Leveraging AI to deliver great Customer Experience

Part 1: Asking the million-dollar question - Will AI replace human agents?

AI is smart but still tremendously flawed. The advent of smarter bots has led the narrative to swing between utopian visions of technology solving all our problems and dystopian fears of machines taking over. But it’s never really that simple; it’s never always black and white. Most times, the truth lies in between.

Although the adoption of AI has been accelerated since the recent turn of events, not all teams are in favor of letting AI handle something as critical as customer support. A lot hangs in the balance where bad customer support can lead to unprecedented churn and unmanageable revenue targets. On the contrary, the challenges that come with customer support cannot be overlooked - high turnover rates, repetitive tasks, and the constant pressure to resolve issues quickly. According to the recent state of customer service, being a support agent is one of the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world.

Now, an LLM-style approach to handling human concerns has significantly accelerated how AI interacts with humans. For example, factors like these have enabled faster response times, higher response rates, and less dependency on human agents -
Community Demo Days
Most events are assumptions of community builders. We try to do something different - we pick signals from the community and host a topic around them so you get the value and benefit.
Self-service options
Customers don’t need to wait around for support agents and can get their queries resolved through a bot instantly.
Conversational AI
Customers can have entire conversations with intelligent bots and the best part is, that the bot can learn through these conversations to become better.
Enhancing human agents
AI can route conversations and reduce the gap between agents and customers. Support agents can also leverage AI to get answers to queries and enhance their abilities to provide better support.
Monthly Masterminds
Join a group of 4 community builders who hang out once a month to share lessons, stories, and struggles and find a space to vent out all things community.
Optimizing knowledge bases
Understand how AI uses your knowledge base and use that to improve your existing knowledge base.

Artificial Intelligence vs. Augmented Intelligence

The edge that humans have over AI is emotional intelligence. So, when it comes to asking “Will AI replace human agents” the answer is of course not. Especially in the customer support realm where emotional intelligence becomes a necessity to understand what customers are going through and talk accordingly. This is what authenticity is all about.

What AI can do best is augment human intelligence and complement the way we work such as to improve productivity, efficiency, and overall output of the team. Augmented intelligence is the future of customer support. It combines the data processing power of AI with the emotional intelligence of humans to create a customer support system that is both efficient and empathetic.

Part 2: How AI can streamline existing support operations

We know that AI can complement human operations, which is the cornerstone of every support team. But it’s no longer about just solving problems but doing so with a level of sophistication and intelligence that was previously unattainable. AI brings to the table tools and solutions that are designed to learn, adapt, and evolve, offering a dynamic approach to customer support that is in tune with the changing needs and expectations of customers.

Enhancing self-service options through AI

Product users are a lot more tech-savvy today and try to avoid customer support as much as possible because of longer wait times and context-switching. Naturally, not being able to find answers and reaching out to customer support doesn’t result in the best possible customer experience. With AI in the picture now, expectations are that most companies will leverage it to reduce human interaction and solve customer concerns instantly.

One of the best ways to streamline your support operations is to make self-service more convenient not just for the users but also for AI to be able to serve those users more appropriately, using these options. Let’s look at a few ways in which you can enhance self-service options with AI -
Intelligent bots
AI-powered virtual assistants can be equipped to handle customer queries independently to ensure instant responses and an option for users to get their queries answered without having to connect with and/or wait for a support professional. With the ability to train the bot, it can make the interactions intuitive and user-friendly, further enhancing the user experience. By handling routine queries, the AI frees up your support operations team to focus on more complex, emotional, and demanding issues, thereby enhancing overall support operations.

AI-powered chatbots can be programmed to assist customers in troubleshooting common issues. They can guide users through a series of steps to identify and resolve problems, offering a self-service solution that is both efficient and empowering for the customer.

In Dan Sahar’s session titled ‘Chatbots are only as good as their training’ at the SD Expo, he talks about how chatbots can be dangerous when they don’t know what they don’t know. In such cases, the answers can be inaccurate and lead to bad customer experiences. As a rule of thumb, he mentions how support teams can approach this concern by providing more accurate data to the bot, and to do so, they can begin with the following approach
FIFO - First in first out is an approach where we focus on older content that is not exactly wrong but is outdated knowledge. Update the content for the bot to be more accurate.

Ticket Review - Look at the history of tickets and see which questions have been most commonly asked. Refine the answer to ensure accuracy.

Downvotes - All the downvoted answers represent dissatisfaction by the customers. Use this to improve the answers before the bot is trained on it.

Chatbot replay - If you’ve already implemented a chatbot, go through its answers from the past few months and correct all the answers that might be inaccurate or even incomplete.
Conversational AI
Conversational AI is an extension of intelligent bots that can enhance customer services through cross-channel experiences. An intelligent bot can conduct entire conversations using auto-suggestions and the best part is that it can learn through these iterations and improve itself over time.

Tools like Threado AI can be installed across multiple channels like being embedded as a chatbot within the product or on the website. It can also be installed on channels in your Slack or Discord support community so customers can get support across different platforms. This equates to an immersive support experience that’s not restricted to humans, platforms, or places.
Knowledge Base Optimization
By constantly monitoring customer conversations with intelligent bots or through the concerns raised - you can improve the knowledge bases that become the basis for complete self-help. Analyze user interactions to identify gaps for improvement and improve the answers to make them more accurate. Enrich the knowledge bases and update them regularly to keep them up-to-date resources for customers.

A reliable way to identify gaps is by monitoring which questions is the bot not able to answer or which answers are incorrect or dissatisfactory for the customers. This is an opportunity that can be leveraged to add more questions that the bot can be trained on. Eventually, the entire knowledge base gets optimized.
Predictive Text and Auto-Suggestions
AI leverages predictive text and auto-suggestions to facilitate quicker and more efficient self-service. By analyzing previous customer interactions and queries, it can suggest potential solutions even before a customer completes typing a query, fostering a seamless self-service experience.

A lot of bots tend to offer suggestions to make it easier for customers to interact and resolve their problems.
Define workflows to improve self-help
As an extension of the previous point, you can leverage auto-suggestions to create workflows that a user can follow. By giving pre-defined options, you’re not just saving time for the user but also making it easier to navigate through questions and resolve queries faster.

AI can also recommend FAQs, articles, and references that the user can explore on their own. These workflows can be some of the best ways to offer self-serve support to customers.
Automated Response Suggestions
AI tools can analyze customer queries in real-time to suggest potential responses to support agents. This not only speeds up the response time but also aids in providing accurate and consistent responses, enhancing the overall efficiency of the support process.
Expand your knowledge base
Intelligent AI bots can be trained on extensive knowledge bases and become more proficient in how your product or service works. The more extensive your knowledge base is, the more easily it can be integrated with the AI bot and leveraged to answer support queries accurately. A tool like Threado AI also adds the links from where the reference has been taken which can help the support professionals retrieve relevant articles and solutions faster, making them more efficient as well.
Training and Skill Development
AI tools can aid in the continuous training and skill development of support agents. Through AI-powered training modules, agents can receive personalized training that enhances their skills and knowledge, fostering a team of highly skilled and efficient support agents.

Before you can improve, you need to measure. Assessing your current operations will help you identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas ripe for AI intervention. Good customer service already boosts customer interest in purchasing; imagine what you can achieve with AI-enhanced support!

Threado AI - your customer support co-pilot

The only AI-powered support assistant you need for better support team efficiency and better-than-ever customer satisfaction.
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