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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Customer Service

Last month, we talked about the different approaches to artificial intelligence (AI) and how they have led us to the creation of magnificent software capable of playing chess, sustaining a conversation and ordering products online on our behalf.

But, how is AI enhancing customer experience?

So far, the main focus has been placed on customer service with new iterations looking to further streamline and simplify interactions between consumers and providers.

Below, we discuss three ways in which artificial intelligence can boost a company’s customer service.

As a first line of defense

In the 2000s, the general public gained access to its first chatbot, SmarterChild, available through the defunct MSN Messenger (now Windows Live Messenger) and AIM (AOL Instant Messenger).

Long before the arrival of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, the ActiveBuddy, Inc. chatbot was already answering questions about the weather, sport results and movie showings within milliseconds. 

Today, many companies are using similar bots to filter frequently asked questions or simple enquiries that can be answered by pulling information from a database.

When you get in touch with a company through Facebook or even when calling them directly, the first point of contact is usually a robot.

If your query is beyond the software’s scope, your ticket is escalated to a human employee, although by this point, the bot has already narrowed down which department to refer you.

As a tool for customer service employees

Once a customer service representative is on the call with you, they can use AI to streamline requests.

Customer service software can pull up your records, match your files and make educated suggestions for which products to offer. It is then up to the employee to discern what information to share with the customer.

At the same time, bots can compile and sort information on the customers and their responses, producing a constant flow of data that can help track user satisfaction an inform the development of future products.

By matching customers and agents based on personality

In a world where tastes and personalities abound, our experiences as customers rely heavily on our interactions with business representatives.

Even when walking into a store, there is no consensus on whether people prefer being approached by a sales rep or being left to their own devices.

Some customers like hearing about loyalty programs, promotions or reviewing instructions for making the most of their contracted products or services. Others prefer keeping inquiries short and sweet.

AI can help connect customers with compatible agents or inform human counterparts of a caller’s reticence or willingness to receive pitches.

The truth is, humanity is ripe for AI. As customers, we are used to artificial intelligence helping us find cheap flights and hotels or to having automated attendants transfer our calls.

At this point, advancements in AI are unlikely to be met with resistance. Instead, customers will value the more assertive and efficient service this technology can continue to offer.

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