As competition gets more fierce and customer demands grow, you need exceptional customer service to keep your customers from switching to competitors. Using AI in customer service can give your business a competitive edge by personalizing your support and making it fast and frictionless. Here’s some evidence.
How the Customer Support Industry Looks Today
Consumer demands have always been in flux, but the global pandemic streamlined the changes and compelled consumers to rethink their needs and values. In 2021, 90% of leaders reported that customer expectations were higher than ever before.
So what do customers expect? Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends report states that knowledgeable customer service is the top demand. According to the Achieving Customer Amazement survey, 52% of customers are willing to spend more in almost every industry if companies provide excellent customer service. And 93% will likely make repeat purchases from those companies.
The bottom line: superior customer service is increasingly vital and has become a key differentiator and a profit-generating factor in and of itself. Traditional methods, like live agents answering queries, no longer cut it. Companies need the right technology and tools to meet consumers' evolving demands. That’s where AI steps in.
How AI Improves Customer Service
Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool to boost customer engagement, cultivate brand loyalty, and grow retention. But can AI replace humans? No. But AI can arm agents with insights and take over repetitive time-consuming tasks.
Here’s how adopting AI can refine your customer service.
Modern consumers demand immediate access to the service, making round-the-clock availability a must to remain competitive. Studies also show that 69% of customers want to resolve as many issues as possible on their own. AI-powered support offers self-service solutions that let you provide reliable customer support 24/7.
Fast Response Times
Today’s consumers are impatient—60% of them consider quick query solutions one of the most important aspects of a good customer service experience. AI has the power to minimize your average response time by finding solutions faster than any human can.
Better Resource Management
AI-powered customer service can take over a lot of tedious, repetitive requests so your support agents can focus on complex issue resolutions that require escalation. AI chatbots are intelligent enough to analyze customer details and their previous requests to drive conversations quickly. In addition, they learn from interactions and get smarter over time.
More Satisfied, Loyal Customers
A study by Aberdeen Strategy & Research found that companies using AI in customer support achieve a 3.5 times greater increase in customer satisfaction rates, compared to companies that don’t use AI. Artificial intelligence leads to improved customer experiences and loyalty by, for example, personalizing interactions across channels with tools like targeted offers and multilingual support.
Using AI in customer service reduces the need for additional customer service representatives as your business grows. In fact, companies can see their customer service costs reduced by up to 30% in as little as three years after investing in AI.
Now let’s see what AI-powered customer support looks like in practice.
Uses of AI in Customer Service
People often associate customer support AI with chatbots. Surely, modern chatbots empowered by AI and natural language processing (NLP) can imitate human conversations and even modify responses based on the tone of dialogue. AI can mimic human conversation so well that 37% of participants in one small study couldn’t identify whether they were interacting with a human or an AI-powered chatbot!
But chatbots aren’t the only AI tool for customer support.
Smart Suggestions for Email Support
AI can generate a selection of canned text replies that your customer service reps can either send as is or modify according to service needs. This reduces overall response times and lets your agents concentrate on more complicated queries. One example of this kind of tool is Emailtree software, which was shown to increase the quality of agents’ replies by up to 70%.
Automated Ticket Creation
A help desk with AI can automatically create support tickets based on the context and details of conversations between an agent and a customer, or based on customers’ social media posts. This saves support agents from switching between tools and logging conversation details manually. And for text conversations, for instance, SentiSum AI software automatically turns negative reviews and social media comments into support tickets.
AI-powered support solutions can triage tickets based on topic and sentiment and route them to the best-suited support rep in real-time. Thus, they handle requests faster and more efficiently. A good example here is a Zendesk plugin for setting up your own routing goals and workflows.
Should you Use ChatGPT in Customer Service?
As a language model trained by OpenAI, ChatGPT can play a crucial role in any company's customer service strategy, particularly for companies that operate in the digital space. ChatGPT can help companies achieve this goal by providing a range of benefits that improve the overall customer experience.
What are the benefits of using ChatGPT in customer service? Let’s enlist them briefly.
Improve response times
ChatGPT is available 24/7 and can handle a large volume of inquiries simultaneously. Your customers can receive answers to their questions quickly, without having to wait for a human representative to become available. This can help to reduce frustration and increase customer satisfaction, leading to higher levels of customer loyalty.
Improve the quality of support
ChatGPT can provide customized recommendations and advice that are tailored to each individual customer's needs. This can help to build stronger relationships between customers and the company, as customers feel that their needs are being met in a personalized way.
ChatGPT can handle a large volume of inquiries simultaneously, which can significantly reduce the need for human representatives. This can lead to significant cost savings, particularly for companies that receive a high volume of customer inquiries.
The other side of ChatGPT
As an AI language model, ChatGPT has certain limitations and weak spots. If you ask it about them, you’ll get a transparent list. And it will include such points as
Limited understanding of context
The AI tool’s understanding is not perfect. ChatGPT mightn’t fully comprehend the nuances of a conversation, leading to responses that may seem inappropriate or irrelevant.
Lack of emotional intelligence
As an AI language model, it can recognize and generate certain emotional expressions,. But ChatGPT can’t understand the emotional context of a conversation or empathize with human emotions in the same way a human can.
Inability to learn beyond training
ChatGPT uses the data it was trained on, meaning its knowledge and understanding are limited to the information it was given. So it may not be able to provide accurate or relevant responses.
AI-based tool is not immune to bias, so it can reflect the biases of the training data.
A condition that ensures the efficiency of ChatGPT
To get the most out of ChatGPT in a customer service strategy, it's essential to ensure that it is integrated effectively with other support channels. For example, if a customer's inquiry cannot be handled by ChatGPT, it should be seamlessly transferred to a human representative who can provide additional support. This requires a well-designed and well-executed omnichannel strategy that ensures that customers can receive the same level of support, regardless of the channel they choose to use.
As you can see, the hype around using AI in customer service is warranted. It has diverse applications in customer service to streamline support interactions and handle repetitive and resource-consuming tasks. For these reasons, adopting AI adoption is essential if you want better resource management, more profit, happier employees, improved customer retention and increased sales.