Technology & Innovation

AI-powered customer service to grow


04 Apr 2021

Human and digital skills are blended in the digital age. It has its pros and cons but for the most part, technology is emerging as our friend—saving us and businesses time, money and resources—as we face our worst crisis, the global pandemic. We’re all familiar with that strange voice answering our calls to different offices, directing us what buttons to press to resolve our issues. Those robots are programmed with artificial intelligence or AI to quickly attend to our needs 24/7, tirelessly and endlessly, at no extra cost to companies.

The AI-powered robots have long been around us but the digitalization of the global economy and the pandemic accelerated their presence more visibly in the way we live and do business. Even newsrooms are not spared with some of the biggest broadcasting firms having “newsbots” doing translation for hundreds of different languages for their ging global audience online, eliminating in the process the need for more translators and editors.
Indeed, we’re seeing more and more companies incorporating AI in their operations, particularly in customer service in the era of social distancing. AI, after all, is able to handle simple tasks and questions. And remember, whether you’re selling products or services or even ideas, customer service can make or break your reputation. Various studies showed more than 90% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases with a brand that offers outstanding customer service. So like it or not, customers judge your products and services on how you deal with them, especially if they have complaints or issues with what they purchased.
In the digital and social distancing era, this means investing on reliable and high-quality bots. Yes, AI powered robots that can answer your calls 24/7 without complaints and no salaries. They are programmed to give you information, answer your queries and eventually transferring you to a human customer service agent to fully resolve your issue.
Botmywork, an Indian startup providing Chatbot solutions to more than 100 brands, summed up the benefits of using AI in customer service with the following: Greater benefits with less workforce; personalization; rich productivity; better customer service; speedy and perpetual response; cost cutting; direct and multichannel support; reduction in churn rate; accurate customer insights, and; organized business workflow.

Chatbots are also perpetual. They can be programmed specifically to help your brand boost visibility and sales. And more importantly, they are there 24/7 without basic or overtime pay and other benefits customarily given to human employees. This helps tremendously on saving operating costs. As we continue to fight the global pandemic, AI-powered customer service is becoming more relevant—it’s contactless, fast and serves a multitude of people at once.

One of its key benefits is gathering data as well as measuring and analyzing consumer behavior. Some companies have integrated quick surveys with their AI-powered customer service, thus, generate measurable data, establish patterns and useful trends. All this helps the company identity areas that must be improved and implement changes. And in today’s age where sustainability is widely promoted, having AI-powered customer service and system also saves the planet. How? Paperless transactions save earth plenty of trees normally consumed in manual data entry process.
This is very much apparent in the aviation industry. Many airlines have ditched voluminous paper manuals and documents required to be carried by pilots and other staff in favor of electronic tablets which are not only handy but also saves tons of papers. In 2013, Delta Airlines proudly announced it was rolling out paperless flights by giving its 11,000 pilots electronic tablets which act as their electronic flight bag containing vital information such as navigational charts as well as aircraft operating and reference manuals. The airline said the move saves it not only jet fuel with lesser weight carried but also 7.5 million sheets of paper.
In our new normal, most payment transactions are done electronically and digitally. Companies engaged in providing telecom services, utilities such as power and water which involve huge number of people, millions if not tens of thousands, also heavily rely on AI to streamline their process and keep customers happy.
How? Well payments for phone, water and electric bills can now be safely done online. No more queues. No more paper receipts. No more hassle in going to their offices. And it means less cost for companies in maintaining overheads dealing with payments. Indeed, we’re going to see more of AI in our new digital world. We are unavoidably being blended.