Can AI Improve Customer Service?

Robot blog

Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest trend in tech. AI is becoming popular for applications ranging from quality assurance to regulatory compliance. But, does AI have a role in customer service? The answer is a resounding yes!

Customer service has four stages:

  1. Pre-contact: When a customer has a problem but hasn’t yet contacted the customer success team. 
  2. Initial contact: The customer has reached out to the customer success team, but hasn’t made contact with a person yet.
  3. Discussion: The customer chats with the customer success representative to better identify their problem and find a solution.
  4. Resolution: The customer success rep solves the customer’s problem and closes the ticket.

AI can play a role in each of these stages by reducing the time each stage takes and providing the ability to skip stages.

The pre-contact stage is when the customer is likely to troubleshoot and conduct research on their own. The goal is for the customer to be able to find a solution to their problem, so having a strong knowledge base at this stage is invaluable. If the customer solves their problem at this stage, significant customer success resources can be saved. 

AI can help the customer search your knowledge base better. Search results can be tailored to fit the customer’s recent activity and help by showing results that might be more relevant. Overall, a smarter search will make it more likely that issues will be resolved at this stage.

Initial Contact: 
At this stage, the customer has sent a message asking for help. If possible, you want to solve their issue without human intervention. AI comes to the rescue in the form of a chatbot. Chatbots can query the customer for details about their issue. They can also analyze what the customer says to determine whether a pre-written help article already exists in the knowledge base. Even if no such article exists, the chatbot will have gathered more information about their issue providing the customer success rep with access to more information about the customer’s problem.

At this point, the customer success rep has started engaging with the customer. The goal is to resolve the ticket as quickly and effectively as possible. AI can help in two ways:by suggesting relevant internal documents from analyzing the discussion and suggesting which team member can best resolve the ticket.

Like with the chatbot, there may already be a pre-written solution in an internal document. AI can search through these to quickly find anything that might be relevant. This can help avoid the tedium of having to figure out a new solution when one exists already.

AI can also help the customer success team know who to ask for help. Not every issue can be solved without intervention from the technical team. In larger teams, there are a variety of different people with different skills. It can be hard to know who to ask, and a lot of time can be wasted tracking the right person down. AI technology can analyze the skill sets of everyone in a team to find the best person for a task. This type of AI is our specialty here at SkillsHawk. If AI like this is what you need, check out our Slack and Jira plugin combo.

AI can play an important role in this stage by helping resolve tickets faster.

Not every solved ticket is equal. Some leave the customer more satisfied than others. At this stage, tickets need to be analyzed to determine where there is room for improvement. Artificial intelligence comes into the picture with sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis software can look over a conversation and determine whether the customer is satisfied, angry, impatient, etc. Such analysis can be a useful tool to structure future customer service interactions better. Ultimately, proactive analysis of solved tickets can lead to more consistent positive interactions.

There’s a clear role for AI in customer support. It can enhance every stage of the support pipeline. The result of integrating AI is saved time and enhanced customer loyalty. Integrating AI into the customer support workflow should be a priority for any modern company.