Are you planning to integrate AI-powered chatbots for customer service? If this emerging technology has not been discussed in your organization, it may be time to reconsider! Accenture estimates 70% of customer interactions in 2022 involve emerging technologies, compared to 15% in 2018. Let’s explore this growing trend and discuss how AI chatbots can elevate your customer support.
Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, declared the COVID-19 pandemic was over in mid-September 2022. The pandemic lasted over two and a half years, and greatly challenged many industries around the world. One industry that was especially impacted was customer service, where customer queries greatly increased due to the pandemic.
Customer service is important in providing support for both prospective and existing customers. Sometimes customer service is only associated with the private sector, where businesses offer the best customer experience to build brand loyalty and increase sales. However, customer service also applies to the public sector, where governments provide a large variety of services to many different people – they are not limited to certain segments of the population.
During the pandemic, physical locations of businesses and offices were closed. Consequently, all customer service was routed to online chats, e-mail, or telephone calls. As customer inquiries rapidly increased, organizations were not fully prepared to handle the additional volume. Many were faced with internal challenges – like adapting and supporting their employees for remote work. Furthermore, organizations experienced significant resource constraints as employees were unpredictably missing work due to illness, or voluntarily leaving their jobs – a trend in the pandemic referred to as the “Great Resignation.”
While organizations were building up their infrastructure and resources, customer service e-mail inboxes and call centers were overwhelmed. As a result, it led to significant frustration as people were waiting for hours on the phone and responses to e-mails. To mitigate issues, organizations increasingly turned to emerging technologies, such as AI-powered chatbots, to improve customer experience.
Conversational AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots combine data, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) to understand voice and text and communicate in a human-like manner.
Many organizations use chatbots for customer service by supporting customer queries and messages. These chatbots are efficient for resolving simple and repetitive issues; therefore, freeing up human agents so they can focus their time on more complex problems.
With advancements in AI technology, conversational AI chatbots have become a powerful tool used to support customers. In 2022, Insider Intelligence estimates nearly 40% of internet users prefer interacting with chatbots. This is expected to grow as AI-powered chatbots become increasingly used worldwide.
Customer service chatbots have several benefits, including helping at various touchpoints of the customer journey. This helps to streamline the process and boost the level of customer engagement. Below, we outline how they can be beneficial in your organization.
One of the major benefits of chatbots are their around-the-clock availability. Unless there is maintenance, AI chatbots are almost available 24/7, 365 days to support customers and answer questions. If your organization receives repetitive queries, implementing chatbots enables almost real-time support without making customers wait.
Chatbots can help augment an organizations’ workforce by automating simple, menial tasks that are typically done by human agents. As AI chatbots can resolve simpler tasks quickly and more efficiently, teams will have more time to tackle complex issues and contribute to enhancing the customer experience.
In a recent survey by Hubspot, 71% of customers expect brands to offer customer support messaging. A conversational AI customer service chatbot is excellent at leveraging existing resources like FAQs and knowledge bases to immediately help answer customer queries.
Government websites, for example, contains a lot of information because they must serve all its diverse constituents. A chatbot can help save visitors frustration and time from navigating content-heavy websites or waiting on hold on the phone.
Traditionally, organizations address customer service traffic surges through hiring or setting up additional call centers – an inefficient and time-consuming process. However, software allows organizations to quickly scale AI chatbots, thus, enabling them to become more efficient and productive as they handle more customers at a consistent quality while minimizing cost. This makes them a popular choice in many private sector operations.
Customer service AI chatbots also have significant potential in the public sector – where customer service is lacking. Governments have a difficult task of serving its entire population on a limited budget. The potential to improve response times and save on costs are already attracting various levels of the government to use AI chatbots for customer service.
Feedback is vital for every organization as it helps measure customer satisfaction with products and services. Chatbots provide an opportunity for organizations to collect instant feedback from interactions with their customers, which can be used to improve processes and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, this feedback along with supervised ML can help improve chatbot responses over time to keep up with changing demands of the customer.
Many organizations use IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems for their telephone lines. Unfortunately, it is common to have frustrating experiences when using these time-consuming systems. Customers may wait on hold for a long time; they may not be presented with an option that is appropriate for their call; they may be routed to incorrect departments; or they may be disconnected while waiting on hold and lose their place in queue. AI chatbots are a great way for customers to get some relief from frustrating IVR systems as it can provide instant answers and support without having to wait.
In a study by NewVoiceMedia, a leading global contact center and inside sales technology provider, it is estimated that US companies are losing $75B from bad customer experiences. Moreover, almost 40% of customers that have bad experiences may switch to another supplier and may not return to the offending company again. Consequently, it is important for organizations to provide the best experiences for their customers. Like those in both the public and private sector, consider investing in AI chatbots to help augment human agents, improve user experience, and save money.
NeuroSoph is an end-to-end AI software and services company that has over 30 years of combined experience in the public sector. We are highly skilled and knowledgeable experts in AI, data science, strategy, and software.
Using NeuroSoph’s proprietary, secure, and cutting-edge Specto AI platform, we empower organizations with enterprise-level conversational AI chatbot solutions, enabling more efficient and meaningful engagements.
NeuroSoph partners with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to build chatbots for customer service. For more information about our product and services, please contact us today – lets extend intelligence in your organization.