Last week we hosted a webinar and three roundtable sessions on the Engage roundtable conference titled: What’s the best use case for Intelligent Assistance?. Here’s the highlights of what we discussed and concluded from those events.
There’s no escaping it; artificial intelligence (AI) is going to impact how your business does customer service in the future. In fact, according to research from Gartner, 85% of customer relationships will be through AI-powered services by 2020.
But with consumer appetite for AI high, how do you seamlessly integrate AI into the existing customer service function, whilst striking the right balance between automated and human customer contact?
That’s the question we set out to answer in part one of our three-part content series to identify the best use case, how to get started, and how to optimise Intelligent Assistance in businesses. To kick things off we asked the 100+ customer service professionals attending the session, how close they are to integrating Intelligent Assistance into their customer service function.
What soon became clear is that a massive 84% of customer service professionals are ‘playing the waiting game’. A fifth (17%) are still thinking about where to start. A quarter (25%) are figuring out how to position their business case to the board. And two fifths (42%) say they’re ‘still exploring what it all means’.
The problem with this approach is change is happening now! Amazon’s ‘Alexa’, Google’s ‘Assistant’, and Apple’s ‘Siri’ have flipped consumer expectations of customer service. This has had a knock-on effect for the business world. Still not convinced that you should be transitioning to, or at least considering, embedding AI into your customer service strategy today?
Here’s three reasons why you should start using AI powered Intelligent Assistants:
- Intelligent Assistance has been around for over a decade; the use-cases are proven, ROI is clear, and the technology is likely being used by your competitors to get ahead of the curve
- If you start crawling now you’ll be running sooner than you think. And more importantly, you could be running ahead of the competition
- Customers want – in fact they expect – instant, real time access to brand information. Intelligent Assisted self-service is the most cost-effective way to achieve this.
If, like the 84% of customer service professionals we spoke to last week, you’re unsure where to start we’ve recapped our three top tips for finding your best use case for Intelligent Assistance below:
Narrow down your scope:
When finding the best AI use case for your business it’s important not to overexaggerate the benefits. The trick is to resist doing something that no other company has done. Instead focus on the simple use cases you already have knowledge for, such as your most frequently asked topics/questions.
From this data you can identify the role AI could play in improving the service, and how you measure the return on investment (i.e. a reduction live contact volume). By starting with the low hanging fruit you’ll be able to show results – over a short time period – and better prove your use case for future AI investment.
Know your bots from your robots:
Chatbots, virtual assistants, robots, meta bots; add to this the other buzzwords shouting out for attention as they flood your inbox every day, and you start to understand why so many customer service professionals are taking the ‘wait and see approach’ to Intelligent Assistance.
It began with text based chatbots, moved onto voice based virtual assistance, and now we’re at a point where meta bots have access to a tremendous amount of data and machine learning capabilities. Your role, is to cut the fluff, do your research and identify which of these offers the best level of service to your customers. And decide at which point in the customer journey they should be implemented.
Make sure you strike the right balance:
You have an opportunity to engage your customers through voice text, videos, and human to human interaction. The question is how do you strike the right balance between human vs machine contact?
While unfortunately there’s no winning formula, the most important thing is making it as simple as possible for your customer to move between self-service and human contact.
All too often customers have to repeat information when escalating enquires from one contact method to the next, which leads to unnecessary frustration. So, make sure you’re connecting the dots when presenting your use case for Intelligent Assistance across different types of contact methods. Your customers will certainly thank you for it!
You can find out more about how to present your use case for Intelligent Assistance by downloading our whitepaper here. Or, if you’d like to sign up to our next round of free webinars you can register your interest by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.