AI can improve customer encounters, develop internal processes and boost operational excellence, but it may also lead to unrealistic expectations and heaps of nonsense. Jenni Jokiperä, our Director of Customer Experience, explains how you can turn AI into a valuable superpower.
Creating wow-experiences in every customer encounter has become a trend in customer service, and AI can be extremely helpful in smoothing and speeding up encounters. Chatbots and bots guiding customers to helpful articles or self-service channels are easy enough to adopt, but they need some backup from you.
Transforming today's WOW into tomorrow's essential - Elevating customer experience via AI
First off, you need to know your customers’ default expectations for your service. And you shouldn’t just assume that you know them, you need to ask them. Otherwise, you’ll never know if you’re meeting the expectations, exceeding them or falling short altogether.
After ascertaining the expectations, they need to be managed: every customer encounter can create new minimum requirements for service. Deviating from them could damage the customer experience beyond recovery. Therefore, determining your minimum levels is vital: what is a realistic response time for you? Which encounters require VIP treatment and which can be handled by a bot?
When AI is allowed in direct contact with customers, time and money must be invested in ensuring it works as planned. If you only focus on constantly creating remarkable experiences, you may risk ignoring the basic business operations and ultimately, damaging the very customer experience you’re trying to improve. As creating the wow effect takes up money and resources, it’s worth considering if it should be used more sparingly, focusing perhaps on certain segments or customers.
Enreach, a prominent provider of converged contact solutions in Europe, has released a report titled "The Emergence of Automation and AI for Customer Service." This analysis, authored by industry expert Blair Pleasant of COMMFusion, focuses on the integration of AI-powered tools into customer service.
The report, sponsored by Enreach, explores the current customer service landscape and the challenges businesses face in meeting customer expectations for a mix of efficient self-service and live agent support.
Download "The Emergence of Automation and AI for Customer Service"
Learn more about the effectiveness of AI-based technologies like chatbots, speech recognition, and machine learning through real-world examples from European businesses.
Remember regular check-ups to avoid the hallucinating AI
The longer everything seems to be working well, the less we will check up on what kind of output the AI is delivering to the customers. It’s natural to lull ourselves into ease.
However, human expertise is needed to ensure that the AI keeps the contexts straight and doesn’t hallucinate: bundling up information from different sources can easily lead to goofy and irrelevant results.
Especially when combined with business processes, customer communication and creating customer experiences, you should always have a human facilitating and reviewing the output, as well as regularly controlling the quality.
When creating your AI process, it is important to consider what it is that you want to get out of AI. How does it help you implement your corporate strategy? What are the goals and the KPIs used to keep track of the success of AI?
AI supports internal operations and liberates brainpower
AI is especially helpful for customer servers, salespeople and account managers working in the customer interface. Time and human talent can be used more productively, and the employees are free to use their skills in creating a more personalised customer experience.
Ways AI can support your internal operations:
Automating customer processes as much as possible – this minimizes the amount of work needed internally
Providing initial text drafts and creating professional PowerPoint presentations from bullet points and prompts
Producing user manuals by tracking your screen movements
Providing articles and helpful information based on certain keywords via scouring the intranet or webpages
Failure demand blocking: requesting more information in cases of incomplete service requests and allocating service requests to correct queues or contact persons.
Glimpses of the future: AI is a superpower necessary for business survival
There will always be new pioneers on the market, setting new default expectations for customer experience that we must try to accommodate.
B2B decision-makers already benchmark companies in terms of their usage of AI, and the practice is becoming a norm rather than an exception. Failing to match the industry minimum standards leads to falling behind in the competition.
Utilizing AI is important regarding companies’ cost structures. The companies outsourcing their simple tasks to AI will inevitably gain a jumpstart that can be measured in light years when compared to those unwilling or unable to do so.
All companies need to wake up to AI’s potential, and either understand it or recruit people who do. Mind you, not everything has to be AI-fuelled at once. If the change feels overwhelming, start with small things and tasks, one process at a time.
Would you like to get insights into how AI could be useful to you? Give me a call and let's talk more!