Artificial intelligence (AI) is once again making a mark on the global stage following the release of OpenAI’s GPT-4, a particularly advanced chatbot, late last year.
Its arrival generated mixed opinions. While some celebrated the milestone in the evolution of AI, others warned it was the beginning of the end for humankind. No one, it is safe to say, was without a point of view.
But those for GPT-4 and those against it were arguing the same point: AI has advanced to extraordinary levels. With GPT-4, also known as ChatGPT, most humans wouldn’t know that they were speaking to a chatbot if they weren’t told.
And while ChatGPT is perhaps the most startling example of how advanced AI has become, it isn’t unique.
In the world of customer service, chatbots and AI assistants have been used for years. But now, rather than replacing contact center operators as the industry reportedly once feared, AI assistants are enhancing the service that contact centers, and the agents that work in them, can provide.
Those for GPT-4 and those against it were arguing the same point: AI has advanced to extraordinary levels
The business logic of AI assistants makes sense. It enables a company to free up human agents’ time while lowering the costs of the business overall.
But getting the best from AI assistants and ensuring that they do indeed enable a contact center to deliver faster, more personalized and overall enhanced business service means knowing how to use the system properly.
Here, we share some best practice tips for getting the most out of your investment.
Four-fifths of healthcare customers prefer to use digital communication over voice calls when possible, and a growing number of customers are happy to avoid speaking to a human agent as long as they can find the information they need easily and quickly.
AI assistants can help deliver customers freedom with structured knowledge repositories and AI-powered frequently asked questions (or FAQs). These instantly-available pools of knowledge can give customers the ability to seek out and find answers to their own questions.
Handing customers the tools to resolve issues themselves offers a sense of independence and ultimately helps reduce the number of customers that need to speak to human agents, enabling agents to really focus on those key interactions.
Cut Time, Increase Satisfaction
One of the central challenges of modern-day customer service is time; it’s a finite resource and more precious than ever. The world of customer service has responded, but in many ways, high performances have just set customers’ expectation levels even higher. The omnichannel nature of customer experience, while providing a more expansive way to deliver on customer expectations, has reduced customers’ tolerance for waiting around.
AI assistants help unburden the agent of trivial tasks, allowing them to focus on the valuable work of dealing with the customer
AI assistants’ ability to collect and recall information on individual clients can aid human agents, who are given information to hand. Even before a customer speaks to an agent, AI assistants deliver to agents the appropriate information to guide the call, helping to reduce wait times.
Aside from making calls more efficient and more likely to end in a resolution, AI assistants help unburden the agent of trivial tasks, allowing them to focus on the valuable work of dealing with the customer.
The Human Touch, But Only When Needed
Oftentimes, customers need to speak to an agent. They appreciate the human touch and human voice at the end of the line for queries or concerns that are complicated or sensitive. Indeed, more and more, human contact interaction happens only after customers have failed to progress in a self-service action.
When customers reach this point, the emotional intelligence of a human agent is required. Sentiment must be judged perfectly, and concerns met respectfully.
Other times, speaking to agents is unnecessary. Instead, AI assistants can be given the job of handling routine customer inquiries. The use of natural language processing within AI assistants means chatbots can provide human-like interaction so that customer satisfaction doesn’t fall even during these brief exchanges.
A contact center that uses AI assistants to take simple or repetitive tasks frees agents to spend greater time on more complex customer requests. Agents can move away from transactional low-skill work and do what humans do best: solve problems.
Get the Big Issues Right
While AI assistants can help agents tailor responses to individual clients, they can also offer insights into recurring or common issues that customers have with a service or product.
For example, if a surge of customers head to chat customer support to complain about an issue with a service, or are even flagging a problem on a company’s social media channels, AI assistants can alert CX agents so that they can proactively address the problem.
Similarly, assistants are able to analyze customer feedback from chat logs or social media posts to highlight areas where a company’s agents can improve their service.