New Level of Customer Service with AI
Artificial intelligence as a key to a complex customer experience
Every brand follows the idea of fulfilling customers’ needs and making them shop. Artificial intelligence can help to close these tasks: provide clients with relevant offers on time and ensure quality Post-Sale service. But it is not as easy as it may seem: the burst of digital technologies has increased user expectations, thus significantly complicating workflow.
According to the Deloitte survey, the majority of 11 500 participants identified the timely offer and competent service as the most essential factors for making a purchase. And despite the fact that these two options were leading, timeliness was chosen more often.
Much fewer votes were given to such criteria as:
- Individual recommendations;
- free samples;
- rules for problem-free return and withdrawal;
- technologies [e.g., virtual displays].
There is a question: how to provide clients with the information on the product when it is needed and guarantee the customer service expected?
The answer lies in the balance between employees’ work and the use of AI technologies within customer service. It thus becomes possible to achieve harmony between human tasks and the capabilities of machines.
Dynamic customer service — what it’s like?
Dynamic customer experience suggests the provision of assistance and information they require at any time, any place. One of the instruments is the use of AI. This is a technology that helps brands realize more personalized and creative marketing materials, as well as helps to predict customers’ behavior. This strategy can often guarantee clients’ satisfaction at any stage of interaction.
Despite the evident advantages, AI alone is not enough. For instance, a chatbot without live service can provoke the feeling in a customer that the company is trying to save money instead of ensuring the quality of support. Therefore, customer service managers within the dynamic experience are required to make customers feel the possibility to go beyond “sell-buy”. Each customer interaction strengthens the connection with the audience. Clients are inclined to return to companies they trust. The recent Deloitte research showed that more brands consider their contact services as sources of income and not just additional expenses.
What is the compromise?
Brands often use AI to identify and ensure timely offers, relying on the data. Moreover, if artificial intelligence additionally offers corresponding information to contact centers, it can lead to more rational solutions for customer service. Instead of considering AI and contact centers as independent instruments, it’s better to search for an integrated solution.
Ideally, brands should better use AI to implement data analysis at each stage of customer interaction to create the most relevant offers. AI can also serve as an “assistant” for an additional level of personalization.
Let’s look at the example of customer interaction in one international tourism and hospitality company with excellent service. AI with integrated data provides a manager with information on a customer journey map, including the information on potential difficulties with booking or places he plans to visit during his vacation — these insights open up possibilities for cross-sectional and additional sales.
This company is one of few to use such advantages, but not for long: according to Deloitte research, 79% of managers in contact centers plan to invest in the expansion of AI abilities in the coming two years.
The implementation of a complex dynamic strategy requires a real understanding of a current customer service experience. Brands should begin with creating a clear image of their clients and their data collected from various resources. Then they should carry out an analysis of data usage in real-time. A great number of platforms with the possibility to use AI help marketers think less about the technology of user data collection and more about its strategic application.
Thus, an Australian tourism and hospitality company, Crown Resorts, has experienced a similar transformation. CMO Nick Emery began by creating a client journey map and understanding the factors that influence the quality of service the most. Emery describes the process that begins with placing data in one place — a cloud system. By doing so, Crown Resorts offers services according to the information received, e.g., celebrating the birthdays of regular customers when visiting any of their hotels. Customers consider a similar service as convenient and satisfactory.
In order to better estimate client service and its potential disadvantages, let’s consider the key moments:
- The understanding of strategy for interaction, meaning the existence of specific channels and formats of communication;
- Confidence in a coordinated interaction with clients, ensured by the channels;
- Focus on the human factor, considering the service experience of specialists, clients, and service providers.
AI is not a substitution for customer services, but only an assisting instrument, that helps to better understand customer needs. As a result, the process of an organic combination of artificial intelligence and service provided by people will give a chance to enhance customer service and increase income.