Future of Work News

AI's Important Role in Customer Service Workflows


Integrating AI into customer service workflows may seem like a daunting prospect, poised to remove human agents from the equation and completely automate the job of customer service. But the reality of AI is much more complex and it’s just not the case that technology and bots are set to replace humans any time soon. By understanding AI and automation and their roles in the realm of customer service, we can better appreciate how AI can augment and assist human agents in their quest to deliver superior customer service and interactions.

The nature of humans dictates that there are specific instances where dealing with a machine simply won’t do. Automation and AI are great for handling routine, first-line customer service queries, but in many cases simply aren’t equipped to deal with more complex requests. And even in cases where AI can handle those issues, many customers would prefer to explain their problems and frustrations to a real life human agent. AI empathy, context and understanding have simply not evolved yet to the point where they can match human reactions and emotions.

However, AI can be infinitely useful in these more complex customer interactions. Technology may be used to supply important customer history data and can also locate information and resolve issues quickly. This is a huge benefit for human agents, who can offer front-line empathy, support and a “sympathetic ear” while listening to customer complaints, while AI is busy working in the background to find answers and resolve problems quickly and efficiently.

A recent Gartner study shows that nine out of 10 customers fail to resolve their issues or queries using self-service tools. Being able to escalate the interaction to a human is absolutely essential for a successful and positive customer interaction in these cases. Sophisticated AI bots are capable of perceiving customer frustration and handing off the interaction to a human at the appropriate time. Humans can also work side by side with bots in managing these interactions by monitoring several bot conversations at a time to pinpoint red flags and frustrated customers and escalate the interaction before the customer becomes truly angry.

AI is in no danger of completely replacing human customer service agents any time soon. But it definitely offers major value in the contact center, particularly when deployed in tandem with experienced human agents. By seamlessly integrating AI into customer service workflows, contact centers can utilize the best of both worlds – technology combined with the empathy and world experience of high performing human agents. The result is successful, positive customer interactions and a productive and efficient contact center.

To find out more about how AI is being used to augment and improve customer service workflows, TMC is hosting a Future of Work Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The event, which is happening February 12-14, 2020, will explore how chatbots and AI are transforming customer service and contact center management and are creating a new and improved future workplace.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Future of Work Contributor

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