Customers of today can be seen as highly digital savvy and typically expect technology to solve problems for them efficiently. These customers are seeing the rise of artificial intelligence–the biggest new revolution after electricity, according to some–and we have seen how innovative technology companies giants like Google or Amazon are leveraging AI to make their experiences more contextual. By leveraging AI for various interactions and customer touchpoints, they are able to offer a personal, AI-empowered experience. While a few tech giants are ahead in this game, unfortunately, most others are lagging behind. A study by Bain and Co, for example, shows that while 80% of CEOs think they are delivering raving customer experiences, only 8% of customers think so.
Shift the focus to customer service, and there still exists a gap. Today, artificial intelligence solution providers can skip AI-execution cycles and implementation costs by using the SaaS delivery model called Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS). By democratizing the access to AI, let’s look at how AI can transform your customer service function:
Customer service became mainstream with the onset of competition, thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Simple queries warranted simple resolution. Then came customer relations and experiences, until the dawn of AI. Today, with the amount of customer data which the customer expects an organization to leverage, and intelligent machine-learning that is easily accessible to organizations through the model of Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS), customer engagement is the new philosophy, something that organizations must consider seriously. Engagement is not a siloed or a single-resolution process. It must be a continuous process that leverages the power of data insights or product usage behavior to understand customer sentiment. Artificial intelligence solution providers have made incorporating AI into businesses more affordable. Now firms can proactively get recommendations in real-time for the customer service representative (CSR) to add value to the customer engagement process.
Artificial intelligence is moving technology away from latency, the characteristic where there used to be a time lag between machines feeding on the data, to when they could offer insights and suggestions based on the data. The power of AI is all-encompassing, understanding the context, suggestions next best actions, right from pre-sales to on-boarding to post-sales. Today, enterprises can get instant feedback based on the customer’s interaction with them, in real-time, thanks to the workings of AI. That can uncover a host of benefits, and if offered through the route of Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS), the rate of adoption across the world increases tremendously due to parity in price points for SMEs and enterprises alike.
Customer Journey Acceleration
Competition is rising, and face it or not, loyalty is decreasing. You could not be faulted to plan your customer strategy based on the different customer lifecycle phases, but there is nothing as comprehensive and fulfilling as mapping the entire customer journey. Organizations that have set long-term strategies for their customers with the help of AI algorithms or new-age chatbots can improve the roadmap, making it more engaging and beneficial to both the customer as well as the firm. Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) allows enterprises to look at anonymized data sets from multiple channels through omnichannel capabilities, segregate them according to demographics or geographies and understand behavioral traits and preferences. Scandinavian Airlines used journey mapping with AI to reactivate 17% of passive members of its loyalty program.
One of the most heralded tech buzzwords today after artificial intelligence is robotic process automation (RPA). It is manifested through virtual agents, who handle certain tasks that a customer service agent usually handles, or a chatbot, a software designed to handle a specific task. The tasks could include monitoring social media platforms for company mentions or responding to frequently asked questions (FAQs) through a web chat service. Chatbots are the new AI avatar, offered through traditional installations or through Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS). They are also used to handle routine tasks a CSR agent would encounter, like entering data from a couple of applications to receive past reports. Through desktop or process automation AI, these processes could be executed at multi-fold pace than what was humanly possible. Recently, Google announced Duplex, an AI-powered automation system that uses the power of language processing, and contextual speech-to-text conversations to take on tasks like calling and booking a hotel reservation or a doctor’s appointment. More than that, these automation elements are always learning and becoming context oriented.
A recent study shows how bad customer service causes a direct business impact, resulting in customers abandoning planned purchases, causing an approximate loss of $62 billion in sales just in the US. The quantum of the losses is increasing by the year, as the study shows a 51% rise in potential losses from 2013 onwards. It shows rising customer expectation versus the pace at which customer processes are evolving. Customer service must not be looked at as an isolated entity relative to the core business but as an integral part of it. With the evolution of AI, moving it to a service-based model for mainstream adoption thanks to Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS), the potential benefit in improving metrics like the Net Promoter Score or brand equity through customer service mustn’t be discounted. AI will help eliminate call wait times, coordination between different departments to know resolution status, or introduce new revenue generation moments to meet customers at their ‘moment of truth’. We offer multiple avenues to amplify your customer service efforts, as we believe the time is now to get started on the journey and double down on your digital transformation efforts.