priority. It helps us deal with serious and at times angry customers swifter as well as lets us sort through tickets in a way that doesn’t create a backlog. It just helps us be at our most efficient 100% of the time.
- 🤖 Chatbot assistance
Chatbot is another stunning feature that AI can help us run. Even though it has not even yet been a decade since businesses started to implement chatbots as a viable communication option, already 69% of conversations that start with a chatbot, are not escalated to a human consultant, meaning that they get resolved. With numbers like this, it is no wonder that 90% of businesses commend the speed and efficiency of such a solution.
BUT! A chatbot is merely a tool that helps human support consultants get rid of the need to answer the most common questions and resolve the easiest tickets, wasting their time. In no way can a chatbot fully replace a human touch is customer support. It is just a cool and innovative way to help customers get their answers faster.
- 🔮 Conversation prediction tool
Most of us are already using a conversation prediction tool, for example, when using your email account. But a full-on conversation prediction solution can really boost your support team’s performance.
Imagine, if AI knew what the customer was going to talk about and what the best and most optimal answer to it would be even before the message from the customer is sent! How much time would that save a support team and how cool customer experience would be then. Surely, this feature is already in use. How would it work? AI would look at each customer’s journey and analyze the issues they get. This would be the basis for the prediction of the question that might come in from the customer. From here on, AI would also see what answers and solutions might be the best when it comes to communication with a particular customer.
Easy? In no way. Efficient? For sure!
Here we have to say that even though conversion prediction is a good tool, one has to use it with care and paying attention to the customer’s tone of voice as well as the urgency of the issue, otherwise one might find themselves in a guess-and-miss kind of situation.
- 📚 Training the newcomers
AI would be perfect not only for interacting with the customers but also for training the newcomers by simulating conversation. Putting in any settings — tone of the conversation, the irritation level and the complexity of the issue will help prepare the newbie for any situation, so that when they are faced with a real thing, they know exactly what to do,
AI has already tightly set its ways with customer support teams. Nowadays a lot of companies (both with in-house teams and those providing third party customer support) use AI and ML while providing customers with assistance they need. And while that might seem futuristic, it is hardly the limit. We are sure that in the future we are going to see even more AI in customer support.
What exactly are we to expect?
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AI for Customer Support: Trends for the Future
- More human-like AI
Artificial intelligence is going to get even more human-like features. Already it is learning how to imitate and communicate in accordance with each individual situation and from here on this is only going to develop. Although, no matter how hard it is going to learn, AI in chat customer support and as well as in the emails is never going to be able to fully replace a human consultant. They will always lack empathy, understanding, humor and other human features that are only inherent for human consultants.
- Customers themselves will shape AI
Companies that use AI in their customer support are of course influencing the customer service scene. But what they might not understand is that the customers are shaping the AI itself, especially the one that uses algorithms to teach itself communication with the customers. Unbeknownst to the customers, they themselves are going to shape the future look of the artificial intelligence that will help them in their customer journey in the future.
That is what we call customer centric support.
- Customer experience will define AI efficiency
How efficient is your customer service and customer support team? Well… that can be determined only by looking at your customer journey and determining how comfortable it is to take.
It is just the same with AI based help desk. One can measure its efficiency only by its ability to provide efficient customer support. AI is going to be judged upon it and that is inevitable. The only thing service and support providers can do is ensure that their AI-human collaboration is perfect.
AI in customer support is like superheroes in modern movies — sure, the latter can do just fine without the former, but when they get together, something truly magical happens. We are sure that when it comes to customer support AI solutions, we are only in the very beginning, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for us here.