8 ways AI will improve customer relationships today and in the future
Customer service is still one area of business where people experience frustration, including long wait times and confusing menu systems. A 2017 report from Microsoft revealed that 54% of customers have higher expectations for their interactions with customer service representatives than they did in previous years. Meanwhile, 96% of surveyed consumers said that customer experience is a key factor in determining their loyalty to a brand.
Fortunately, artificial intelligence solutionsare quickly becoming better able to grasp human sentiment, identify speech patterns and guide decision making in real time.
As businesses grow and scale, they’re likely to have greater call volumes. While adding more labour to a contact centre can help to alleviate some pain points, it’s not enough to solve the most common customer complaints. The introduction of AI to the customer service department will revolutionize the customer experience.
Here are 8 ways AI will improve customer relationships today and in the future:
1. Enhanced compliance adherence
A single instance of non-compliance can cause irreparable harm to a business’s brand reputation. It can also be quite costly. For example, in 2015 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined AT&T $25 million for a breach involving the private information of over 280,000 customers. In an unstable regulatory environment, businesses may be exposed to compliance risks without even knowing it. AI technology can help to ensure high rates of compliance and reduce the risk of steep fines or loss of customer trust.
2. Improved customer service productivity
Customer service agents have to split their attention between the customer on the phone and their computer system. When dealing with difficult tasks, all of this visual and audio input can make it difficult to concentrate. AI-powered programs can assist with this by helping contact centre staff stick to the appropriate script or hit the right compliance checks. In addition, AI can help staff to better understand customer sentiment, and therefore steer the conversation in a more productive direction.
3. Reduce risks associated with customer attrition
According to talent solutions provider FurstPerson, 59% of customers who have a bad experience will completely cease doing business with a company. It’s imperative to sort out any issues before customers hang up the phone, because they may never pick it back up again. AI-powered sentiment analysis can alert representatives when customers are getting frustrated so that they can take the correct path forward and help to resolve the issue before it goes any further.
4. Identify areas for skill development
In a traditional contact centre environment, team leaders are typically able to listen to a small percentage of each employee’s calls. This limited visibility makes it difficult to identify problem areas in a short amount of time. AI solves this issue by monitoring 100% of calls and generating real-time dashboards to provide unprecedented visibility. Using this information, managers can identify areas that need improvement as well as the levers they can pull to increase productivity, conversions and more. In the long run, this benefit can also help HR stakeholders to develop a better training curriculum so that new recruits can get up to speed even faster.
5. Personalized conversations
Customers dislike being treated like numbers on a screen. In fact, a 2019 survey of consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada found that 63% of respondents expect personalization as a standard of customer service. Businesses need an AI solution to achieve a deep level of personalization at scale. AI-driven analytics can support human representatives by recalling information given during a previous call or accessing data in a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
6. Predictive insights
AI-powered solutions can absorb an incredible amount of data - more than any person could analyze in a reasonable timeframe - and identify patterns. Using those insights, the technology can make predictions about customer behaviour. In a contact centre, behaviour predictions can help conversations move more quickly and smoothly. For example, if an AI program determines that customers who call with a complaint are more likely to make another purchase if offered a discount, then the software can tell customer service representatives exactly when to make the offer.
7. Streamlined customer journey
AI technology can ensure they have a seamless experience from start to finish. This is especially important when customers are ready to make a purchase. By reducing friction throughout the entire buyer journey, AI increases the likelihood of leads converting to customers. Over time, personalization strategies will help to improve the lifetime value of each sales lead.
8. Greater data transparency
AI technology providers understand the value of data, which is why many leaders in the space are turning away from the old model in which data gets siloed off from the business. In a move toward more collaboration between service providers and their customers, AI companies are helping businesses understand what type of insights they can gain from their data. Often, organisations have the data, but they don’t know how to make sense of it. AI-powered analytics open the door to new opportunities.
AI technology has created significant productivity gains in a variety of industries. In the next decade, AI will continue to augment customer support staff, enabling better decision making and improving the customer experience. To learn more about how automated quality management and AI-powered speech and sentiment analytics can improve your contact centre, get in touch with the experts at Daisee.
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