Every year, we spend around 13 hours waiting on the phone trying to resolve frustrating issues with private companies, agencies, and state bodies. Providing a positive customer experience can be the difference between repeat business or losing out to a competitor, and companies have increasingly turned to the tech sector to take their customer service to the next level.
Enter artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These computer systems have revolutionized how many companies resolve the issues you encounter and have permanently changed the day-to-day lives of those working to assist you.
So, how exactly does AI help companies help you? And is the most important element of customer service still the person on the other end of the line?
AI and machine learning to the rescue?
It took a bit of learning but, over time, the benefits of chatbots have become clear. First, unlike customer service agents, chatbots can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Second, machine learning has meant chatbots are constantly adapting to understand human behavior. Now, thanks to Natural Language Processing, the same technology deployed in Siri and Alexa, customer service bots like Zendesk’s Answer Bot can understand slang and respond to more informal requests.
In addition to understanding your lingo, chatbots will increasingly free up customer service agents to assist you with more complex issues. According to IBM, chatbots can already answer on average 79% of a company’s routine questions and, with help articles more aligned with customers’ search terms, could resolve even more.
One example of how artificial intelligence can help agents help you is by identifying your voice to confirm your identity and pairing that with information from any previous interactions. This real-time process avoids the need to go through initial security questions and can spare you from those anxious moments trying to remember the name of your first pet or the make and model of your first car!
Letting AI organize and automate a ticketing system can have benefits too. AI ticket routing can transform customer service from simply directing you to the first available customer service agent, who may need to refer to a colleague to resolve your issue, to a service that directs you to a specific agent with helpful information at their fingertips.
However, not all of us immediately reach for our phones and start dialing. How often do you attempt to resolve the issue yourself first? Well, advanced technology can also make a big difference here. Forty percent of customers claim that existing help articles don’t have the answers to their queries. Machine learning allows the data from your help queries to be analyzed and automatically turned into reports. From there, agents can edit existing help articles or even create new ones that better match the search terms that customers are using.
While you may benefit from more effective help articles, this is nothing compared to the huge shake up in customer service standards that may be coming soon. Future customer service departments may well study your behavior and predict the kind of difficulties you are likely to encounter before they even arise. In fact, the new Consumer Duty rule in the UK goes as far as to say that firms must present evidence that they are adequately analyzing consumer interactions and can anticipate the stumbling blocks that consumers are likely to encounter in the future.
Artificial intelligence can assist customer service agents in meeting these new standards. Zendesk’s satisfaction prediction tool assesses your level of satisfaction using a variety of metrics. Your response times, the amount of time your ticket has been open, and the repetitive nature of the issue are all taken into consideration and combined with an analysis of the positive and negative words that you use before giving you a unique customer rating from 0 to 100. Your future customer service experiences are likely to involve better trained agents who have already anticipated the problem that you’re experiencing with the help of AI.
Nostalgia for the personal touch
Despite the effectiveness of all this advanced technology, many consumers still prefer to hear the friendly voice of someone who is ready to help. Hence, GetHuman. This website was created to provide telephone numbers that lead to human customer service agents and other helpful information such as current and average wait times, the best time to call, the navigation hurdles to overcome to reach an agent, and more. GetHuman also allows you to vote on factors like the quality of a company’s communication and of the help that you receive. These votes provide a ranking that reflects how well a company meets the service needs of their customers.
We understand the importance of a reassuring human voice and put our customers’ needs at the center of everything that we do. 60% of our customer service interactions are conducted over the telephone, and we have hundreds of dedicated customer service agents ready to help you resolve any issue. Online, our customer service agents are able to support customers in 120 different languages thanks to the help of chat-based automatic translation tools. No matter how you choose to reach out, we’ll be here to help when you need us.
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