In the post-pandemic world, self-service customer contact centers are not just "good to have" but are must-have components of a firm's customer service strategy. Experts have predicted that 85% of all customer interactions would start with self-service by the end of 2022.
For firms that are yet to put together an effective customer self-service strategy, the clock is ticking fast.
This article will explain the benefits of customer self-service and detail how AI can be used to power your self-service solution to boost customer loyalty eventually.
Customer self-service is a strategy whereby customer problems can be resolved without involving human agents. In most cases, the process is hybrid, whereby a part of the process is self-serve while an agent guides the remaining process. An example of customer self-service could be customers looking for a resolution using a chatbot on the site or app. Simple problems (such as where a customer is looking for a particular information) could be resolved purely through self-service. On the other hand, for complex issues, the process could start as self-service, and then there could be a handover to human agents.
Let's now explore some of the benefits of customer self-service:
Once a contact center is transformed by adopting a self-service strategy, more effective call flows can be created. Due to self-service, taking care of the more straightforward issues, the human agents can address the more complex problems relatively quickly.
Conversational text channels enable companies to provide a human experience to customers without actually involving humans. With the advent of Natural Language Processing, it’s possible to communicate more contextually with customers. It’s also possible to allow customers to details their problem and then use machine learning to analyze the text and classify the issue to a preset category. Once a problem is successfully categorized, it can be solved easily.
Customer self-service implementation can free agents from simple repetitive tasks. This can substantially bring out overall call volumes, which would translate directly to cost savings.
Customer self-service platforms enable customers to get resolutions faster. It leads to a positive perception of a brand. It also raises customer expectations and can effectively become a factor that provides a firm competitive advantage.
Customer self-service helps firms deliver more service volume at a lower cost. Each time an issue is resolved via self-service, a potential call with an agent is averted. This can directly be translated to dollar savings. Firms can also save on fixed costs by cutting down on contact center fixed assets in the long run.
Lastly, self-service platforms help to create more self-reliant customers. In high involvement products, a robust self-service platform enables customers to understand the features better and integrate the product firmly with the customer’s requirements. Self-reliant customers are less likely to switch.
With the advent of AI, self-service platforms have become even more effective. Customers can now get relatively more complex issues resolved through Self-service. Here are some guidelines on improving self-service platform using AI:
AI can make IVR conversations sound natural. While IVRs have been around for quite some time – customers do prefer talking to something more human. We can train IVRs using AI to have effective conversations with customers. Through speech recognition technology, IVRs can be designed where callers can state their responses and not click on buttons.
Not all agents are similar in terms of capabilities. Voice services often fail due to messy conversations with incapable agents. AI can help analyze an issue and guide the caller to the best-fit agent.
It’s important to understand that all callers are not equally savvy. While designing a self-service journey, it is crucial to ensure that the needs of the less-savvy callers receive due consideration. AI enables easy separation of the signal from the noise leading to better problem recognition.
Finally, it’s essential to build on top of your existing tech infrastructure. AI-based self-service contact centers can be built on top of existing CRMs and other technologies by partnering with the right implementation company.
7.ai Engagement Cloud is built for the next generation contact centers. It is a SAAS platform that helps you automate conversations across multiple channels such as chat, messages and voice.
Using 7.ai Engagement cloud platform, you can deliver a consistent customer experience, while saving on interaction cost and eventually achieving happier customers and agents.