5 Ways AI Can Improve Customer Service Agent Experiences
Customer service is a crucial aspect of any business and the main driver of customer satisfaction. And considering that the rise of Chatbots has made it easier than ever to have conversations with customers in real-time, AI has also become an inevitable part of enhancing customer experience.
The idea is that AI can provide insights as to what the user is looking for either through keywords they type or by examining their full chat transcript and then suggest the best possible response – it makes for an ideal solution for enhanced customer support.
While most of the attention around the role of AI in customer service is typically centered around the overall customer support capabilities, the fact that it can also significantly enhance customer service agent experience must not be overlooked.
What does this “experience” mean? Concretely speaking, it’s the boost in their productivity/effectiveness and an increase in their motivation to deliver high-quality service. Let’s explore some of the possible ways AI can improve the customer service agent experience.
1. Minimal Risk of Cases Escalating
How can the cases possibly escalate?
When the customer reaches out for resolution with a concern that is not quite resolved, three things can lead to case escalation.
- First, when the agent doesn’t understand the concern completely himself or herself.
- Second, when the resolution requires an escalation to another department or specialist and the agent doesn’t have such an option readily available.
- And third, when the agent cannot give the customer enough assurance that their concern is being resolved.
Not only can an AI-powered customer service help agents respond to queries more effectively, but it can also help them remove most of the misunderstandings prior to their escalation. This allows agents to deliver better support over the phone, rather than having to transfer the call to a different agent, thereby minimizing the risk of cases escalating.
2. Empathy Across Touchpoints
Undoubtedly, AI stands no chance against the human touch when it comes to customer service virtues like AI. Tom Brennan, Global Director at ServiceNow, says that “High-touch will always be needed, and human beings will always be needed for that.”
However, with customer expectations now entailing 24*7 responses, empathetic conversations are challenging. A human agent requires a companion that could probably help her focus on empathy rather than struggle to respond to queries across touchpoints. With AI-powered customer service, agents can simply let the AI-based system deal with all the repetitive queries and focus on providing conversations that add value.
Jeff Koyen, on Forbes, outlines that the rapidly advancing conversational Artificial Intelligence could now detect customer emotions and can route the issue to the human agent, if necessary. Well, that explains how a streamlined, holistic solution to empathetic facilitation can be fostered.
3. AI-assisted Recommendations
One of the most obvious ways Artificial Intelligence can improve agent experience is by providing them with real-time recommendations. The conventional approach to provide agent training is to post a knowledge base on the internet or create a manual that needs to be memorized. This allows agents to access information when they need it.
However, this does not solve the problem of being unproductive for the rest of the time. With AI-powered CRM, the agent’s moment-to-moment activities can be augmented with insights. For example, it could suggest what to say and when based on past cases with similar attributes.
An example of this would be ServiceNow’s Agent Workspace that provides the benefit of “Agent assistance.” This solution has been explicitly designed to help agents come to case resolution swiftly while working along the recommendations given by AI.
4. Predictive Intelligence – Better Resolution
Artificial Intelligence can also make better sense of future cases. It can anticipate the probable causes suggest better resolution approaches and options based on its analysis of the entire conversation.
For example, an agent can anticipate that a customer might have difficulty related to data transfer and suggest possible alternatives. This would allow the agent to efficiently handle common issues and make customers feel more comfortable.
Also, the predictive aspect of AI can be used to predict the right time to contact a customer and suggest the best possible resolution within a specific timeframe. In addition, it can recommend appropriate staffing levels and sort cases based on their urgency levels.
From an agent’s point of view, such abilities can simply be a blessing in disguise. It opens up the possibility of providing better support without having to deal with loads of tedious tasks.
5. Future-proofing Agent Skills
When it comes to CRM, multiple things can be automated – so much so that some agents have actually started complaining about not having enough work to do. In this light, AI is expected to make agent skills a lot more future-proof.
Deep learning allows AI to learn from its mistakes, add to its knowledge base, and improve over time. Such capabilities allow it to provide agents with better support even without involving a specialist or an expert. With this kind of assistance, customer service agents will be able to assist customers with more complex issues, thereby reducing the burden on specialized resources.
While AI-powered CRM solutions can significantly improve the customer experience, they must not be viewed as a silver bullet. They might offer advanced capabilities, but they aren’t going to work miracles. They need to be backed with a comprehensive, holistic customer experience strategy.
The key to success lies in adopting AI-powered solutions in an integrated manner while keeping the human touch intact. In other words, even with immense benefits, AI-powered customer service is only as good as the overall customer experience strategy. Remember to value your customer support agents and use AI-powered solutions to enhance their experience for prolonged business success.