As customer effort is in the spotlight, there is a lot you can do to deliver effortless experiences by designing services for your customers that are easier to understand and use – including taking advantage of the latest AI tools.
Previously, in Predicting Customer Loyalty Using Customer Service Metrics, we looked at a few customer service metrics including Customer Effort Score (CES), and how studies show that CES is a strong predictor of customer loyalty. Many customer service organizations now include a measure of customer effort in their follow-up surveys and polls.
Along with the trend to optimize CES, millennials are now becoming the most important customers for the business industry, making up the largest demographic group in the workforce. This tech savvy demographic demands effortless experiences – quick, slick, and often in the nick of time.
So, how to deliver high valued, high performance customer service that will leave customers, and in particular millennials, saying ‘that was easy..’
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a solution and it’s on everyone’s radar with good reason.
“Artificial intelligence software is likely to be the most disruptive force in technology in the coming decade and companies that embrace AI may get a competitive edge” Bloomberg Intelligence, Oct. 2017
But, it would be incorrect to think of Artificial Intelligence(AI) as a future construct. It is being applied and utilized across all industry sectors and in a multitude of practical business applications right now.
Most of the excitement about AI is due to its two major capabilities: machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP).
“Artificial Intelligence mainly revolves around these two innovative capabilities to power the job of customer support agents. Its cognitive computing power enables businesses to offer efficient services to customers.” Chatbots Magazine, Feb. 2018
Both machine learning and NLP are utilized in AI customer service applications. Let’s look at some specific ways that AI can decrease customer effort and help solve problems.
Seeking Help: Artificial Intelligence allows customers to stay within their chosen method of interaction such as social media, e-mail, or route calls more effortlessly to the best possible resource.
Waiting: Artificial Intelligence decreases wait times substantially by either offering virtual assistance through chatbots or instantly connecting customers to a live person as required.
Explaining: Artificial Intelligence spares customers from having to explain their personal information, purchase details and other data. AI is designed to “learn” from the data about each customer and either work directly with them to solve problems or serve up the necessary details to a live agent.
DIY: Artificial Intelligence has improved self-service significantly. Besides chatbots that can automate many of the most common back-and-forth that goes on between companies and their customers, the technology can dynamically access the most relevant and specific details to help customers resolve their own issues.
Proactive: Artificial Intelligence reduces customer effort by anticipating what they might need before they need it, and offering content or tools to proactively mitigate pitfalls they could encounter with a product or service.
Agility: The data collected through Artificial Intelligence can be used to learn about what customer effort looks like across a particular geography, size of the account, customers who purchased a specific product or other segments. AI can help develop strategies that could directly lower the overall average of CES scores.
How big is the AI role in customer service and customer experience?
According to a recent Gartner Report Survey Analysis, “Customer Experience Innovation 2017—AI Now on the CX Map”
“55% of established companies either have started making investments in the potential of artificial intelligence or are planning to do so by 2020.”
From Big Data, to the Internet of Things - AI is now at the top of the mega trend list. If your customer service organization is ready to discover AI powered solutions designed to lower customer effort, get in touch with us to talk solutions.