Poor customer experience can devastate a business. Accenture reports that more than 50% of customer switched providers after a poor customer service experience. And yet, customer service teams are asked to do more than ever before.
Now that customers can email, call, text, Tweet or even chat directly with care teams, expectations have risen. 82% of consumers now expect a near immediate response on sales or marketing questions. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation help improve customer experience.
Customer experience (CX) is key. Improving customer experience creates a stronger relationship between the customer and the business. If CX is positive, then the relationship may last for a long time and involve several referrals. If the customer experience is negative, then that relationship can be very short term and costly for the business.
How AI and Automation Can Help Improve Customer Experience
Both artificial intelligence and automation can help improve the customer experience while reducing the customer care team’s headcount. The trick is in finding that balance between technology and the human touch. The “sweet spot” is where technology helps improve CX without taking away from it.
Improving Customer Service Response Time
One of the best examples of how AI improves CX is with customer service. An estimated 10 million customer service agents answer help requests around the world, and even with all that people power, it is still not enough. Many customers feel they have to wait too long to get support and then have to provide information several times by explaining the problem or re-entering account or ID numbers.
Artificial intelligence can get customers to help faster and reduce time-to-first-response. Simple automation like automatic customer care emails can notify customers that their email has been received and they should expect a follow up shortly. Setting these expectations can make the customer feel heard and appreciated.
AI can be leveraged to reach out to the most upset customers first. Using sentiment analysis, AI tools can identify the mood of an incoming email and automatically tag it based on the level of severity. This can allow customer care teams to identify and get in front of urgent cases.
Improved Resource Management
The main concern over automation is that it could potentially take away a human job. However, through the use of technology such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), customer care teams are empowered to do the most impactful part of their jobs- helping customers.
RPA can complete burdening tasks like time tracking, account balance or order status. By freeing customer care teams from the manual, repetitive processes they will have more time and energy to handle more complex customer problems. With additional time, customer service teams may be able to provide more of a “white glove, concierge-level CX” that can really wow a customer.
Helping Humans Through AI Partnerships
Artificial intelligence can also be used to help humans do their jobs better. This can be done, for example, by an AI analyzing a call interaction with a customer in real-time. By providing helpful information to the customer service agent, the AI facilitates a better resolution for the customer while potentially saving the company time and money.
For example, by seeing a customer’s banking activities, AI may be able to identify better saving solutions, which customer care can then recommend, and provide added value to the customer.
Saving Time for All Involved
Ultimately, what both the customer and the company want when dealing with a problem or issue, is to fully resolve an issue as quickly as possible. This makes the customer happy while saving the company costs in the long run.
Automation and AI can both help in numerous ways. In tech support, for example, AI can be especially helpful in identifying and resolving problems remotely. For example, if many customers reach out to customer care after interacting with a specific tool, they can alert the correct teams that there may be a bug. Alternatively, if customers are using a tool incorrectly, customer care teams can create materials to help educate customers about the products and provide helpful information on demand.
AI and Automation Take Customer Experience to the Next Level
Artificial intelligence and automation can dramatically improve the customer experience. By proving a 360-degree view of the customer and automating repetitive tasks, customer care teams can focus on creating helpful customer experiences that leave a lasting impression.
glass with customer feedback concept