How to Transform Customer Service with AI

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts,”- sociologist William Bruce Cameron

That quote, often misattributed to Albert Einstein, sums up much of the current rush to implement AI solutions. Without analyzing the information that really matters, you’re missing out on critical business insights. Industries as varied as retail and communications to capital equipment, are exploring AI as part of larger digital and customer-centric transformations meant to address customer demand and drive more efficient operations in customer service teams and beyond.

Current implementations, however, are falling short of this smart, data-driven vision. The problem: right now companies are leveraging AI for ad hoc solutions, often to automate processes typically done (pretty well) by humans—think chatbots instead of customer service reps—leading to frustrating interactions.

AI can cut costs, but many of today’s solutions are falling short of its potential —mainly by shaving a few man-hours. As we head towards a future where man and machine work side but side, here’s how to leverage technology that at its foundation, can educate and empower—not replace—the workforce, and deliver better customer interactions.

Here’s what to look for right now when considering an AI implementation to boost customer service performance.

Analyze and interpret all of your data

Customers want organizations to use data to better serve their needs, but much of the rich information that leads to actionable insights goes unused. Look for an AI solution that can go wide and deep with data sources.

  • Pull data from multiple sources like parts inventory, CRM, training manuals, field reports, and more.
  • Access and analyze unstructured data (free text information) that lives outside of the databases and lacks a predefined set of fields. This is the information that will get to the heart of a customer’s needs.
  • Leverage Natural language processing (NLP) to understand user intent regardless of word choice. A sophisticated NLP engine goes beyond a simple question-and-answer prompt. It understands the unique language your business uses to describe its products, parts and processes. And the best solutions can do this in days, not months.
  • Enable AI-human collaboration. After the data is interpreted by NLP, give your SMEs a chance to review and validate findings. Then it’s important that the system can automatically incorporate their feedback.

Elevate the Customer Experience

Today’s customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to purchasing decisions. The way to win hearts and retain them is less about price and more about delivering exceptional experiences. To drive a better experience:

  • Install intelligent self-service solutions that combine machine learning and NLP to offer helpful prompts that will walk a customer through questions based on real-world scenarios.
  • Empower the entire team with access to knowledge that will help customer reps triage service problems fast by pinpointing the right questions to ask.
  • Direct inquiries to the right ambassadors. Machine learning will get to know each agent’s strengths and weaknesses, and route the hardest problems to your most tenured or technical reps.

Learn more about how to amp up your customer service: Download Beyond Chatbots: 11 Ways AI Elevates Service

11 Ways AI Elevates Service