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How Artificial Intelligence Can Empower Agents…and Improve the Customer Experience

Blog Post
In this post, we show you exactly how AI elevates the quality of your customer service interactions.
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Many retailers are fully eager to create an AI customer experience. But there are still quite a few questions swirling around its implementation.  

Which departments need artificial intelligence? When and how should AI support customer-facing activities? And, most importantly, how can AI improve the customer experience (CX)? 

In this post, we’re going to focus on the last question by showing you exactly how AI elevates the quality of your customer service interactions. Let’s begin.  

Enables Proactive Customer Support 

In a report published by Microsoft on the state of customer service, they noted that 68% of their 5,000 respondents viewed brands more favorably if they offered proactive customer care.  

However, providing personalized recommendations and support to every shopper is virtually impossible for customer support agents — especially if you’re a large retailer or eCommerce brand with thousands of customers landing on your website every day.   

Artificial intelligence, namely chatbots, make it possible to offer proactive customer care, as they can perfectly time these personalized recommendations and deliver answers automatically throughout the shopping experience. For example, if a customer is looking for chocolate for the upcoming holiday — your chatbot could provide information on best sellers and new products, share sales codes, answer questions on shipping time, or offer nutritional details to help them make decisions.  

This allows your customers to happily move through the customer journey and resolve issues without abandoning their shopping cart.   

Encourages Self-Service 

The majority of customer questions are FAQs. In fact, according to Linc, the top two questions asked by shoppers are related to order status and product returns.  

This means that a large amount of your agents’ time is spent repeating the same information over and over again.  

Well-designed AI products (from chatbots to visual IVRs) allow your customer to self-serve these questions easily. They can look up their account and track orders or dig up details on a product return. In any case, these solutions allow you to connect artificial intelligence and customer experience in a desirable way for your customers and your business.  

Empowers Empathetic Responses 

There’ve been numerous studies done on the value of empathy in customer support interactions. But being empathetic is incredibly challenging, especially when you’re dealing with text-based inquiries like emails, social media direct messages, SMS, and live chat.  

Artificial intelligence is useful here because its natural language capabilities allow it to detect customer sentiment and provide feedback on the best way to respond. This ensures that your agents get more interactions right and better rebound from previously poor customer experiences.  

Artificial intelligence has a lot of valuable use cases in customer service, even beyond those listed in this post. But arguably the three most important pillars of an AI customer experience are proactive support, greater empathy, and more autonomy. Luckily, the technology we have at our disposal allows us to deliver all of them successfully. Now, all retail and eCommerce businesses need to do is decide how they’ll connect CX and AI.