The Next Big AI Trends in Customer Service
It’s no mystery that COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. After living under pandemic conditions for almost a year and a half (at the time of writing this blog), consumers and businesses alike have settled into a routine, adapting living and working conditions to comply with social distancing guidelines where possible.
Despite the mechanism that spurred the digital transformation of businesses worldwide, the increased blending of physical and digital spaces means that to maintain continued success, companies cannot lose sight of what is on the horizon. These are a few of the trends to capitalize on in the not-too-distant future.
Anticipate Needs and Take Action
Proactive service in all industries will become more prevalent as time goes on. Currently, the accepted model for service notifications hasn’t evolved much since the days of filling out a comment card and dropping it in a box. This is a reactive model; it passively relies on customers already having gone through an experience and then leaving some sort of feedback, usually in the form of a survey. In our digital age, there is so much more that can be done. It would be like having a warning light on your dashboard telling you that you need an oil change in 1,000 miles. Let’s take this example one step further: your car will notify the service department at your nearest automotive dealer, let them know based on your driving telemetry, how many days it will take to reach the service interval, and have them reach out to you to schedule an appointment to get your oil changed. That is what proactive service means and just one example of what the future of customer service could be. There exist examples of this model in place today, but they are few and far between. To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to factor proactive service concepts into their roadmaps.
To Be or Not To Be
In 2011, Apple released the iPhone 4s and with it a host of features, but one, in particular, stands out as what could be called its most profound claim to fame: Siri. Something that Apple had dreamed up during the 80s, the assistant, was curiously reminiscent of the scene in Star Trek 4 between Scotty and the old Macintosh Plus, and its functionality quickly became a pop culture phenomenon and a must-have capability for all of Apple’s competitors. It has been some time, and digital assistants have grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade, now fully capable of performing actions on behalf of the user in addition to simply scouring the internet for relevant information. We expect the next generation of AI to include more elements of Decision Intelligence (DI), allowing our digital assistants to become wholly autonomous and capable of making decisions independent of humans. This is not to say that AI will be running rampant, unchecked, and unchallenged, but AI instead will have agency on behalf of its human counterpart. When looking at this behavior through the lens of commerce, the amount of data created and ingested by businesses and their users will translate into AI being able to find more opportunities and make informed decisions without waiting for confirmation or approval.
Having top-tier customer experience is a seemingly ubiquitous demand spanning across the global market. Many enterprises that fail to maintain, retain, or obtain a large enough customer base tend to be those with poor customer experiences. With that said, AI trends are gleaming towards solutions for a seamless and integrated customer experience. How? AI can address incoming customer inquiries, requests, and more through natural language processing (NLP) in seconds on the user’s preferred channel, such as web chat, IVR, and social media. AI-powered customer service can fast-track customers right past human agents, eliminating the need to wait for an agent to address the problem. A good AI solution for customer experience will empower the user with self-service resolutions that create an effortless and efficient interaction. This AI is the future of customer experience, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty scores through the roof and improving workflows for agents. Businesses are already leaping ahead of the competition by implementing AI customer experience solutions and providing high levels of customer service.
Meet Them Where They Are
Companies are undergoing a significant shift in how they communicate with their end-users, moving away from the more traditional means of interacting with customers via a proprietary app, company by company. For a while, it may have been trendy for every company to have a bespoke app as the central locus for profile-driven customer interactions, forcing the consumer to come to them on the company’s terms. With the new focus on adopting customer-centric strategies, companies are now moving to meet the customer where they are, on third-party apps as the method of choice for corresponding with customers. The key to the successful implementation of the concept is the blending of customer intelligence with third-party platforms. In this manner, companies remain connected to their customers and have insight into their behaviors. In doing so, these companies can proactively offer products and solutions that meet their customers’ needs, all while doing so on one unified platform. Additionally, businesses save on the costs of either in-house R&D or sourcing the development of their app to an external vendor. The fusion of convenience and maintaining a direct line of communication hold innumerable benefits for both businesses and their clients alike.
The Future of Customer Service
As the world grows increasingly fast-paced and hyper-digital, delivering personalized customer service and superior customer experiences are crucial for businesses to survive and thrive. To accomplish both, companies big and small must leverage the right solutions to enhance their customer service and support. By implementing an AI-powered customer service solution, companies can provide their customers with proactive assistance, fast resolutions, and self-service capabilities on the device and channel of their choice, giving them the ultimate customer experience. Ready to level up your customer service? Find out how our AI solution can help your support team transform customer experiences like never before.