There is a common feeling amongst outsiders about how call center and customer service professionals feel about Artificial Intelligence (AI). If they think about it at all, they all believe that customer service staff fear that AI systems will impact their livelihoods and force them out of work. However, in reality the situation is quite a bit more complex.
Artificial Intelligence is not simply one thing that will do it all for customers. Despite what you would believe from Hollywood, the situation is more nuanced and involved. While the Hollywood example is perhaps something we might see in a far distant future, right now AI is best suited as a complement to the support and service team instead of a replacement.
Support is Hard
You see, one thing many people do not understand is that it takes a certain type of individual to do a support and service job. While some people could “fall into” this role, they will not stay there unless they have that willingness to go the extra mile. While Doctors and Nurses have a highly visible role in society as helpers and healers, individuals in the support and service spectrum fulfill a similar function. They want to help customers and solve problems.
AI simply cannot “care” about customers and their problems in the same fashion. Caring is the hallmark of a customer experience professional and is the true differentiator of service within many businesses.
AI Adoption Worldwide
AI however does have a place within customer experience. Specifically, regarding the simpler issues and problems. By removing these repetitive queries from the customer experience teams workload, they are better able to focus on the more complex and involved issues.
This benefit is obvious to customer experience teams. In fact, a study conducted by Ovum indicates that 64% of the service teams believe AI can improve customer satisfaction. More significantly, 63% of the respondents believe that AI will improve response times and almost 40% of respondents discussed how AI will improve the customers perception of their abilities.
With all these positives, including from the staff considered at risk, AI adoption should be 100% worldwide, but that is not the case. Companies have come to realize that while the initial hype about AI might have been overblown, adopting it as a tool to help their teams is a good strategy.
AI adoption amongst the companies polled in the survey indicated that only 12% of organizations had an AI strategy and plan. By contrast close to 50% of organizations either had no plan or were only in the early phases of planning.
Customer Experience and AI
One common factor, regardless of location, is that of the companies polled, close to 50% of the telco’s either had a strategy or were already deploying one. In fact, only 8% of them indicated that AI was not currently being considered. Telco’s often have extremely high call volumes so this makes sense.
Added to this is the ability organizations now have to build out unique customer journey maps. This tool helps businesses understand all the different touchpoints a customer has with the company. By using a journey map, companies are better able to predict how customers will act in a specific situation. In this fashion, they can better design strategies that remove roadblocks and improve the overall customer experience.
AI can help in this fashion by directing customers to the right information. For example, mobile phone companies know that after a customer receives a new device, they generally call up for information about the amount of mobile data they have available to use.
Added to this, they also know that a subsequent call in the future is with respect to streaming services. By training AI systems to understand these questions and answers, they can potentially ward off future calls through proactive responses.
The Importance of Testing
One area that customers are always concerned about is their ability to reach a representative for help. While AI can help redirect consumers to online resources and even queue them up for specialist help, if the customer cannot utilize the phone system, the tool will fail.
This is where comprehensive testing comes into play. It is one thing to have an AI in place and an IVR for it to use, but if the system does not function the way it is meant to, you are failing your customers.
Companies like Nectar can help address this gap. With innovative technical solutions and the capability of conducting tests from multiple points around the world, they can help you understand what your systems can and cannot handle.
Unless systems are tested at load and capacity, you are unable to understand where they might fail. AI solutions improve through real-world training and tests and Nectar have the capability of placing thousands of concurrent calls to them to truly check their capabilities.
While the potential of AI cannot be discounted, its overall adoption is still behind schedule. Companies need to focus more on planning and how and when AI will be brought into organizations. In addition, they need to look at their overall suite of tools and resources to ensure that they are using the ones that will best benefit consumers.
At Nectar Services Corp., we help solve this problem. Our toolbox of tests helps to ensure your phone systems are working at peak efficiency. Our specialists work with you to understand the concerns you have and build out specialized tests to monitor and remedy these problems. Contact us to find out how we can help you reduce cost and improve customer experience ensuring that all your tools are working at peak efficiency.
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