Artificial Intelligence (AI) May Be Re-Humanizing Customer Service

THE FRUSTRATION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE TODAY

As a consumer, just think of the hours you’ve spent trying to negotiate automated phone menus or surfing through web searches and toolbars to find the topic that most closely resembles your problem. Personally, when on the phone I resort to pressing 0 as quickly as possible in the hope that I will actually be connected to a person. Of course, that often means I’m sitting on hold.

On the other hand, say you are in the market for a service or product. You find something that looks good and send off an email inquiry to get more information. How often is that email answered while you are still enthusiastic about the product? From a business perspective, these are active leads that are getting lost in the email time delay.

WHAT’S THE REASON BEHIND THESE FRUSTRATING WORKFLOWS?

All of the above workflows were developed with the goal of improving customer service by enabling the customer/client to access your business on the web while steering them away from costly human calls. The average cost of a call to a human customer service or sales rep is $10, and this can add up, especially if your reps are spending time answering common questions rather than focusing on the more difficult issues – or expanding your business by targeting sales leads.

AS CUSTOMER SERVICE HAS BECOME MORE AUTOMATED THE HUMAN ELEMENT HAS BEEN GRADUALLY – BUT EFFECTIVELY – REMOVED FROM THE PROCESS

And from a public relations perspective, the results aren’t good. Consumers now complain loudly about not being able to speak to a real bank teller, for example, or not reaching a human to straighten out a plane reservation. Why? Because the human reps are hidden by a wall of computerized menus: “Listen carefully, for our options have changed, push 1 if…”

ENTER ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) AND THE ADVENT OF THE CONVERSATIONAL CHATBOT FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

Is it “human”? No. Can it carry on a conversation with your customers in a helpful, “human” way? With natural language processing, you bet.

For your customers, this gets rid of hunting through a menu of options or mining FAQs – instead, they just ask and they’ll be directed to the right place or to the right person for their specific needs. Want a quick idea of pricing? All they need to do is ask. Have a problem with a product? Same thing. Suddenly, they’ll find themselves having a conversation – a real conversation, with a “voice” that feels welcomingly human!

Is it perfect? No, but is it very close and, because it is based on machine learning and has access to your company’s customer data, it will learn and improve. All the while using that same data to personalize the conversation based on your customers’ individual history with your company.

WILL AI TAKE OVER THE HUMAN ROLE?

No. The humans are still running the show. Ultimately, these chatbots and their AI capabilities are there to support your human workforce and customers. Your sales reps will benefit from the information a chatbot can mine from a customer interaction or the series of recommendations for solving an issue it develops based on past history, but it is up to that employee to choose from the options. If an issue gets too difficult for the chatbot, it will seamlessly transfer your customer to an employee to sort it out, but that human will have a wealth of knowledge already available to help personalize and focus the conversation.

AI IS A TECHNOLOGY THAT’S YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL LIKE

So, to all of us consumers who gnash our teeth and talk about how impersonal customer service has become, how much we miss getting our questions answered with a simple conversation, how we’re tired of having to block out hours of the day to sit on hold to deal with a simple problem … change is here! And it’s coming in the form of AI and a chatbot that is happy to “talk” 24/7 for a long as your customers need.

WANT TO SEE AN AI-POWERED CONVERSATIONAL CHATBOT IN ACTION?

We invite you to visit the NeuraFlash Contact Us page and meet Flash our new AI-powered service chatbot. Flash is eager to answer your questions and looking forward to your visit.

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NeuraFlash is an innovative Salesforce Product and Consulting Partner, headquartered in Boston with offices in the San Francisco and NYC area, deploying intelligent solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence, including conversational chatbots across the digital channels (Web Chat, Facebook Messenger, SMS, mobile apps), Salesforce Service Cloud and Salesforce Einstein® solutions, to provide compelling customer experiences and improve employee productivity. Our team includes Certified Salesforce Consultants, as well as A.I., Digital Channels and Contact Center experts with decades of industry experience. NeuraFlash is 100% committed to exceptional customer service. Look out for our new Intelligent Chabot solution in the Salesforce AppExchange by Dreamforce 17. For more information, call 1-844-638-7235 or visit neuraflash.com.