Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service

by | Nov 4, 2017 | Customer Service | 0 comments

“Studies and reports show that customers want quick, frictionless solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. Chat bots powered by artificial intelligence can have a strong role in the future of customer service and support,” – Shep Hyken

Historically, customer service has closely been associated with the evolution of technology as businesses seek newer, more viable, channels to connect with their customers. Traditional customer service paradigms were premised on personal interactions between business owners and their customers. With time, telephone technologies and customer call centres helped businesses to cater to the demands and requirements of growing numbers of clientele. In modern times, online chat bots powered by artificial intelligence have emerged as a preferred channel to provide customer services. We intend to examine some of the applications of artificial intelligence in the realm of modern customer service in the following paragraphs.

Banks and providers of commercial financial services can deploy artificial intelligence to boost their customer service mechanisms. We note these institutions typically field thousands of queries from their customers each day. Human operators and service executives may not be able to process huge numbers of requests for information. Therefore, artificial software algorithms, also known as chat bots, can help to resolve the situation. These institutions can instruct their customers to converse with the bank’s internal systems by using websites and mobile banking applications equipped with chat bots. The speed of response and the accuracy of the provided information can enhance the customer experience. In addition, chat bots can help banks to reduce payroll expenses and boost profit margins. This instance clearly underlines the benefits of using artificial intelligence in the financial services industry.

Human agents assisted by artificial intelligence can significantly boost customer service levels in modern industries. We begin with the premise that human agents are not in a position to cope with the sheer volumes of customer queries. However, customer service operatives bring to bear their innate intelligence and sense of empathy to their work functions. Therefore, businesses can choose to embellish the soft skills of human agents with the raw processing power of chat bots powered by artificial intelligence. These automated programs can enable the human operatives to function more efficiently. In addition, we note that said chat bots are designed to improve their skillsets as they service a growing number of customers. We note that the above presents an ideal scenario that leverages the power of artificial intelligence and human skill sets in equal measure.

Certain practices tend to presage wider trends in the future. The use of artificial intelligence in customer service systems points to the growing use of online chat platforms. This follows the fact that on-screen technologies are emerging as the dominant form of media consumption among modern customers. This means that online chats will likely replace telephone calls to customer care centres. In addition, the growing use of artificial intelligence indicates that the digital domain will embed itself securely in the lives of modern and future generations of customers and citizens. These are interesting observations because they point to a future world likely to be dominated by streams of digital data.

The expanding domain of artificial intelligence is likely to create fundamental changes in customer’s shopping behaviour. We note that brands and businesses are harnessing the power of said technologies for a variety of reasons. One of the prime reasons is to boost the customer experience during shopping expeditions. Therefore, chat bots are being engineered to answer most customer service queries and to deal with customers through voice and text-based conversations. For instance, an e-commerce business operator may elect to append a chat bot to its shopping app. The bot can operate as a constant presence on the customer’s screen. It can answer the online shopper’s queries through both voice and text-based interactions. The artificial intelligence-powered bot can enable customers to browse through product categories and the range of online merchandise available to shoppers, thereby boosting the customer experience. In light of the above, we may state that artificial intelligence technologies are playing a seminal role in upgrading customer service standards and boosting convenience for customers.

Technologies based on artificial intelligence can enable industries to free human employees from customer service duties and to embark on productive pursuits. For instance, recent research indicates that some retail banks have managed to deploy artificial intelligence technologies to service routine customer queries. These banking institutions have re-deployed their customer service agents to add to the bank’s bottom line by selling insurance products, home loans, and vehicle loans to their customers. We note that this redeployment of human talent is enabling said banks to boost their business income, while leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to service the mundane tasks inherent in certain customer service operations. In light of the above, we may state that the introduction of said technologies is driving the evolution of certain business strategies.

Artificial intelligence technologies are powering significant and wide-ranging change in the global hospitality industry. Software algorithms are being re-purposed to interact with guests through connected mobile devices. These systems are essentially customer service systems that are customised for the patrons of the global hospitality industry. These technologies enable smooth guest interactions with the hospitality business with zero room for error. For instance, if a hotel guest desires overnight laundry services, the software initiates the request and ensures flawless execution. We note that the use of artificial intelligence enables said industry to boost customer service levels. However, such a paradigm significantly removes the human element from guest interactions at such establishments.

The ongoing march of artificial intelligence technologies will likely make deep inroads into the future. Some market observers have noted that in the next ten years, customer interactions with a business enterprise will likely be powered solely by said technologies. This forecast indicates that software robots and artificial intelligence will dominate future customer service systems. The evolution of these technologies may add new dimensions to existing customer service paradigms, thereby enabling businesses to serve their customers better. Further, brands and businesses can leverage such evolution to attract new customers and to enable smoother, more intuitive, interactions between a brand and its customers.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the present and future scenarios that involve the use of artificial intelligence in customer service paradigms. The progress of science and technology should help to refine the commercial applications of artificial intelligence. However, businesses must bear in mind the fact that the customer should occupy centre stage at all times. Technology should not be allowed to eclipse the human being at any point in time because such developments may disrupt relationships between a brand and its customers. Therefore, businesses may be advised to retain a certain human element in their customer service operations in the interests of tending to their long-term goals. Further, the reckless development of artificial intelligence technologies must be contained in the interests of preserving the human race and the natural environment. That said, we note that governments and regulators must have a role in monitoring the use and applications of artificial intelligence technologies. The unbridled development of such technologies bears the potential to eradicate life from this planet and to negate the advances human civilization has achieved till the modern day.

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