Four clear use cases for AI in customer service

14 October 2021 5 min. read

Artificial intelligence is rapidly being used to disrupt markets across the industrial gamut; taking care of repetitive tasks more efficiently than traditional modes, while allowing for human labour to be repurposed toward value-adding tasks. Ivan Serrano outlines four ways how the customer services sector can make the most of the innovative technology.

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a game-changing tool for businesses, but finding the right use cases for AI is still a tough task. That's part of the reason why an estimated 85% of AI-related business projects fail.

For the businesses that do get AI implementation right, the benefits are undeniable, and there's one particular area that just about every kind of business can benefit from AI right now: customer service. There are a growing number of ways that companies can (should) use AI to bolster their customer service operations, and doing so is easier than ever before.

Four clear use cases for AI in customer service

Four ways how businesses can use AI to improve their customer service:

AI-augmented agent messaging

Although AI-powered chatbots have become common in the customer service operations of very large firms, many businesses have shied away from them. The main reason is simple: customers often hate them, and a company that rolls out chatbots in their customer service workflows can end up doing more harm than good.

Thankfully, there’s another option available, known as AI-augmented agent messaging. This refers to a communication system where a live agent can allow an AI-powered chatbot to answer common customer questions, but step in when they're needed. It's an approach made popular by service providers like Liveperson, and it can help companies to avoid some of the common customer complaints associated with chatbots. At the same time, it helps customer service agents address more customer issues in less time – a near-perfect solution.

Customer service call monitoring and analysis

It has long been a standard practice for companies to record all phone interactions with customers. This makes it possible to go back and review them if there's any dispute or follow-up needed with the same customer, but AI allows businesses to go further than that.

Modern call recording software can deploy AI to analyse the content of customer service calls to deliver all kinds of actionable insights. It can measure customer sentiment to see how satisfied callers are. It can help isolate and identify parts of conversations that representatives need to improve. It can even help develop an ideal interaction model to inform the training of new hires. In other words, it makes call recordings far more useful than they ever were before.

Providing multilingual support

For better or worse, English has become a global language standard of sorts. For that reason, English-oriented customer service options dominate most industries. That doesn't mean that businesses can afford to ignore customers that speak other languages. However, hiring multilingual customer service representatives is cost-prohibitive in most cases.

To solve the problem, businesses can use AI-powered translation services to provide multilingual support with relative ease. They can use it to translate online assets like FAQs and support blogs, and even to provide real-time chat support in almost any language. Soon, AI translation engines will improve to the point where having fluent, live conversations will be routine.

Incoming email sorting and routing

Since email has become one of the primary ways that customers reach out to businesses, most companies struggle to cope with an avalanche of incoming messages every day. And that can lead to poor customer experiences. Until recently, their only option was to hire enough employees to read each message and deal with them appropriately.

That's starting to change, though. Right now, customer service platforms like DigitalGenius offer an AI-powered alternative. It can read and tag all incoming emails to help make sure they reach the person best suited to answer them. It can even suggest some responses based on similar previous email exchanges, making the job of responding quicker and more accurate.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, it's a given that AI is going to become a more critical part of business operations as it continues to improve. The four customer service use cases identified here are already benefiting from AI-powered solutions right now. Since they apply to the vast majority of businesses operating today, they're among a handful of can't-miss opportunities to exploit the technology.

The time to do it is right now. Businesses that fail to embrace AI are already in danger of missing out on one of the biggest technological revolutions in history. Those that put off beginning their journey toward AI integration may soon find themselves hopelessly outclassed by the competition. That's not an enviable position to be in, nor is it a viable long-term strategy.

The bottom line is simple: adding AI to customer service workflows is common, well-understood, and beneficial. It's low-hanging fruit that should be at the top of every business's to-do list. All that's left for them to do is to get started today.

Ivan Serrano is a writer who enjoys learning whatever he can about business development and growth-hacking. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge of technology and how it can improve business on an international level.