Customer satisfaction is critical to the success of any business. Happy customers come back, refer others, share their experience, and are less likely to consider alternatives. A consistent high level of customer service creates customer loyalty.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs,
“Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.”
However, how often do we say “wow” after interacting with a product or service provider? It’s not common to experience an outstanding level of customer service. Our experience is usually average or below average, with only a handful of companies consistently going above and beyond to help us – and these are the companies that dominate their industry.
What are some reasons why we experience average or below average customer service/experience?
- We are ‘welcomed’ by an automated answering machine listing a seemingly endless collection of options
- We are placed on long holds with annoying music or ads playing
- We keep getting transferred and have to keep repeating ourselves
- It takes too long to get help with a simple request
We all have experienced one or more of these situations. Especially the last one – taking too long to address a simple question. Could we help customers by answering these common questions immediately?
This is where conversational AI comes into play.
Due to latest advances in machine learning, companies now have the ability to use AI to have natural conversations with their customers. Google, IBM, and Amazon have demonstrated that these customer-AI interactions are much more effective than having the customers speak with actual humans! These natural conversations can take place anywhere, at any time, and through a wide range of devices and platforms (check out my blog post titled, “What Is Conversational AI?” for more information).
If your company is just getting started with AI, you should prove its value first before adopting it across your organization. A great way to start is by addressing the most common customer service requests (phone and/or online) automatically using natural conversational AI (check out my blog post titled, “3 Steps In Your AI Journey” for more information).
I personally experienced this with a well-known restaurant in my area. As the first step in their AI adoption journey, they decided to use conversational AI to help repeat customers place takeout orders automatically.
When you call, they know who you are based on your phone number and past orders. You can ask the AI agent to place the same order as last time, and they automatically send it to the kitchen of your location of choice. 15 minutes later, the order is ready for pickup. No more repeating the same order over and over again with human agents. The entire customer need is addressed and solved in less than 1 minute. I love this, and I even told my wife and family about it.
In general, when a customer needs help, the most important thing to do is to solve their problem or answer their questions as soon as possible. You want to make first contact resolution (FCR) as fast, seamless, and painless as possible. If you are able to eliminate the average customer satisfaction problems, your customers will be happier.
Ask yourself, “How can we address the most common customer service requests and resolve the issues without the need for human intervention?”
If you need help to accelerate your company’s machine learning efforts, or if you need help getting started with enterprise AI adoption, send me a LinkedIn message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help you.
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