Can AI Improve Customer Service?

Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest trend in tech. AI is becoming popular for applications ranging from quality assurance to regulatory compliance. But, does AI have a role in customer service? The answer is a resounding yes!

Customer service has four stages:

  1. Pre-contact: When a customer has a problem but hasn’t yet contacted the customer success team. 
  2. Initial contact: The customer has reached out to the customer success team, but hasn’t made contact with a person yet.
  3. Discussion: The customer chats with the customer success rep. to better identify their problem and find a solution.
  4. Resolution: The customer success rep. solves the customer’s problem and closes the ticket.

AI can play a role in each of these stages. It can reduce the time each stage takes, and offer the ability to skip stages.

Pre-contact:

The pre-contact stage is when the customer is likely to troubleshoot and do research on their own. This stage is where a strong knowledge base is invaluable. The goal is for the customer to be able to find a solution to their problem in the knowledge base. If the customer solves their problem at this stage, significant customer success resources can be saved. 

AI can help the customer search your knowledge base better. Search results can be tailored to fit the customer’s recent activity, helping show results that might be more relevant. Overall, a smarter search will make it more likely that issues will be resolved at this stage.

Initial Contact: 

At this stage, the customer has sent a message asking for help. If possible, you want to solve their issue without human intervention. AI comes to the rescue in the form of a chatbot. Chatbots can query the customer for details about their issue. They can also analyze what the customer says to determine whether a pre-written help article already exists for them. Even if no such article exists, the chatbot will have gathered more information about their issue. The end result is that either the issue is resolved at this stage, or the customer success rep. has access to more information about the customer’s problem.

Discussion: 

At this point, the customer success rep. has started engaging with the customer. The goal is to resolve the ticket as quickly and effectively as possible. AI can help in two ways. First, it can suggest relevant internal documents by analyzing the discussion. Second, it can suggest which team member can best resolve the ticket.

Like with the chatbot, there may already be a pre-written solution in an internal document. This “document” might be an old ticket, or it could be a slack message. AI can look through these to quickly find anything that might be relevant. This can help avoid the tedium of having to figure out a new solution when one exists already.

AI can also help the customer success team know who to ask for help. Not every issue can be solved without intervention from the technical team. In larger teams, there are a variety of different people with different skills. It can be hard to know who to ask, and a lot of time can be wasted tracking the right person down. AI tech can analyze the skill sets of everyone in a team to find the best person for a task. This type of AI is our specialty here at Creatros. If AI like this is what you need, check out our Slack and Jira plugin combo.

Clearly, artificial intelligence can play an important role in this stage by helping resolve tickets faster.

Resolution:

Not every solved ticket is equal. Some leave the customer more satisfied than others. At this stage, tickets need to be analyzed to determine where there is room for improvement. Artificial intelligence comes into the picture with sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis software can look over a conversation and determine whether the customer is satisfied, angry, impatient, etc… Such analysis can be a useful tool to structure future customer service interactions better. Ultimately, pro-active analysis of solved tickets can lead to consistently more positive interactions.

There’s a clear role for AI in customer support. It can enhance every stage of the support pipeline. The result of integrating it is saved time, and enhanced customer loyalty. Integrating AI into the customer support workflow should be a priority for any modern company.