How AI is Rewriting the Rules of Customer Engagement

Businesses have conducted business the same way for what seems like forever, and customers have always played by their rules. Sometimes customers might know what they need, but many times they expect the business to just know what is best for them. They expect businesses to come up with a solution for their problems. Currently, customers are beholden to the whims (and rules) of the organization, merely following the companies from channel to channel during their engagement journey, met with blanketed, broadly-applied general experiences, and not a personalized one. It’s no wonder new-age customers could be referred to as the “new-age nomads” traversing an increasingly digital world.

Yet, there is a change in the winds. A shift in expectations where customers are redefining the rules of engagement. And businesses feel it too. Whether it is due to the endless possibilities or the limitless potential, AI-powered Customer Support & Engagement is at the heart of the shift, and that is only the beginning.

Customer engagement, which broadly covers both pre-sale and post-sale service, has come a long way from snail mail and 800 numbers to automated email campaigns and online forms to live chat and chatbots. Now, businesses find it challenging to deliver experiences that stand out in a good way. Everyone will hear about a bad experience, but they share great experiences less commonly. What seems to be lacking is the availability of correct information at the right time and on the customers’ channels. AI and machine learning capabilities quickly change the game for businesses, allowing them to predict, resolve, and amaze customers by proactively addressing their needs. It could be through an omnipresent chatbot that answers customers on digital channels or leveraging the learning power of AI to digest vast amounts of data and present actionable customer insights; Artificial Intelligence enables businesses to meet evolving customer expectations.

What’s AI doing in Customer Engagement?

You have probably already interacted with AI a few times this week without even realizing it. AI is behind even the most common aspects of our lives: promotional emails in your inbox, YouTube-recommended videos, automated investment tips, booking travel with a virtual agent, customer support bots, and self-driving cars, for those of us that are that lucky. AI is growing all around us, and businesses are recognizing the immense opportunities to save, thrive, and shine. In the age of the customer-centric business world, it is more important than ever for businesses to employ defining technology like Aisera’s Conversational AI to deliver the right experience with the right proportion of automation to engage customers.

The New Rules of Customer Engagement and How AI is Changing Them

Industry experts offer many rules for keeping your customers happy. While some will be true forever, such as “every interaction matters,” others need some adjustment thanks to technology.

Old Rule: Customers come to you when they need help

New Rule: You predict customers’ needs and offer personalized assistance

The new expectation is proactive engagement such as notifications, alerts, or even automatic resolution of a problem. Customer intelligence driven by AI, ML lets us analyze and predict a problem before it happens or offer an actionable resolution right when it happens. Automate the resolution and avoid a ticket wherever possible to save on costs and enthrall customers.

Old Rule: Answer your phone

New Rule: Respond however and whenever you need to

Far fewer customers are interested in picking up the phone to call for support. Instead, they turn to Twitter, an email, or your online chat, and lately, more customers prefer self-service. Generations X and Z, especially, want and expect you to be available on multiple platforms at once. All of your customers are more familiar with asking questions about robots, thanks to in-home bots and programs such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Home.

Old Rule: There are more critical things than speed

New Rule: Speed matters — a lot

The reason is about 42 percent of people expect a resolution within 60 minutes. Most customer service is superficial and can be automated. Customers have easy questions and want a fast answer. Chatbots offer 24/7 solutions without waiting on hold.

Old Rule: Listen to your customers

New Rule: Listen to your customers

This one isn’t going to change anytime soon. What’s changed is how we handle it. An upset customer wants you to hear their concern. Unfortunately, humans are, well, human. According to a Harris Interactive survey of consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50 percent of the time. A chatbot driven by AI will learn from history and continuously improve. About 30 to 40 percent of customer service tasks could be automated in many cases. Chatbots will free up human agents for more complicated customer service problems.

With powerful Conversational AI as the backbone, Aisera AI Service Management products support every aspect of your customer engagement – for automated customer management (AI Customer service, AI Customer Engagement, AI Customer Intelligence), autonomous ticket resolution (Ticket AI), process automation (Conversational RPA) and an intelligent Agent-Assist (Smart Assist AI).