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Jul 16, 2021 | 5 Mins read

AI In Customer Support: How To Implement and The Benefits It Provides

Artificial Intelligence (AI) means using intelligent machines to perform tasks that require human intelligence. Some of the use cases of AI include virtual assistants (Amazon’s Alexa, for example), autonomous driving, fraud detection, and so on. AI can be applied in different industries and functions. Al in customer support is also a key component of any digital transformation strategy.

A digital transformation strategy depicts how a company uses technologies to optimize business processes and improve customer experiences. To keep up with the constant market evolution and changes in customer behavior, companies need to adopt new technologies like AI, Machine learning, and data analytics. The pandemic accelerated digital transformation, with digital channels and strategies being set up to help businesses stay afloat. This shift extended to customer-facing business areas like customer support.

Customer support is a key part of the customer journey and must be optimized to improve customer experience. A good digital transformation strategy provides the necessary technology to achieve this. One of the prominent technologies for customer support optimization is Artificial Intelligence. There are several benefits that AI can add to customer service, including a high customer satisfaction score.

How can AI be used in Customer Support?

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, plays a significant role in transforming and enhancing customer support operations. Here are several key ways in which AI can be effectively used in customer support:

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine customer inquiries and frequently asked questions. They provide immediate responses, offer 24/7 availability, and allow human agents to address more complex issues.

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP allows AI systems to understand and interpret human language. This technology enables chatbots and virtual assistants to engage in natural and context-aware conversations with customers, improving the quality of support interactions.

  • Automated Ticket Routing: AI can automatically route customer support tickets to the most appropriate agents or teams based on the nature of the issue, priority, and agent availability. This reduces response times and ensures that customers receive timely assistance.

  • Predictive Analytics: AI can analyze historical data and customer behavior to predict potential issues or trends, allowing support teams to address customer needs and prevent escalations proactively.

  • Self-Service Solutions: AI-powered self-service tools, such as knowledge bases and interactive FAQs, enable customers to find answers independently, reducing the volume of support inquiries and improving efficiency.

  • Voice Recognition and Virtual Call Assistants: AI-driven voice recognition technology and virtual call assistants streamline telephone-based customer support, providing automated assistance and routing to appropriate human agents when necessary.

Benefits of AI in Customer Support

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing customer support by providing agents with real-time insights into user behavior. By combining AI with human help, companies can optimize customer support operations and improve customer experience. More and more businesses are using AI to improve customer experience via quality customer service. Companies without AI technologies integrated into their customer service are losing out on the competitive landscape. According to Oracle, as of 2020, 78% of businesses already have implemented (37%) or plan to implement (41%) AI in their customer service.

Oracle screenshot

Source: Oracle

Building trust: AI is revolutionizing the way customer engagement is done by helping businesses understand customers’ needs and proactively offering solutions. This leads to a greater reliance and trust in the companies by their customers. Some other benefits of adopting Artificial Intelligence in customer support include:

  • Increased team productivity

  • Increased customer satisfaction score

  • High customer engagement level

  • Customer retention and loyalty

  • High conversion rate

How is AI Applied in Customer Support?

There are various ways AI automation can be strategically applied in customer support to optimize the customer experience. Some of them include:

1. Intelligent routing

Companies with AI chatbots usually use them as the first point of contact when a customer contacts the support team. If the chatbot cannot resolve the issue, it intelligently categorizes and routes the customer to an agent with the right skill and level of experience for that particular issue. Taking into account the ticket type and the customer data and activity, the AI technology determines the agent or resource best suited to resolve the case.

Agent Assist

2. Proactive support

AI uses predictive analytics to forecast potential issues and offer solutions to the customer before the customer is even aware of the issue. Predictive analytics is used in combination with historical data and data on customer activity to determine the right direction.

3. Faster time to resolve tickets

With the help of AI, customer support agents can resolve tickets faster. AI provides the agent with suggested resources and information needed to resolve customer tickets in real-time. This eliminates manual searches that would otherwise have delayed issue resolution.

4. 24/7 support

AI chatbots are available at any time and at any day for the customer. If a customer has an issue at 1 a.m., the chatbot can either direct the customer to the right resource or create a ticket for the appropriate agent. Either way, there is a fast response and active engagement.

5. Overview of company health

IrisAgent has a unique feature that provides an overview of the company’s health in relation to customers’ issues. Companies can view top areas of concern and unravel areas that need improvement or optimization. They can also determine what area is doing really well. This kind of intelligence is useful for product development, marketing, and customer success. By implementing AI in customer support operations, the impact on the overall business is evident in the company’s growth. As Artificial Intelligence continues to advance, more benefits and use cases for customer support will be uncovered. If AI-powered customer service is not already part of your digitalization strategy, you can start planning towards implementing it.

Discover how IrisAgent uses AI to supercharge customer service. Request Demo here.

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