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The Promise and Pitfalls of AI-Enabled Customer Care

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There are both immense potential and possible drawbacks to implementing AI into customer service strategies. When done right, AI-powered self-service and automation can greatly benefit companies by boosting efficiency, containing costs, and delivering more personalised experiences. However, failing to properly implement AI can have the opposite effect and diminish the customer experience.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the best practices companies should follow to maximise value from AI-enabled customer care, as well as some common mistakes to avoid.

Personalise Interactions to Build Trust

One major advantage of well-implemented AI is the ability to create tailored, individualised interactions with each customer. With the right natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis capabilities, AI agents can understand customers’ unique needs, preferences, and communication styles. They can then respond appropriately in a warm and natural way.

This personal touch is key for building trust. In fact, research shows that lack of personalisation costs UK businesses up to 38% of their customers. When customers feel truly understood and valued, they’re much more likely to remain loyal to the brand.

AI-enabled chatbots and virtual assistants should be designed to mirror human behaviours and conversational patterns as closely as possible. They should also have access to individual customer data like purchase history and past interactions, with permissions, to enhance relevance.

Brands that utilise cookie-cutter scripts or bots without any customisation or memory capabilities often alienate customers. Make personalisation a priority.

Provide 24/7 Availability and Information Access

Another major advantage of AI-powered customer service solutions is the ability to operate 24/7. Research shows most customers will not call back if their first attempt goes unanswered, representing lost revenue opportunities. AI chatbots and self-service options can provide immediate support, without customers having to wait for business hours.

Additionally, AI virtual agents and knowledge bases can provide customers with easy access to large volumes of information. This prevents frustrating situations where human agents lack context or cannot locate the details needed to resolve an inquiry.

Ensure AI systems are continuously updated with new product specifications, policy changes, troubleshooting guides, and other relevant data. Also, provide intuitive self-service portals where customers can quickly find answers themselves.

Streamline Workflows for Agents

While self-service AI maximises efficiency, human agents are still critical for handling complex or sensitive customer issues. When implementing AI, brands should not just aim to replace human workers. Instead, the focus should be on augmenting and assisting them.

For example, AI chatbots can be implemented to deal with common inquiries, freeing up human staff for more nuanced conversations. Natural language processing allows AI to analyse and classify incoming customer messages, and then route them to the right department. This eliminates frustrating wait times.

Additionally, AI can compile relevant customer information and history before passing interactions to human agents. This provides necessary context and improves first-contact resolution rates.

Overall, the aim should be creating AI-human symbiosis, playing to the strengths of each. Thoughtfully designed AI solutions will reduce human workers’ burdens, not replace them.

Avoid Silos Between Channels

Omnichannel customer service is increasingly expected today. Brands must provide consistent experiences across live chat, phone, email, social media, online account portals, and other channels.

Internal communication silos often obstruct this effort. A study found that miscommunications between teams cost a 200-agent contact centre £1.5M annually.

To avoid this issue, implement an AI-powered customer service hub that centralises interactions across channels. With a unified platform integrating messaging, CRM data, and knowledge base content, both AI bots and human agents can maintain context as customers switch between self-service and live support.

The Path Forward

Implementing AI-enabled customer care requires careful planning, design, and execution. When done right, AI allows companies to handle higher volumes of inquiries, deliver personalised 24/7 support, and optimise human agents’ workflows. However, brands must avoid common pitfalls like lack of personalisation, limited availability, and internal miscommunications.

As an AI solution provider, we at Cirrus are here to help companies successfully navigate their AI customer service journey. Contact us today to learn more.

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