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May 04, 2022

Transforming Customer Service with Conversational AI

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Transforming Customer Service with Conversational AI

Technology has always been a major disruptor in the customer service industry, and conversational AI is the next big thing. The ability to engage technology at steps along the customer service journey has meant that businesses can now solve customer queries and complaints quickly and effectively.

This means customers get to enjoy a speedy resolution of their issue, and businesses can focus on delivering a great customer experience.

Everyone wins!

What is conversational AI?

Conversational AI is a technology that allows businesses to interact with customers through chatbots. These chatbots can answer customer questions and concerns efficiently, making the customer service experience efficient and smooth. Conversational AI is a reciprocal tool that can also be used to collect customer feedback and gain valuable insights into customer behavior.

Conversational AI insights

What kind of insights does conversational AI provide? The kind that empower businesses to improve customer experience even more, by:

1. Understanding customer needs and requirements

Conversational AI can help businesses understand customers and what they really want and need by collecting data on customer interactions. A single interaction doesn’t do much. But, with each subsequent interaction, with each positive or negative response, with each resolution or escalation, the bot learns. This compiled data is then analyzed to determine what types of products and services customers are looking for. The more it learns, the more it knows, the more it can understand the better it can serve customers.

Conversational AI can also help businesses determine which channels customers prefer for communication. Some customers prefer to reach out from behind a computer screen. Others prefer live voice conversations. Conversational AI will speak to you how you want to be spoken to.

2. Gathering customer feedback

Conversational AI can also be used to gather customer feedback. This data is used to determine customer satisfaction levels and identify areas where businesses can improve customer service. All feedback is actionable feedback – there is always room for improvement.

This feedback can also be used to identify new product or service ideas. By hearing from customers and better understanding their pain points and preferences, bots that are powered with conversational AI teach themselves how to be better at their jobs and how to help the business improve overall.

3. Detecting customer trends

Conversational AI can also be used to detect growing and waning customer trends. By analyzing customer data, businesses can gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This information can then be used to develop new marketing strategies and products/services that appeal to customers.

We humans know very well that trends come and go. Technology isn’t always easily able to adjust and pivot with any proactivity. The benefit of conversational AI is that it can enable a technology to be more proactive to shifting trends by identifying them as they grow in popularity, and adjust accordingly. Conversational AI powered bots empower live agents to learn from the bots – not the other way around. They become the teacher.

4. Improving customer engagement

Costumer engagement is also enhanced with conversational AI. By engaging customers in conversation, businesses can create a closer connection with customers and build loyalty as customers feel heard, understood and their time respected. Not only do customers benefit from this engagement, but the more engaged the bot can get the customer, the greater the ability the bot has to learn more and improve its own functionality for future customer interactions.

At its core, conversational AI is all about using natural language processing (NLP) to create a dialogue between a customer and a chatbot. This allows businesses to gain a better understanding of customer needs and preferences, and to provide a more human-like customer service experience. Customers in 2022 expect to be able to talk to chatbots the same way they talk to other people. The last thing they want is for engagement with technology to add time to the process. The job of conversational AI is to make the interaction quick, easy, and even fun.

How can conversational AI improve customer service?

There are three key says ways in which conversational AI can improve customer service; speed, efficiency and those insights was mentioned above, but will be expanded on a bit more below, as it relates to customer satisfaction.

Speed

Firstly, chatbots can handle customer queries more quickly and effectively than a human can. This means that customers are more likely to receive a resolution to their query quickly and without any hassle.

Efficiency

Chatbots can provide a more personalized customer service experience. They can remember customer preferences and histories, which means they can provide a more tailored service that meets the customer’s specific needs.

Insights

Finally, chatbots can also be used to collect customer feedback. This can be used to improve the customer service process and to identify areas where businesses can make improvements. By collecting feedback from customers, businesses can ensure that they are delivering the best possible customer service.

Improve Customer Satisfaction with Conversational AI

Every time a customer approaches a business with a query or concern, they come armed with needs and expectations, and often, a limited amount of time and patience. If you've been on the other end of the phone listening to elevator music (if you're lucky, dead silence if you're not), time moves very slowly. So too does waiting in a queue of people online.

Customers expect businesses to meet their needs in a timely, efficient, and satisfying manner. They do not want to waste their time, and they do not want to feel that their time is being wasted.

Conversational AI empowers customer service with the ability to resolve customer concerns in a fraction of the time it would take a human. It does this by automating simple tasks and providing a bot that can be accessed at any time of the day, on any device. Customers appreciate the speedy resolution of their issue.

By freeing up customer service agents to deal with more complex queries, businesses can focus on delivering a great customer experience by having the availability, time and capability to focus on the more challenging cases rather than being otherwise engaged with issues that would be easily solved by an automated bot.

Improve Agent Satisfaction with Conversational AI

Customer service agents are busy and field questions from happy and angry customers alike. More often than not, customers are not getting the help they need or the response times are slow. By the time an agent often gets to someone in the queue, they’ve been waiting too long, and their patience is thin. This is where conversational AI can step in to take some of the load off customer service reps.

The last thing an agent wants is to deal with a customer who was frustrated with the company before they even tried to engage customer service to help. Even if they weren't reaching out with a complaint, leave someone on hold for an hour and chances are, you will not be dealing with a happy customer. Add to that the requirement of managing multiple calls and issues at the same time, you get tired, disengaged, frustrated and overworked agents.

Bringing Conversational AI on board means agents can spend more time on the customers who need their expertise, and less time on simple tasks that can be easily automated.

In addition, with the data collected by the chatbot, customer service agents can be better equipped to resolve customer issues. They can also access customer data in order to provide a more personalised customer service experience. This will not only make agents happier, it also empowers them to provide a better customer experience, making them more successful in their role.

Improve profits with conversational AI

Yes, customer and agent satisfaction is at the core of conversational AI, but when agents and customers can work in harmony to effectively resolve problems quickly, it ultimately benefits the bottom line of the business.

Profits go up when customer service can resolve an issue on the first try, without having to escalate it to a manager, and customers are more likely to return when they have a good experience.

The aim of customer service should be to resolve the customer's issue on the first try, and Conversational AI is one way to make that possible. The quicker the resolution, the less time and money businesses spends on dealing with customer service issues.

Key differentiator of conversational AI that will change customer service

Adding conversational AI as a tool in your customer service arsenal can and will make all the difference. The big difference is that conversational AI has an ability that bots without simply do not have - the ability to remember customer preferences and histories. This means that chatbots can provide a more tailored service that meets the customer’s specific needs.

Customers do not want to talk to machines. They want to talk to people. They think talking directly with a customer service representative will be the quickest way to get their question answered or problem resolved. Conversational AI will change that thinking.

As the technology learns and evolves, and as more customers experience the intuitive, knowledgeable interactive bot, the more they will come to trust it as an option and the less likely they will be to immediately opt for a live agent. Getting their answer through a bot will become the preferred method of customer service interactions, because they will be quick and they will be effective.

Customer service needs and expectations continue to evolve and businesses have had to evolve in lock-step or fall behind. Conversational AI has been one of the greatest disrupters to what we experience when we get on the computer or the phone to engage with customer service. By having conversational AI at the other end of the line, customers feel that they are heard, that their time is valuable, and that they are the most important person to the business. And that makes all the difference.

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