How can AI help customer experience? thumbnail image Published on 21st July 2023 by Gemma Harding

AI isn’t just a hot topic right now across the customer service industry; it’s the topic. The rapid advancements in this technology seen over recent years have taken many businesses by surprise, leaving them unsure how best to harness its power without experiencing the problems that AI can undoubtedly cause if it’s not used wisely.


In this post, we outline exactly what AI is, why it’s important and how you can use it to enhance the customer experience. Crucially, we highlight that AI is still no substitute for real human interaction at various points in the customer service journey.


What is AI?


Put simply, artificial intelligence is software that can perform certain cognitive functions typically only associated with humans. This can include understanding and responding to speech, problem solving, interpreting and creating visuals, planning and generating ideas, and more. From voice assistants like Alexa and Siri to the chatbots that pop up when you land on a website, this technology is all around us.


Why is artificial intelligence important? 


AI is important for many reasons. On a broad level, it has the potential to radically transform the way we live our lives. More specifically, in the realm of customer service, it could lead to increasing automation in terms of how people interact with organisations.


If done correctly, AI could make customer service more efficient and responsive. However, it is crucial to note that it should not be seen as a replacement for human agents. The businesses that stand to gain the most from the explosion in AI are those that understand how to strike the right balance between this technology and human-led solutions. For example, there is still a crucial role for customer service lines operated by highly trained and professional agents.


Highlighting this, a CallCare survey of 600 people found that more than nine in 10 (93.5%) would rather speak to a human than an AI system when they have a query, while over four-fifths said they would be put off using a business if they only provided an automated phone service.


How can brands use artificial intelligence to enhance customer experience?


So, how can companies use AI to enrich the customer experience? To succeed in this area, businesses should understand that rather than replacing real customer service agents with artificial intelligence solutions, they can integrate certain AI technologies into their systems to support their staff.


For example, AI can be used to provide real-time information and advice to customer service representatives while they’re on calls. This technology can analyse conversations for emotional tones, for instance. Based on this, it can provide agents with prompts to respond in certain ways. It can also be used to pick up on problems in real time, such as agents talking over customers. Again, in such cases the technology can issue prompts to address the problem.  


Also, as chatbots become increasingly sophisticated, they could start to replace certain assets on websites, like FAQ sections. When it comes to dealing with specific customer questions and issues however, human-led live chat is still a much stronger solution.


Through continuous machine learning, AI can also help to improve the speed of help desk routing, and it can provide insights that allow you to better personalise customer journeys.


A less direct impact of AI on customer service stems from the fact that by automating certain routine, trivial tasks, it can free up more of your time as a business to focus on enhancing customer experience.