How Conversational AI is Changing Customer Service

B2B and B2C client expectations regarding customer service are higher than ever. Businesses across all industries need to push towards intelligent customer service and support to meet and anticipate client needs and make relevant suggestions before the client or prospect has even reached out for support.

Stats show that consumers are looking for immediate answers, and they want them in an efficient manner. In fact, 56% of B2C and 79% of B2B clients expect their customer support reps to know who they are as soon as they start to chat. 

AI is the big disruptor since meeting these expectations without it would prove to be impossible. Let’s explore how conversational AI is changing customer service.

What Is Conversational AI?

The goal of conversational AI is to produce a conversation between a human and a software application that is natural, helpful, insightful, and that does its part in helping prospects/clients move along their buyer’s journey.

The conversational AI environment consists of advanced technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) to help computers understand human language and learn from interacting with humans.

This environment includes a variety of technologies, such as chatbots, advanced notifications, messaging apps, and speech-based assistants to automate communication with customers while at the same time personalizing it and giving it a natural, human feel. 

Most of the interactions between conversational AI bots and humans occur without the need to involve an actual human sales or customer service representative. With continuously evolving natural language processing technology and a user-friendly conversational interface, conversational AI can listen to the client/customer and comprehend the meaning, form, and context in order to provide meaningful and valuable responses. 

Regular chatbots have predetermined answers and scripts, making them less pliable in their interactions. Conversational AI bots, on the other hand, are capable of producing flexible and spontaneous feedback based on what the customer is talking about. 

As technology continues to evolve, it will become nearly impossible to tell the difference between having a conversation with an AI chatbot or a real live customer support representative. Until then, conversational AI will continue to evolve through difficulties and opportunities and direct the client to a human representative when the case becomes too complex.

Let’s take a look at some technical challenges regarding conversational AI and how this tech can enhance customer service and boost customers’ experience.

Technical challenges

Providing a natural and effortless user experience is a skill most bots take time to learn. Other challenges include finding a way to provide enhanced user interfaces that allow product browsing beyond the single-column layout that’s prevalent in the chatbot world, and; of course, making the bot as natural as possible through a smartly designed voice user interface(VUI) that allows users to perform nested queries via simple voice control while the system uses deep learning and sequenced language modeling to adapt and learn.

Benefits of Conversational AI

Conversational AI is changing and will continue to significantly influence customer service in several ways that are beneficial to both your company and your customer. These include:

1. Reduced Costs + Increased Efficiency

Conversational AI helps reduce the need for human resources and speeds up processes and operations across channels.

2. Help Drive Sales

Artificial Intelligence can help turn impersonal interactions into personalized experiences that generate personalized content and provide a dynamic conversational e-commerce experience that boosts sales.

3. Advantageous in Most Industries (if not all)

Conversational AI technology can help improve customer experience and service across several industries, regardless if they’re B2B, B2C, banking, education, fashion, retail, SaaS… you get the idea.

4. Improve Customer Experience

Probably the most essential aspect of conversational AI is to improve customer experience comprehensively by:

Reducing Waiting Times

Regarding customer service, the only way to keep your customers satisfied and your sales flourishing is to reduce your waiting times. Speed of response and speed of resolution are the two most important factors for customer satisfaction regardless of what channel is used for communication. 

Chatbots and Conversational AI are capable of meeting this high standard of expectations with immediate response and an 80% issue resolution percentage. Additionally, your human workforce will also boost its efficiency since they won’t have to lose time and energy on tedious, menial tasks. They would only need to handle significantly less nervous customers who have already received actual, meaningful information from the bot.

Offering 24/7 Availability

Customers expect to be able to get the customer service and support they need when they need it. Meaning 24/7 availability is crucial. Plus, remember that there are different time zones to take into consideration as well. 

Conversational AI bots don’t need to sleep or rest, they don’t take vacation or sick days, and are always polite and pleasant. This makes it possible to offer 24/7 availability to provide adequate support and information about the products and services you offer. 

Providing Hyper-Personalized Service

Customers expect customer service representatives to provide them with a personalized service that takes into account all their previous history with the company, including communications, purchases, complaints, etc. 

A human service representative could potentially do this; however, it would take them a considerable amount of time. Conversational AI, on the other hand, can do this instantly and personalize its communication with the customer.

Covering Omni-Channel Support

When implementing conversational AI into your customer service machine, make sure it can be deployed on various channels so that your users can have a seamless experience across all your platforms.

Quality Assurance (QA)

Conversational AI customer service needs to be taken as part of your overall Quality Assurance (QA) efforts. Apply the basic principles of quality assurance for your customer service conversational AI as you would for your other processes.

This will help you evaluate and improve your artificial intelligence, as well as gain crucial insights and identify strengths and potential areas of improvement to benefit the business in the long run.

The goal of conversational AI is to bring customer service closer to the demands of today’s evolving customers. The correct application of this technology will help you personalize the buyer’s journey and make every touchpoint more convenient while simultaneously saving companies a lot of time and money.

Bekki Barnes

With 5 years’ experience in marketing, Bekki has knowledge in both B2B and B2C marketing. Bekki has worked with a wide range of brands, including local and national organisations.