serviceToday, artificial intelligence (AI) is almost indispensable when talking about customers' service expectations, competitiveness, and assistance. To no surprise, AI technologies are taking centerstage not only in innovation hubs like Silicon Valley, but the big platform companies like Amazon, Google, Baidu or Alibaba are joining forces and investing billions of dollars in AI, too.

But why the big effort? Well, the answer is simple: AI promises more efficiency, new business ideas and simply new sales opportunities. With more productivity and new fields of activity, the areas of application for AI are almost limitless: AI can analyze images, translate languages, create individual insurance rates, make industrial plants more productive, and predict natural disasters.|

AI arrived in customer service

In customer service, AI technologies have long since arrived as well, although sometimes unnoticed: Banks rely on RoboAdvisor, which gives customers tips for their investments, energy providers can use intelligent software to read their customers' electricity meters over the WLAN, and insurance companies have AI systems analyze complaint letters. There is software that detects the mood of the customers, sorts out their degree of annoyance on a color scale, and automatically sends cases to specially trained account managers. In short, AI has become indispensable to meet customers' ever-increasing service expectations: service should be fast, easy, transparent and proactive, and concerns should be resolved immediately. Better to chat for a few minutes than hanging in the hotline or even wait days for an email answer.

Technology must benefit customers and support employees

With AI, employees gain more time and are more motivated when freed from monotonous routine tasks. Such systems, however cannot and should not replace the consultants of flesh and blood, but support and relieve them, because the personal contact is still extremely important to customers.

According to surveys, around half of consumers believe that AI can improve service, but 80% still prefer human contact. To quickly get information, customers readily embrace intelligent software, but for individual concerns they prefer to interact with people. That's why digital empathy in the context of AI is in high demand. It's about a smart combination of people and technical possibilities. Therefore, you should always use AI technologies with a sense of proportion and give employees and customers the opportunity to get used to having positive experiences, as only they bring the necessary acceptance.

Intelligence for bot, routing and voice recognition

Chatbots are equipped with artificial intelligence. They learn and are getting better, so that consultants can help research the concerns of customers even faster. Machine learning can predict the likelihood of more complex issues and direct customers to the right specialist. Something similar happens in email marketing where AI can be more targeted, or voice biometrics allows customers to be identified by their unique voice pattern, making customer number and password obsolete. The glimps into the future makes clear that you have to prepare for AI.


By Daniela La Marca