How AI Can Enable Support Teams in the New Normal
Covid19 has changed the world we live in. We shop and work differently. Companies have changed their ways of operating. Businesses have been transformed to ensure employees and customers are safe. Our processes are leaner and more orientated towards digital tools. Teams found a new way to collaborate and because we need to stop the spread of the virus, we communicate more frequently with online tools. This is what is called digital transformation. Covid19 has allowed this process to be done much more rapidly because during confinement online usage has increased. When offices were moved to homes, processes and management had to follow the trend. Thankfully, digital progress such as Artificial Intelligence has allowed companies to optimize their operations. Artificial Intelligence has been around since 1950 and it has created a lot of questions about its benefits. Some people have feared losing their jobs when others have seen the power to augment human capabilities. The augmentation of human capabilities is clearly demonstrated by using bots for customer support and customer experience. Agents are still in charge, but they are helped by AI fueled bots that manage the mundane aspects of the job.
Online support has risen tremendously during confinement. People needed to buy food, call to repair their devices, and for everyday activities. In the past, agents on the phone would have been front line and wasted a lot of time and resources answering repetitive questions. Today, thanks to bots, first-line support is managed more efficiently. Artificial Intelligence algorithms have allowed chatbots to understand questions and to look for the answer in large databases. Machine learning, a subset of Artificial Intelligence, has ensured that new questions can find new answers. The more bots were used, the more precise and professional they became. Customer experience has increased because even though people are dealing with bots, they feel like the service provided was very personal. Bots have the entire history of problems and can relate the issues and answer appropriately. For companies, the benefits are great as they do not need to hire more people to increase efficiency. Bots train themselves and can manage many more queries than ever before. In terms of agents, the benefits are also particularly important. Artificial Intelligence supports them and increases their capabilities to perform their tasks more efficiently. For example, agents will remain at the second level of support and once a bot has filtered issues and pinpointed the problem, agents can find the fix without losing time gathering basic details. While customer-facing bots also indirectly benefit agents, with agent-facing AI, humans become more productive and more efficient. This is done thanks to AI algorithms assisting them in resolutions and automating all their repetitive and mundane work.
A company that has impressed me the most is US-based, Freshworks. Their AI-based bot called Freddy is impressive and allows many tasks to be performed with a high level of professionalism. Freddy has many advantages, if I could focus on 4, they would be:
- It resolves customer queries on any channel without agent intervention – using a combination of a chatbot, email bot, and voice bot to answer customer queries automatically on multiple channels (chat, 3rd party messaging channels, email, and phone). Freddy provides to-the-point answers to customers looking for a quick response (for eg: what is your company’s return policy?). It also guides them through workflows that ensure query resolution when the customer’s request is more complex (for eg: a workflow that allows a bank’s customers to cancel their credit card without depending on an agent).
- It assists agents with training, onboarding, and re-skilling. Freddy’s agent-facing AI can assist agents using guided resolutions through agent-facing chatbots. It can also suggest responses to agents while they reply to customers. This helps train and onboard agents faster and standardizes the support responses shared by different team members. It also keeps agents up to date in situations where the company’s information is evolving rapidly.
- It increases agent productivity by automating their mundane work – Agents tend to spend a lot of time on repetitive backend tasks. For eg: a simple order cancellation request may require an agent to repeat the same 5-minute long procedure that they have already performed many times before. Freddy’s agent-facing AI can automate such routine tasks (and more), which allows agents to be much more productive and be free to focus on more complex customer issues.
- Finally, Freddy improves customer experience with great cost optimization. Companies can serve customers as they scale to millions of users without having to increase their support budgets exponentially. For eg: during Covid19, companies could handle a 30x spike in customer queries without increasing their agent count.
Freddy is an agent augmented AI-based bot. It ensures agents focus on what they do best; solve complicated issues.
Covid19 came at a time when companies and customers could rely on sophisticated technologies such as Freddy. As the world adjusts to a new norm, the role AI can play in helping businesses offer effortless customer experiences is essential. To develop these important points, we have organized a webinar on July 29th at 11:00 am WST, 2:00 pm EST. We will talk about Freddy’s unique selling points and answer any questions you may have. I look forward to seeing you there.
To register and save your spot, click here!