Artificial Intelligence — Transforming Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence is no longer confined to the realms of science fiction. Its adoption in the arena of customer service provision is now mainstream and, with ever increasing capabilities and sophistication, its influence seems set to expand.

The speed with which AI can process huge quantities of data makes it an invaluable tool in transforming customer service interactions. The online customer experience, brand reputation and customer loyalty can all be improved by the increased accuracy and more strategic results that AI brings.

It is principally and successfully used in messaging bot services, where assisted responses, machine learning and natural language processing work together to mimic human responses to customer enquiries. Current trends suggest that customers are very happy using these self-service interfaces, and increasingly so as they become more intuitive and accurate.

There are naturally some concerns that this development will lead to job losses and that a robot task force will make its human counterparts redundant. And this concern isn’t without foundation. In the UK, the Bank of England estimates that about 15 million mostly service jobs will be lost to automation.

The best case scenario for customer and employee alike would appear to be integration of AI within customer service provision. In this arrangement, staff are not replaced but have their capabilities augmented by the infinite data capturing capacity of AI. Paradoxically, the automated data analysis can help agents give a more personalised service as customer behaviour patterns and preferences are remembered and form part of a targeted package of customer care. Customers are also spared the irritation of repeating information as they move from one channel to another as data that has previously been given can be seamlessly collated and passed on.

Used most effectively, Artificial Intelligence can help agents transform the customer service experience, minimise customer complaints and anticipate issues and desires before they arrive.