How AI is Changing the Customer Service Industry

It’s no surprise that AI (Artificial Intelligence) is really starting to make an impact in the customer service industry. How companies interact with customers is being strongly influenced by this emerging technology. Sure, the “chat bot” comes to mind immediately, but even that has taken a backseat to larger uses of AI which still involve (and improve upon) the human element.

Customers often seek out service because they have a problem and they want a person to empathize with them and make it right. Even with extremely sophisticated AI, a chat bot won’t be able to relate to a human experience, especially if it’s fueled by an emotional attachment.

So, how is AI changing the customer service industry to enable agents to make these human-to-human moments more impactful? Here are a few ways…

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Guest Post: 4 Tips to Reduce Costs with Customer Support Software

You already know that minimizing and cutting cost is a primary concern for most businesses. What you may not be aware of is that you can find effective ways to reduce your overhead with customer support software.

In any customer-facing organization, unchecked costs can lead to inflated overhead costs and hurt the bottom line. One of the biggest ways companies can gain control of this is by looking at their customer support teams and identifying ways to better align agents with customer needs.

With this said, it’s possible to reduce customer support overhead without compromising the quality of service your customers are used to receiving. Customer support software — not to be confused with CRM software — ensures that your business is running efficiently while still maintaining positive client relationships by resolving issues in a timely fashion.

Let’s explore four tips to reduce overhead with customer support software:

  1. Analyze Slow Points in the Support Process

Customer support software can track why your customers are reaching out and identify the top issues. You can take the list of most common problems and create simple solutions, like a page on your website. For example, if your customers commonly call to renew their SaaS subscription, give them the option to renew online or have an option that automates both the renewal and payment process every month. This eliminates tickets and creates a simple solution for your client.

  1. Eliminate Problems Before They Interrupt Service

Be your customer. Walk yourself through the customer experience on your own site and through your own support system. Identify the complex areas in each workflow that may need improvements to create a better user experience. Being proactive about fixing issues doesn’t just increase customer loyalty and satisfaction; it also means fewer tickets, shorter response times, and less problems to resolve overall. Eliminating the need to respond to so many tickets also reduces the number of customer service agents you need to employ.

  1. Provide Self-Service Options

Your customer service team can likely identify some of the most common questions they’re asked each day, and your customers themselves can tell you that having to contact you with these questions is inconvenient. Customer support software, especially in the B2B industry, can provide easy self-service options for your site. Customer self-service software allows your clients to search knowledge-base articles, or a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, for answers to their questions. Ticket deflection provides suggested solutions during the process of creating a ticket so a customer may find their answer without having to speak to someone. This doesn’t need to be extremely technical, and it won’t work for more nuanced or escalated situations.

Want to learn more about how companies are utilizing self-service to improve customer support? Click here to download our whitepaper on unified omnichannel customer self-service 

  1. Consider a Remote Workforce

The shift toward remote work is making an impact in almost every industry. In fact, one study found that 74 percent of workers over age 25 with a bachelor’s degree are less likely to work in their physical office or headquarters. There are several good reasons for this, not least of which are happier, more productive employees and less turnover. Less turnover and higher productivity means lower labor costs. What this also means is less reliance on permanent locations and the overhead costs associated with them.

Businesses are realizing savings on things like rent, real estate ownership, provisioning, and utilities. Customer support software provides the opportunity for your team to cut their stressful commute, have a quieter work environment, and a better work/life balance. Customer service agents will still communicate just as effectively with their clients and colleagues through software while they’re located virtually anywhere in the world.

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Reduce your overhead by identifying problems faster, empowering your customers with self-service options, and managing a more efficient workforce. Using customer support software, you can accomplish this goal while continuing to deliver the excellent service your customers expect.

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Jessica Barrett Halcom is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

 

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