Evolution of AI in customer service

Back in the day, conversing with customers through email and phone was the norm in customer support. From then to now, customer demands have increased significantly. The digital customer of today expects brands to be present across a range of channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. This requires support agents to stay on top of tickets coming in from all these channels. The manual effort that agents put in to hold conversations with customers across each channel, has increased manifold.  

More importantly, customers want their issues to be resolved quickly, and you cannot afford to keep your customers waiting. In fact, 33% of customers said they will consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.

While you could expand your team and train your agents to be more efficient and productive, this is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. So, to meet the increasing demands of customers, you can incorporate AI into your processes, and assist your team with providing a great customer experience.

AI in customer support

How can AI help your support team?

Proactively provide assistance to customers at various touchpoints

Chatbots also proactively assist customers, by providing relevant content when they need it.  When customers are inactive on a page for long, it acts as a trigger for chatbots to strike conversations with customers.

AI also comes in handy during the purchase journey, as it is a great way to ensure that customers have enough information during evaluation and awareness.

Deliver relevant experiences using machine learning (ML) and predictive analysis

Machine learning is an AI application that provides computing systems with the ability to learn from past experiences. Since ML is designed to break down large data sets and draw insights and relationships, it can help you provide personalized and consistent experiences to all your customers.

Educate customers about your product and service

Customers no longer have to wait on support agents to get their issues resolved. Chatbots suggest articles from your knowledge base along with other resources, making it easier for your customers to get answers on-the-fly. This also helps your team spend their time on resolving issues that require human assistance.

How to scale your support with AI

Smart assistance to agents

Most of the questions that support agents face every day are the basic ‘how-to’ ones. For this, agents often pull out relevant resources to supplement their answers. However, you can save time if a chatbot lends a helping hand to your team. Chatbots use AI to fetch relevant resources from your knowledge base and answer your customers questions. With the help of a chatbot, your team can spend more time answering complex issues.

With today’s technology, you can also use a bot to reply to customers via email. Smart bots can detect keywords from the ticket, and suggest articles from your knowledge base as solutions.

Deflect incoming tickets

When a customer is creating a ticket, AI suggests corresponding solution articles from your knowledge base, that is relevant to the content of that particular ticket. By doing this, customers can get answers to their issue even before they type it out. This way you can even decrease the number of incoming tickets with the help of AI.

Additionally, on the agent’s end, solution articles and canned responses are suggested based on the subject and the keywords in the ticket.

Often, once a customer’s issue is resolved, they usually follow up with a thank-you note. This response reopens the ticket. Not only does this affect your support metrics, closing all these tickets also eats into your team’s time. However, when you use AI, the thank-you messages are automatically detected as messages that aren’t action items, and no new tickets are created.

Improve customer experience with sentiment analysis

You improve your workflow with the help of AI by mapping your customers’ sentiment on the ticket journey. By analyzing every reply that the customer sends, the bot maps the sentiment journey throughout the ticket. This helps managers understand points of customer frustration during the resolution of tickets. They can then take corrective actions and improve the customer experience.   

Onboard your team

Getting your agents onboard and teaching them the nuances of customer support is a time-consuming process. To speed things up and reduce the manual effort involved, you can use a chatbot to help onboard your new recruits. The bot can provide assistance by recommending appropriate actions for the next step. This is a great way to bring more consistency and structure in the way your team troubleshoots issues.

Social media support

Most customers today expect brands to be active on social media. But replying to every single tweet, mention, or comment can be a herculean task. However, with the help of AI, your team can prioritize tickets that require human help. This helps your team stay on top of relevant customer conversations instead of spending time trying to navigate through the noise. The best part about this is that AI learns over time, and improves the process of filtering important messages.

Additionally, you can engage with your customers on social media using Twitter and Facebook chatbots. These chatbots automatically generate messages and assist with marketing activities too.

Advanced analytics

In customer support, it is important to track and measure metrics that matter to you and your team. While insights are necessary to iron out workflows and improve the performance of your team, running a data query and analyzing the data can get quite challenging.

When you use AI to assist you with reporting, you can simply type a question and the reports will be automatically generated. Natural language processing, an application of AI, breaks down your question, understands it and subsequently runs reports. You can use the reports generated and translate the insights into actionable items for your team.  

Freshdesk — the best AI helpdesk software

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