A decade ago, our familiarity of AI was only restricted to the silver screen. But today, the scenario has changed completely. Although AI is yet to take over our lives in a formidable way, as projected in 2004 blockbuster movie- I, Robot, the technology is certainly pervasive. It has transformed forever the way we interact with our immediate surroundings. The most notable forms of AI an average user is familiar with are – SIRI, Google Now and Alexa skills. Although these are examples of narrow or non-thinking AI, the application acts as personal assistant to make our lives organized and better.
But what if AI could think, analyze, recommend and predict? What difference would that make to our lives? Well, chances are that it may be already making a difference. For instance, recently if you have contacted your insurance company or your broadband provider, there is a good possibility that you may have interacted with a Chatbot, instead of a human agent. AI is taking over customer service department in a big way. >>>
Put simply, high trust is a dividend; low trust is a tax. In fact, in our increasingly low-trust world, trust has literally become the new currency of our global economy. — Stephen M.R.Covey
Digital innovation has transformed today’s business world: it has changed business environment and performance, as well as the whole landscape of customer choice. Today’s customers are more demanding, knowledgeable and selective, and the ways how they connect with brands nowadays largely define the key dimensions that shape up business relationships of the new digital era. >>>
Despite the rise of social media, live chat services and chatbots, email is still one of the most commonly used communication channels for businesses and individuals all over the world. In 2017 alone, over 269 billion emails were sent every single day.
When it comes to your business, the chances are that you communicate with your customers using this traditional method. In fact, as many as 46% of customers will choose email has their preferred method of communication.
So, as a business, what emphasis do you place on making sure that these emails are of the highest quality? Thanks to the level of connectivity that we all share, thanks to the internet, your customers now expect the very best service possible. They want to feel special. They want to feel valued. They want to feel like you care about them as individuals. >>>
In any interaction, allowing another person to take the initiative and choose the terms of communication tends to empower them and enhance their experience. This is the main reason why customer self-service is so popular nowadays, as well as the main reason why it adds so much to the value of your brand. Aside from this, it is quite potent as a tool of reducing your company’s overhead, providing significant time-efficiency as well as allowing your customers to solve some of their issues on their own. Here are some examples.
1. Lower overhead costs
The greatest advantage of customer self-service is probably the fact that the self-checkout devices provide a much lower overhead than actual cashiers or operators. Sure, acquiring these machines is not cheap, yet, over the course of time, they are bound to save you a small fortune. >>>
Customer service jobs require a composite mix of soft and hard skills for success. To positively interact with customers and team members we need social and emotional intelligence, and self-regulation skills. We also need lots of technical expertise, general industry and product knowledge to handle everyday customer requests effectively.
In our blog we have already published a series of articles highlighting skills for being awesome at customer service. Following those posts I would like to add up another skill crucial for service industry employees — critical thinking. This blog post also puts together some helpful techniques that foster this skill. I hope that these tips will help you grow personally and professionally, and let you progress to the next level along your career journey.
Predicting what the future of customer service will be like a few years from now there is absolutely no room for doubt that artificial intelligence is going to transform the way businesses interact and engage with customers. In fact, chatbots are already dramatically changing the way customer service is provided in various industries.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human. A survey by Oracle found that 8 out of 10 businesses have already implemented or are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution by 2020.
According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.3%. Within the global chatbot market, approximately 45% of end users prefer chatbots as the primary mode of communication for customer service inquires. >>>
As a live chat software provider, we saw many of our clients adding direct messenger links to their websites and missing on the opportunity to see additional details about their customers and improve the quality of their customer service. Direct links to the messenger, although they allow the customers to chat with the company, don’t have the capability to pass any information from the visitor’s browser.
While we are aware that some of the live chat tools available in the market today don’t have this feature, which may be the reason some of our customers are not expecting to see this functionality, we try to encourage our clients to utilize the chat tool to its full potential and make sure that they take advantage of the benefits that real-time monitoring offers. >>>
Have you ever heard “No” as a customer? How did you feel? Were you disappointed? Sometimes it may happen that we need to say “No” to our customers or deliver negative news. In fact, this is one of the most unpleasant parts of customer service workflow. Dealing with negative news requires specific skills and self-control. It is not easy to say “No” and continue a smooth conversation.
In any customer interaction, the words you say either ruin your relationship with a customer or build it up. That is why it is important for any company to do this right across all customer service channels. So, how to say “No” without spoiling your customer service experience? Here are 8 tips to begin with. >>>
Acquiring new customers is important, but retaining them is more profitable. In order for a business to survive, it needs money. To make money, you need customers. More specifically, you need happy and loyal customers. If your business focuses on customer satisfaction, it is more likely to keep these customers happy and returning.
Gaining a new customer is similar to making a new friend, as it is exciting and rewarding. Just because you’ve made a new friend, you wouldn’t ignore your old friends. The same applies with customers. The long-term customers add more value in the long run, than newer/single-deal customers. So, if we can keep a larger percentage of the long-term customers happy, we end up with more profitable and predictable customers. >>>
As the new technology keeps booming, innovation in customer service follows. Many of us take the time to reflect on the milestones achieved in the past, and also look ahead to what the future has in store. How many changes will it bring about for those in customer service? Are chatbots and virtual agents likely to replace humans any time soon? And if so, what does the future hold for human CSRs and what will be the role of AI in customer service then?
2017 has seen a proliferation of innovations in customer service featuring AI-powered chatbots and virtual agents for a wide range of purposes from engaging at a pre-sales point to assisting with billing transactions and making post-sales service appointments. With the obvious increase in use of AI technology, let me briefly summarize some of the recent trends shaping the role of AI in customer service. >>>