Customer Service and AI: What we can expect in 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is perceived as the ultimate weapon in a business’s arsenal. The average enterprise hopes to see more automation, streamlined processes, worker augmentations and profitable insights. On the whole, AI promises to make life easier for businesses and customers alike.

Members of the board are dreaming about the massive benefits that AI can bring to their business.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies

However,  businesses are only looking at half the picture. AI isn’t exactly the most simplified tool in the toolbox. It’s a tool that depends on plenty of resources to remain functional. There’s no switch that you can simply flick and expect things to run on their own.

AI depends on models that need to be updated on a periodic basis, especially when seen from the context of customer experience. Natural language is a core part of creating positive customer experiences. To put it simply, AI is in its stages of infancy.

However, there is good news: AI is evolving faster than we can think.  This evolvement is taking place due to the construction of new ontologies, the continued development of new models, and broader application by businesses through the involvement of the larger workforce.

The more businesses blend AI with their standard processes to create a blended approach, the more realistic benefits they tend to gain. In fact, blended AI is the next big evolution in AI and fortunately, plenty of organizations are beginning to see that.

This blended approach will see AI having more of an impact in the near future. In fact, here are some AI predictions made by a Forrester study.

  • More customer service channels

Companies will begin to drive their customer support traffic towards chatbots and self-service portals. However, this may not have the intended positive effect. In fact, the study predicts that customer satisfaction will take a hit as these channels, though capable of streamlining customer service, will fail to achieve proper engagement.

There will be a likely drop in call volume, but is that necessarily a good thing? It’s something that still remains to be seen.

In the meantime, if you are interested in a virtual customer service tool, Zendesk and iMovo have a solution for you: Answer Bot. It uses machine learning to answer your customers’ questions in the most personalised way.  And when in doubt, Answer Bot contacts support agents to offer the human touch that is sometimes required for customer service.

  • More AI-driven programs

Blended AI will see the creation of more AI-based sales programs and customer service programs. However, humans will still be required to ensure that wholesome support is available and to optimize a business’s AI-driven service options.

  • The phasing out of Email

Real-time customer service tools will end the era of email-based customer service as service will be provided in real time. Brands like Uber, Apple, and Nike have already started transitioning to this model.

Although the advent of AI has definitely facilitated some day to day tasks, giving employees the possibility to focus on other tasks, it also has some downsides. However, with the advancement of technology AI has the potential to equal or even exceed the capability of humans. Only time will tell whether blending AI with streamlined processes will benefit the overall company workstream.


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