As innovation continues at a fast pace we have gone from businesses in the 90s having telephone numbers in the Yellow Pages alone and the odd marketing leaflet, to almost every brand and company having websites, social media feeds and innovative and interesting ways to strategise marketing that will hit consumers in a variety of effective ways. As websites have developed, so to has the improvement in chat bots and AI. When used correctly, AI can become a key component of a customer service strategy, taking the pressure off human staff at the coalface of the customer service process, and helping to streamline operations to be much more effective as resolutions are sought for customer problems.
Chat bots and AI have become a popular alternative for company websites as they can provide numerous functions. It is often better than no choice of contact at all, which can alienate customers and leave them considering their position as a loyal consumer of your brand. This in turn, means that when your physical employees do speak to customers, they are faced with a much more difficult task to appease and find a resolution for the problem at hand.
When AI and chat bots are used correctly they can therefore, provide a real benefit to the customer service strategy of the company as a whole. Deciding to use chat bots is one thing, but understanding where to use them effectively is another. Take a look at your current customer service team. Where are the pressure points? If you require a gathering of initial information from potential customers, chat bots can be activated on your website at the initial stages of a user entering the site, guiding them in the right direction to seek contact or make a purchase, whilst asking for information that can be used effectively by the next team of human customer service agents. Being effective with chat bots is about understanding your own demands, pressure points and weaknesses and using bots to enhance your customer service standards, not impede them.
Wherever you choose to integrate AI, understand where it fits in with the wider network. It could be that a customer has a complex problem that requires a complex solution that a chat bot just hasn’t got the capacity to fully understand, and definitely cannot empathise with. A fallback setting could provide you with a safety net where a human customer service agent can step in at moments where a certain level of dexterity is required, but in a seamless manner where the user does not know that he or she has not been speaking to a human all along.
As with your physical employees, AI and bots should be trained and improved on a consistent basis. Website testing and customer feedback forms can be used to glean information about how your customer service is working and which areas are of particular concern to your customers. With clever and regular testing you can tweak your website to maximise performance and improve customer retention and customer service standards.