The value customers place on their experience with a brand or company is growing. In fact, by the year 2020, 81% of companies expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of customer experience (CX), according to Gartner.
Customers communicate with organizations through a range of channels including email, SMS, social media and many more. We know the contact center has an important role to play in delivering great CX; it is one of the few direct ways to interact with an organization that gets customers answers there and then. To ensure that the customer is left happy and satisfied, it's important to develop new technologies and methods all the time, such as AI, to pre-empt their needs and give them a solution as quickly as possible.
An integrated omni-channel communications experience
According to Salesforce research, the average customer now uses 10 different channels to communicate with companies.
So, how do organizations best serve customers when faced with the issue of accumulating information from various channels, from people with a variety of different needs asking multiple questions? One key solution has been to use digital chatbots with AI integration.
Chatbots and AI Integration
The job of the chatbot is to work out what the customer needs quickly to get them to the best live agent to meet their needs. Chatbots can use SMS, email and other messaging channels to communicate with customers efficiently and effectively. In many cases, they offer the best chance to provide a solution as quickly as possible while leaving the customer happy and hopefully encouraging loyalty.
Ensuring live agents record all communications with customers within Salesforce means AI and chatbots will be able to use similar patterns to determine the destination of future contact. This gives the live-agents in the future the best chance of recognizing cross-sell and upsell opportunities while also responding appropriately to consumers' complaints and questions.
Thanks to the AI integration with Salesforce, it will even mean that chatbots will be able to answer questions and record complaints without using the time of a live-agent, meaning live-agents can focus their time on what's needed most.
Agent roles are becoming more strategic
Thanks to AI integration, the ease with which chatbots can determine the best solutions for customers is growing. Already, they can deftly handle straightforward and simple queries and we expect them to be able to handle increasingly complex problems in the years to come.
This allows customer agents to focus their time primarily on more complicated queries, freeing up time so they can deliver exceptional service during these interactions. Because of this, service providers will need to train their agents to a higher caliber that provides solutions for bespoke and complex issues. The service providers need to think strategically about the training to ensure its agents and teams can cover all possible problems.
This will allow for a two-pronged approach that ensures customers will receive the proper level of assistance for their query; either a quick solution thanks to the chatbots' intelligence or a detailed and comprehensive one from a well-trained and knowledgeable agent.
AI investment trends continue to expand
AI is providing solutions across many business areas so it's no wonder that many organizations are investing and trialling the new technology. It has proven to be a huge time-saver, allowing contact center agents time to focus on important issues. AI allows businesses to acquire new customers quickly, cross and up-sell, identify more profitable customers and reduces cost on personnel within a business.
According to the State of Salesforce 2019 report from Bluewolf, 56% of organizations are actively looking for ways to use AI. AI helps both businesses and customers alike, creating a smooth and quick journey leaving the customer happy. Businesses not contemplating AI interactions will fall behind. The businesses that do use it will prove to have great customer service that will encourage customers to come back again and again.