Technology’s role in customer service has, since day one, been a double-edged sword. On the one hand platforms like Zendesk make the management of support requests a breeze, giving teams incredibly powerful tools for organisation, automation, and analytics. On the other hand, technology has brought access to the internet to the masses, be they tech-savvy twenty-somethings or retirees with their first smartphone. This ever-increasing demand is exacerbated by the difficulty of hiring capable and empathic customer support agents, or the difficulty of finding anyone at all in today’s labour climate.
The benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation are seemingly vast. For one, AI allows customer support to take advanced pre-emptive action. Imagine a page to add a credit card to a user’s payment methods – no matter how well designed, there are always going to be users that face issues. Using pre-emptive AI support – an assistant embedded on the site can intervene when a user’s behaviour is getting erratic, offering guidance and eventually a direct line to a customer support agent. Without pre-emptive customer support, this would have, at best, resulted in a simple support request on live chat. At worst? The client may have abandoned their efforts – and your product.
Pre-emptive support highlights AI’s critical role in offering simple first line support that combines conversations with guided self-service. A large part of customer support is dealing with repetitive and simple queries that could easily be solved through self-service. While easy to use and accessible knowledge base integrations will greatly increase your customers’ ability to self-serve, users that are completely new to your service or product may face such self-service a daunting task, something only remedied by helpful customer support agents that can guide users with their query.
However, if there is one thing that the rise of AI makes even more important is the human’s role in the conversation. As users get used to AI-driven support, the human element is critical when things turn sour, such as when a chatbot keeps delivering content to the user that they are not after or they perceive to be incorrect. This frustration may, in future, become commonplace and reflect the greatest limitation chatbots have: a lack of empathy and an inherent lack of understanding.
At the end of the day one should not hope to replace their customer support staff with chatbots, but to instead augment their customer support operation with chatbots to free up human customer support agents for more delicate and complex issues.
At iMovo we offer solutions to all your automation needs. If you would like to learn more about how it can be integrated with your business to improve your operations, create new efficiencies and generate value and cost savings, contact us. We can offer you solutions to all your AI and automation needs.