Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a ubiquitous technology in consumer devices and services. What does it mean for the future of the contact center and how organizations serve customers?
AI-enabled bots and intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) are already transforming post-sales service by enabling better self-service and allowing more forms of customer engagement. But the role of AI is not limited to post-sales interactions. For contact centers, intelligent assistants can significantly improve the customer experience by gathering data, predicting the customer’s needs, and learning about the customer’s behavior.
As Kate Leggett, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research principal analyst, recently pointed out, contact centers can use AI to fuel all phases of the customer journey.
- Presales: Showcase more options and overcome hesitations. Predictive analytics and machine learning can help target product recommendations, offer cross-sell or upsell opportunities, and present a coupon or other incentive at just the right moment to take the potential customer from shopper to buyer.
- Onboarding: Get customers started quickly. Once the journey begins, intelligent assistants can answer questions before customers even need to ask. AI can drive basic onboarding, such as account activation, to even more complex tasks such as tracking the user’s progress, offering tips for new features, and keeping tabs on customer satisfaction. AI can also capture a potential trouble ticket and route it to a human agent for immediate attention, even before the user asks for help.
- Post-sales: Make it easier for customers to serve themselves. Efficient, easy-to-use self-service is clearly becoming the preferred method of customer interaction, and factors heavily into customer satisfaction ratings. AI capabilities such as cognitive analysis and natural language understanding enable bots to respond intelligently to customer chats and lead natural-sounding conversations.
- Anytime: Know when to connect a customer to a live agent. Done correctly, AI bots seamlessly connect with human agents at any time, for uninterrupted conversations with the customer.
In a world where bots and machine learning are commonplace in all sorts of apps and devices, using AI to boost customer experience is more than smart. It’s becoming essential for every contact center.