For most, the idea of AI in customer service is likely to conjure images of chatbots. Or perhaps even those robot baristas taking San Francisco by storm.
However, the most interesting applications of AI in customer service today is in fact less about AI taking center stage, and a lot more about helping agents behind the scenes. Instead of replacing agents, the purpose of AI is to help empower customer service agents to deliver great customer experiences that don’t compromise on empathy and personality—faster than ever before.
Here’s a look at a few ways AI is changing the game when it comes to your customer service heroes on the frontlines.
AI Helps Customer Service Agents Help Customers Faster
Every day, an agent responds to hundreds of customers requests. And a lot of the time, those requests tend to be about the same thing: a company’s delivery timelines, return policies, or shipping costs, for example.
By examining which answers agents use most often to answer a question, AI can start to make intelligent choices around which answer to use from a company’s customer facing knowledge base, and automatically suggest them to an agent to use.
That way, agents save a significant number of keystrokes—and time—in not having to search for an answer themselves.
At the same time, it also makes for faster onboarding for new teammates. Because while your more veteran agents may know immediately which answer to go to in any situation, a newer rep would need to spend considerably more time searching for the same thing.
In these situations, AI customer service platforms leverages the institutional knowledge of your more seasoned agents and delivers that straight to your newer agents, without them having to raise their hand.
Customer Service AI Eliminates The Mundane
Customer service AI is also helping to eliminate some of the more mundane, rote tasks in an agent’s day-to-day. Because AI works by detecting patterns, and taking certain predetermined actions based on that, it’s particularly good at taking the more repetitive tasks off of an agent’s plate.
For example, it can identify when a certain response from a customer doesn’t actually need a response from an agent—like a customer simply saying thanks for great service—and automatically send a response on behalf of the agent, and close the conversation.
It can also detect when a conversation is simply spam, and route it to a spam inbox accordingly. Or automatically disposition a conversation on behalf of an agent, so they don’t have to spend time searching for the right topic.
That way, agents can skip the rote and get to helping the next customer instead.
AI Helps Customer Service Agents Get Deeper and More Personal
Every second is precious in a contact center. And by saving your agents’ that precious time in their day, AI gives agents more time to focus on delivering a greater experience to your customers.
Not only can agents delve deeper into understanding a customers’ issue—something 60% of consumers say is important to them—but they can also take the time to interact with your customers on a more personal level (to find out how their day is going, or recommend a new item that’s just come in from their favorite line).
That personal, personalized experience is something that customers want—and are in fact willing to pay more for.
And AI allows agents to deliver on that, without sacrificing on the speed with which that service is delivered.
See more ways that AI is changing the face of customer service—and how you can leverage it to do the same for your brand—with our Essential Handbook: Level Up Your Customer Experience With AI.