Artificial Intelligence in Customer Support — Good or Bad?

by | Jan 22, 2019 | Software as a Service | 0 comments

The debate surrounding AI in the contact center industry is a juicy one. Typically, there’s two camps — those believing AI can be utilized to enhance a customer’s experience and those believing customers will be surrendered over to an automated abyss, inevitably leaving them unhappy, annoyed, and looking for greener pastures.

AI has made impressive strides since machine learning popularized in the 1980s. Today, the deep learning capabilities powering AI are propelling the likes of self-driving vehicles and drones, detecting cancer better than humans, and on a smaller scale, aiming to make an average customer service interaction far more efficient and effective. When used right — as an enhancement rather than a replacement — here’s how AI can elevate your customer’s experience:


Self-service is more appealing than ever. Oftentimes, when customers have questions, they don’t necessarily feel the urge to endure the long wait times in the queue to get answers from an agent. AI has provided the means for troubleshooting straightforward issues through automation, and according to Forrester, the web and mobile self-service is utilized 76 percent of the time. Self-service limits the potential for irritation of encountering a green customers service agents and long wait times.


The success surrounding a customer service interaction has way less to do with the product or service in question, and much more to do with how the service agent interacts with the customer. Tone, inflection, and even key phrases are major indicators of how a customer is feeling, however, not all service agents pick up on these social cues. CallMiner’s Sentiment Analysis takes stock of the stress levels customers may be experiencing and puts that data to good use, enabling service calls to become more effective and keen to the customer’s disposition, and how to proactively de-escalate issues.


Data is the golden ticket for learning what your customers want and how they view your brand, but manually gathering that data and making sense of it all is a tedious task. Machine learning and AI simplifies the data-gathering game. Based on the specific metric a business is hoping to understand or resolve, AI can zero in on the data needed to find a solution. After all, AI is designed to imitate the functions of a human being.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re at least minimally aware or have experienced an interaction with a chatbot. Research suggests that by 2020, 80 percent of businesses have plans to incorporate chatbots into their customer service departments. Chatbots serve as a backup for call center representatives, while also having the capability to walk customers through easy-to-answer questions or simply serve as a sort of assistant to agents. While an agent is on another a call, chatbots can work through gathering essential information, enabling an agent to avoid asking the monotonous information, and instead, jump right into helping the customer. It’s a win win.