The AI-Driven Future of Customer Service

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Artificial intelligence is a very exciting technology that should be embraced widely. It's one of those areas around which people tend to have a low level of understanding, so it's important to emphasise the benefits and opportunities it provides and not to be too skeptical or nervous about it.

In customer service, AI can be used to analyze and prioritize masses of information, sifting through thousands and sometimes millions of customer interactions to understand which ones matter. It can also be used to predict what will happen in the future, allowing companies to adapt to provide better, more consistent customer service. AI is very much underused in these areas, but it's also where a lot of companies can benefit from using it.

AI eliminates the waste of customers and agents' time. We can use AI to identify mundane or straightforward interactions, like password resets or tracking packages, that can be automated with self-service technology. Ultimately, we want to make sure high-value or complex interactions are directed toward people on the customer service teams.

AI analysis of customer interactions can also be used to dramatically improve customer experience as it can provide deep insight into the reasons for customers calling in, their sentiment, emotions, and characteristics of the call that could indicate a poor customer experience. This information can then be used to customize and personalize coaching and development for each team member to ultimately improve customer experience.

All our customers have seen a significant uplift in customer experience and satisfaction scores because our solution offers not just a stick but moreso a carrot. The insights that our customers are providing their agents are improving their day-to-day lives; it’s not just about where things can be improved, in a matter of seconds managers can bring up dashboards that show exactly what agents are doing well. It's easy to show the wins. 

One of our customers in particular, MYOB, showed more than a 20 percent improvement in what were already very strong customer satisfaction scores. Another win for MYOB is related to customer experience and revenue was that their coaches were able to identify areas of improvement for their sales teams to become more solution-centric in their pitches, which resulted in an 18 percent increase in conversions. That is huge! These types of improvements are echoed by all of our customers.

AI can be seen as quite complex, which is often a barrier to implementation. My company, Daisee, offers intelligent middleware that sits on top of your existing systems and simplifies the process of implementation and operation. You need a solution that can fit into your existing infrastructure and data layer rather than something that has a difficult implementation. Ideally, you want to be up and running within a matter of hours and days rather than weeks or months.

In its broadest sense, service is all about moments of truth. These are the interaction points when your customers come and talk to you about an issue or problem they have, so it's important to be able to surprise and delight your customers with these interactions. Keeping a customer is much more cost-effective than attempting to win new ones, so the idea that service is somehow something we have to do has to be changed. We need to use AI to focus on looking after our most valuable customers—our existing customers.

AI will also help us with consistency of interactions across the organization. That's one of the biggest challenges we all face: When different customers interact with us, they get different experiences depending on which agent answers the call. With AI, we can lift the bar on the overall standard of service.

Humans remain the superior intelligent beings on the planet, but AI can help us be even better. It's like having Google Maps in our car. We don't need the car to drive itself, but it's helpful having Google Maps in it. That's the context we should think about when we think about AI for customer service—augmenting human capacity.

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