Artificial intelligence used to be a dreaded subject of science fiction. In real life, many workers now fear that AI will eventually steal their jobs with the advent of chat-based artificial intelligence like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. In fact, many companies are mulling the incorporation of AI into their business processes; customer service, in particular, might benefit hugely from this overhaul.
In light of fears of layoffs and the recession, though, is it wise to integrate AI into your customer service team? Let’s take a look at the feasibility of leveraging AI for customer support, and what this means for your company.
AI actually boosts workplace productivity
A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a first in the research of AI in real-world situations – shows that AI gives workers a good productivity boost. The study specifically focused on the use of an AI chat tool to guide customer support agents working for a business software company.
The tool provides suggestions in real-time as customer service reps talk to customers. While more experienced agents may choose to ignore the tool’s advice, newly hired ones especially find it helpful as they navigate their way around their new workplace.
How AI can benefit customer service teams
Quartz cites a survey from McKinsey and Co. on businesses that deployed AI in their operations. The survey found that AI is most prominent in customer support, with all the other processes ranking below it.
There are many reasons why companies will find AI most useful in customer service operations, but here are the best ones that come to mind:
- Automation. Customer service involves answering repetitive questions and performing different routine tasks, such as prioritising customer complaints and routing calls to the right department. AI tools can handle these processes with ease, allowing customer service agents to deliver fast support and focus on more complex requests.
- Faster responses. AI in the form of intelligent chat bots can deliver fast responses to common questions. As one would expect, it lets them help customers solve frequently-occurring issues quickly. This, then, reduces the workload for customer service agents and increases customer loyalty and satisfaction.
- In-depth personalisation. AI can draw from an extensive database that records past customer activity to deliver highly-personalised customer support. They can, for example, suggest products or upgrades based on the customer’s recent purchases, or deliver support based heavily on the customer’s previous activities.
- Round-the-clock customer support. AI can run the show even after your customer service representatives have clocked out for the day. Customers appreciate that their concerns are addressed even after office hours, so AI, in this case, will help improve their satisfaction.
- Improved efficiency. Overall, AI can give customer service teams a boost in their efficiency. It helps them handle requests and complaints fast, resulting in happy customers and reduced operational costs.
AI is a customer support agent’s friend
AI is not out to steal jobs in the customer support industry. If anything, it will only make customer service agents more productive. They can take care of the more mundane tasks while allowing their human colleagues to shine at what they do best.