Beyond the Chatbot: How AI Can Turn On Your Customer Support

With customer support & service at the forefront of the brand battle, it's no wonder that companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI), such as a chatbot, for help. The customer churn caused by poor customer service is $62 billion problem, so finding ways to speed response time is no small matter. 

On CMS Wire, David Roe took a look at "10 Ways AI Helps Improve Customer Experiences" based on a report from PointSource. The report found that of more than 1000 people surveyed, 83% said they'd be OK shopping with a brand that uses chatbots or other AI capabilities.   

AI as a Human Helper, not a Human Replacement

Many of the suggestions are about improving the accuracy and experiences within the digital interface. This includes making the commerce experience faster and more accurate, as well as offering real-time personalized experiences. But AI begins to truly shine when it comes to deeper solutions within the customer experience world.  

We find that our customers are more interested in augmenting human tasks with AI than in replacing the human interaction entirely. It happens that the Turing Test remains a key factor here, as Sean Connell at Verndale told Roe that for the consumer, the AI shouldn't be visible, but should be felt in the customer experience itself. "A savvy customer may realize AI is being used because they are starting to get more pertinent information/offers that are more relevant to them." This increase in relevancy will also increase engagement.  

Will the High-End Customer Want to Speak to a Chatbot?

Eva Dixon at Kipsu told Poe that when it comes to truly high-end experiences "no one wants a computer-generated response to spit back what a computer thinks someone should say, often devoid of emotion and empathy." She believes that automated AI should stick to smaller requests, like providing the wifi password. 

Of course, Google just announced a voice assistant that may pass challenge that assumption and has a shot as passing the Turing Test, but we'll see what happens when it starts to answer customer calls.   

At the heart of all of this, however, is access to information. Customer support is about getting people the information they need when they need it, whether it is self-service on a website, via a chatbot, or on a phone call with a live agent. When 75% of people surveyed say their loyalty can be earned by a faster response time, it's really about speed, and the question of automation needs to be asked within that context.   

We believe that the answer lies in a holistic approach that examines at where AI can enhance the overall experience. This may be as simple as providing customer representatives with more relevant information in less time as opposed to replacing them with a chattering bot that may not provide the user with truly human experience. 

Want to learn more about using AI in your customer support efforts?  Contact us - we'd love to chat!


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