5 Ways to Take Full Advantage of AI’s Role in Customer Service
By Zuzana Hudecova
| 23. June 2023 |
Customer Service
By Z. Hudecova Zuzana Hudecova
| 23 Jun 2023 |
Customer Service
    By Z. Hudecova Zuzana Hudecova
    | 23 Jun 2023
    Customer Service

    What’s the role of AI in Customer Service?
    Experts shared their Opinions

    We’re in the midst of another technological revolution. ChatGPT’s public release in late 2022 has kicked off a wave of innovation that everyone’s obsessed with, and consequently, it’s all we seem to read about nowadays. 

    But in reality, AI’s nothing new. We’ve had access to solutions using artificial intelligence for years, and the important role of AI in customer service is well documented. In this blog, we’ll be sharing all the know-how to help you keep up with continuous progress.

    We’ll define what AI means in the context of customer service, why it’s important, and what benefits it offers for both the company and customers. We will also provide practical examples of conversation intelligence software in customer service and wrap up with expert opinions on how to make the best of it. 

    What Is AI in Customer Service?

    As you probably know, AI stands for “Artificial Intelligence” and refers to the ability of machines to carry out tasks typically requiring human intelligence. This technology has numerous applications, from chatbots to self-driving cars. At its core, AI aims to automate, streamline, and enhance repetitive processes. 

    When it comes to AI in customer service, solutions like chatbots, virtual assistants, and natural language processing can analyze customer data to personalize responses, provide 24/7 support, and handle routine customer inquiries. Consequently, this translates into a better customer experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue. 

    Benefits of AI in Customer Service

    Benefits for Companies

    • Cost savings: Implementing AI-powered customer service can reduce costs by automating routine tasks, freeing customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues.
    • Improved efficiency: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, leading to quicker responses and reduced customer wait times.
    • Analytical approach: AI can analyze large amounts of customer data to identify patterns and trends, allowing companies to make more informed decisions and provide personalized service.
    • 24/7 availability: With AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, companies can offer customer support around the clock, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
    • Scalability: AI-powered customer service can easily scale to meet increasing demand without additional staff.

    Benefits for Customers

    • Quicker response times: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can respond to customer inquiries instantly, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction.
    • Personalization: AI can analyze customer data to provide personalized recommendations and tailored experiences, improving customer loyalty and retention.
    • Consistency: AI-powered customer service ensures that customers receive consistent service across all channels and touchpoints.
    • Self-service options: With AI-powered self-service, customers can easily find answers to common questions and resolve issues independently without needing to contact customer service.
    • Proactive support: AI can analyze customer data to identify potential issues before they occur, allowing companies to reach out to customers and provide support proactively.

    Examples of AI in Customer Service

    • Chatbots: Handle routine customer service inquiries, allowing customer service representatives to deal with more complex issues.
    • Tools for Content Personalization: Analyze customer data and provide personalized recommendations and experiences.
    • Virtual / Voice assistants: Provide streamlined, hands-free 24/7 customer service, where callers can easily answer common questions and connect to the correct departments.
    • Predictive analytics: Analyze customer data to predict future behavior and optimize your work processes.
    • Sentiment analysis: Assess customer feedback and identify trends and areas for improvement to create the ideal customer experience.

    10 Expert Opinions on How AI Improves Customer Service

    1. Sanket Shah, CEO at InVideo

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    As CEO of Invideo, I’m excited to share my thoughts on the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service.

    • Increased efficiency: AI can automate many of the tasks that are currently handled by customer service agents, such as answering frequently asked questions (FAQs), processing refunds, and scheduling appointments. This frees up agents to focus on more complex issues, which can lead to faster resolution times and improved customer satisfaction.
    • Improved accuracy: AI can be used to analyze large amounts of data to identify trends and patterns that would be difficult for humans to spot. This information can be used to improve the accuracy of customer service responses, which can lead to a better overall experience for customers.
    • Personalized service: AI can be used to personalize the customer experience by delivering relevant content and offers that are based on each customer’s individual preferences. This can help build stronger relationships with customers and increase their loyalty.
    • Reduced costs: AI can help reduce the costs of customer service by automating tasks and improving efficiency. This can free up resources that can be used to invest in other areas of the business, such as product development or marketing.

    Overall, AI has the potential to revolutionize customer service by making it more efficient, accurate, personalized, and cost-effective. As AI continues to develop, we can expect to see even more benefits from its use in customer service.

    What are specific examples of AI improving the customer service experience for businesses you work with?

    Here are a few specific examples:

    • One of our telco clients was able to reduce the average wait time for customer service calls by 50% by using AI to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs). This freed up agents to focus on more complex issues, which led to faster resolution times and improved customer satisfaction.
    • Our client in the retail industry increased its customer satisfaction score by 10%, using AI to personalize the shopping experience for each customer. The company used AI to track customer behavior and preferences and then used that information to recommend products and services that were relevant to each customer.
    • Another one of our clients in financial service was able to reduce fraud by 20%, utilizing AI to monitor customer transactions for suspicious activity. The company used AI to identify patterns of fraudulent behavior and passed the suspicious transactions to human agents for review.

    These are just a few examples of how AI is being used to improve the customer service experience.

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    Here are some tips that come to mind:

    • AI augments human capabilities, but it shouldn’t replace them. Use AI to automate tasks that are repetitive or time-consuming and free up agents’ time to focus on more complex issues.
    • Use AI to track customer interactions and identify areas where you can improve customer experience.
    • Train agents to use AI efficiently so they help to improve customer experience.

    By following these tips, businesses can ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service.

    What do you predict for the future of AI in customer service?

    I believe that the importance of AI in customer service will keep growing. As it advances, it will be able to handle more and more complex customer interactions. This will free up human customer service agents to focus on more difficult and nuanced issues, leading to a better overall customer experience.

    Overall, I believe that AI has the potential to revolutionize customer service by making it more efficient, personalized, and predictive. 

    2. Andrei Geist, Off-Page SEO Specialist at Flipsnack

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    Customer service work can be a slog. The process of directing customers toward the person at your company who is best qualified to help them solve their issues or provide their feedback is often more time-consuming than actually solving the problem. 

    Pre-programmed chatbots have improved on these pain points to an extent, but they’re far from a fix-all solution. AI chatbots are one of the most obvious and widely utilized customer solutions, as they greatly ease the challenges associated with customer service. 

    At Flipsnack, excellent customer service belongs to the cornerstones of our corporate identity. Flipsnack works like a charm 99% of the time, but nothing is perfect, and things still slip through the cracks sometimes. When you need help with anything Flipbook related, we’re here for you; AI has helped a lot with making that a reality!   

    What are specific examples of AI improving the customer service experience for businesses you work with?

    Off the top of my head, one of the best examples is Revolut’s customer service portal. When multiple banks, currencies, and individuals are involved in transferring money internationally, issues arise sooner or later. It’s beyond their control. 

    Thankfully, using Revolut customer service is super easy. You don’t need to contact a call center or wade through countless FAQs; simply open a support ticket in the app, describe your issue, and wait for a customer service reply. It’s saved me the hassle and stress of worrying about missing money more than once! 

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?  

    As I mentioned earlier, customer service has a ton of potential when it comes to easing customer service center flows. However, many customer service representatives worry that AI will make them obsolete.

    This is a valid concern; many companies are already considering replacing their customer service divisions with entirely AI-driven customer service solutions. 

    Luckily, the human aspect of customer service is not going anywhere any time soon, at least not at Flipsnack!  

    3. Sam Molony, Head of Content & SEO at Community Phone

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    The most significant benefits of implementing AI in customer service include increased efficiency, cost savings, and improved customer experience. AI-powered chatbots can handle repetitive tasks, provide instant responses, and offer personalized recommendations, leading to faster resolution times and higher customer satisfaction.

    What are specific examples of AI improving the customer service experience for businesses you work with?

    AI has improved the customer service experience for businesses a lot, including automated email responses, proactive issue resolution, and personalized product recommendations. It can analyze customer data, identify patterns, and offer relevant solutions, resulting in quicker issue resolution and personalized interactions.

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    In my opinion, we need to use AI as a tool to support human agents, not replace them. It can involve training human agents to work alongside AI, using AI to handle only routine tasks, and empowering human agents to override AI recommendations when providing a personalized touch is needed.

    What do you predict for the future of AI in customer service?

    It will very likely be further advancements in natural language processing, machine learning, and automation. AI will become even more sophisticated in understanding customer needs, preferences, and emotions and will be seamlessly integrated into customer service workflows. However, human empathy, creativity, and problem-solving skills will still be invaluable in delivering exceptional customer service.

    4. Aswin Surya S, Marketing Associate at Hiver

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    • The AI minimizes waiting periods and allows for faster response times. AI bots also help route conversations to agents most suited to resolve specific queries. Furthermore, they offer relevant suggestions when agents are responding to a customer via email or chat. This considerably reduces manual work.
    • The AI comes with round-the-clock availability. It helps when customers need answers to basic questions outside your business hours.
    • The AI analyzes individual preferences, behavior patterns and purchase frequency. Agents can use this data for building up a personalized approach to customer support,  upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and even for sending reminders to customers for recurring purchases.
    • The AI scales very well. It can handle a large number of basic customer interactions.
    • The AI helps minimize human error, like typos, that can seep in during customer interactions.

    What are specific examples of AI improving the customer service experience for businesses you work with?

    • Chatbots provide quick resolutions and offer 24/7 support. They helped many businesses we encounter to improve response times and reduce customer service costs.
    • AI-powered sentiment analysis can automatically analyze customer feedback, such as online reviews or social media posts, to gauge customer sentiment and identify trends.
    • Businesses can utilize predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and offer proactive support.

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    • When AI encounters inquiries that require human expertise or emotional support, it should seamlessly transfer the conversation to a human agent. This is especially needed during crisis situations like losing a credit card, for instance.
    • AI automates routine tasks while human agents focus on complex or high-touch interactions that require empathy, creativity, and critical thinking.
    • Offer continuous training and upskilling programs for agents to keep them updated on best practices of using AI in customer service.

    What do you predict for the future of AI in customer service?

    Here are my 3 main ideas:

    • Advanced Personalization: AI may provide highly personalized customer service based on an individual’s history and preferences.
    • Seamless Omnichannel Support: AI can ensure even more consistent and uninterrupted service across multiple communication platforms.
    • More Complex Problem Solving: Future AI may be capable of handling more complex customer inquiries, freeing reps from highly intricate or sensitive issues.

    5. Alicja Olko, Outreach Manager at VoilaNorbert

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    Improved response times for customer support tickets. With AI answering basic queries, customers don’t have to wait for agents to solve simple problems. 

    Supporting customer service teams by collecting data on customer behavior is also a huge advantage. 

    And this is just the beginning. The AI will have an even bigger role as it advances and will be an even greater ally to customer service reps. 

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    By making sure that agents have the final say before sending any replies to customers.

    Furthermore, AI takes over the no-brainer tasks, giving customer service agents more time to focus on truly challenging inquiries. Those where human intellect is currently irreplaceable

    6. Kadi Arula, Content Manager at Cherry Servers

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    Even though AI in customer service doesn’t work well when the customer is dealing with complex issues, it can have a huge impact when it comes to answering simple questions. 

    It can eliminate the need to respond to routine tasks, such as responding to the same query each time using AI-powered chatbots helps both sides and is a win-win situation. First of all, the customer gets the response faster, and on the other hand, it leaves customer service providers with more time to focus on more complex issues.

    What do you predict for the future of AI in customer service?

    The way customer service AI works nowadays can still be frustrating, particularly for customers receiving unhelpful automated chatbot responses. However, as AI becomes more advanced and integrated into our daily lives, it can offer solutions to even more complex customer service issues, freeing up time for customer service teams, creating new innovative opportunities, and helping companies grow. 

    7. Suraj Nair, Digital Marketing Executive at SocialPilot

    What do you predict for the future of AI in customer service?

    The two primary uses of AI in customer care are quick responses and personalization. Companies have already started using Chatbots to respond to customer queries quickly. But the limitation is that it directs you toward help files. 

    This drawback can be solved by using data collection and creating automated responses for a specific query. Thus, customer care could handle multiple common questions at once. And with proper data analysis, the answers can even be tailored to a particular customer. Thus, your users receive a 24/7 personalized customer care experience.

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    You can’t ignore the importance of AI, that’s for sure. So, what you can do is collaborate with it. 

    For this, you need to do two things to  train your employees and identify where human interactions are required and where AI will suffice. You can figure that out by analyzing customer responses. Look at where the AI helped them solve a query and where it didn’t. Then allocate tasks based on that.

    8. Kristina Jakeman, CSM at Keyhole

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    When it comes to implementing AI in customer service, one of the biggest benefits I see is its impact on self-service. AI-powered solutions like chatbots and virtual assistants provide customers with a convenient and efficient way to find help or get answers to their questions without the need for human intervention.

    9. Iqra Mustafa, SEO Executive at Crawlbase

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service?

    One of the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service is the ability to provide instant responses to customers, resolving their issues within seconds. This quick and efficient support not only saves customers time but also contributes to their overall satisfaction and happiness with the company. Additionally, AI-powered customer service systems can handle a large volume of inquiries simultaneously, ensuring that all customers receive prompt attention and reducing the frustration of long wait times.

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    It’s important to recognize that no AI can fully replace humans in customer service because people are needed to manage AI systems. Additionally, there are certain issues that AI cannot resolve, but humans can. While AI can enhance work speed, it’s crucial to understand that a human brain is still necessary for many aspects of customer service.

    10. Niharika Sharma, Growth Manager at Zonkafeedback

    What do you see as the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service? 

    From my perspective, one of the biggest benefits of implementing AI in customer service is the enhanced customer experience it brings. With AI chatbots and virtual assistants, businesses can offer personalized and efficient support. These AI-powered systems are available 24/7, providing instant responses and quick issue resolution. This level of availability and responsiveness leads to improved customer satisfaction and builds loyalty toward the brand.

    Another significant advantage is the increased efficiency and productivity that AI brings to customer service operations. By automating repetitive and mundane tasks, AI frees up customer service representatives to focus on more complex and strategic activities. With AI handling routine inquiries, response times are reduced, and agents can dedicate their time to attending more critical and challenging customer issues. This not only boosts efficiency but also improves overall productivity and saves costs for businesses.

    What are specific examples of AI improving the customer service experience for businesses you work with?

    • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are being widely used to handle customer inquiries and provide instant support. These virtual agents can quickly understand customer queries and provide accurate and personalized responses, improving response times and reducing the need for human intervention.
    • Voice Recognition and Natural Language Processing: Voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, utilize AI technologies like voice recognition and natural language processing to assist customers with voice-based interactions. These technologies enable customers to perform tasks, get information, and place orders using voice commands, making the experience more convenient and efficient.

    How can businesses ensure that AI enhances, rather than replaces, the human element of customer service?

    To ensure that AI enhances rather than replaces the human element of customer service, businesses can implement several strategies. Firstly, it is important to define the role of AI clearly. This involves identifying specific tasks or processes where AI can be effectively utilized, such as automating repetitive tasks or providing quick responses to frequently asked questions.

    Secondly, personalizing customer interactions is crucial. By leveraging AI to gather and analyze customer data, businesses can provide tailored experiences. This combination of AI’s data insights and human empathy ensures that customers feel understood and valued.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, the role of AI in customer service is crucial for businesses looking to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and provide personalized experiences to their customers. 

    AI-powered solutions like chatbots and virtual assistants can automate routine tasks, offer 24/7 support, and analyze customer data to deliver tailored responses. The benefits for companies include cost savings, improved efficiency, and scalability, while customers enjoy quicker response times, personalization, and self-service options. 

    Our 10 experts emphasize the importance of using AI to augment human agents rather than replace them and foresee future advancements in natural language processing and machine learning. 

    As AI continues to evolve, it has the potential to revolutionize customer service by delivering exceptional experiences that combine the strengths of both AI and human agents.

    Take a deep dive into the psychology of selling

    What did you find in this article?

    How does AI improve customer service?

    AI can improve customer service by providing faster and more personalized responses to customer inquiries, reducing wait times, and freeing up customer service representatives to handle more complex issues. 
    By leveraging AI, companies can also analyze customer data to identify trends and areas for improvement, ultimately leading to a better overall customer experience.

    Is AI secure for handling sensitive customer information?

    AI can be secure for handling sensitive customer information as long as appropriate measures are taken to protect the information. Companies should ensure their AI systems comply with data privacy regulations and implement appropriate security measures, such as encryption and access controls.

    Can AI understand and respond appropriately to customer inquiries?

    AI can understand and respond appropriately to customer inquiries, particularly if the questions are routine and have been programmed into the system. However, there may be instances where AI cannot understand the context of a customer inquiry or provide an appropriate response. In these cases, human representatives may need to intervene.

    How can companies ensure that AI does not create a negative customer experience?

    To ensure that AI does not create a negative customer experience, companies should invest in high-quality AI systems that are reliable and accurate. Companies should also be transparent about using AI and let them know that it can improve their overall customer experience. Additionally, companies should ensure that customers always have the option to speak with a human representative if they prefer.

    How does AI reduce costs in customer service?

    AI in customer service can help reduce costs by streamlining operations and improving efficiency in routine tasks, which mitigates the need to hire entire teams focusing on these activities. Furthermore, as AI solutions continue to improve, a single tool will likely be able to fulfill several responsibilities, letting you downsize your company tech stack. 

    What role does artificial intelligence (AI) have in customer service today?

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly important in customer service nowadays. By leveraging advanced technologies like machine learning and natural language processing, AI can handle routine inquiries and tasks without human intervention, such as processing payments and answering frequently asked questions. 
    This lets human representatives manage complex issues requiring empathy and problem-solving skills while reducing the overall workload.