As new technologies and communications channels emerge, organizations often quickly plug the gaps in customer service with point solutions or forego new opportunities due to limitations imposed by past technology choices. With the advent of Conversational Artificial Intelligence (CAI), the landscape is changing. The combination of natural language understanding and automation enables both cutting-edge and legacy systems to work together and deliver service experiences limited only by your imagination, not by your technology.
Understanding Customer Access Strategy (CAS):
To lay the foundation for incorporating CAI into your strategy, let's first delve into the concept of Customer Access Strategy. Brad Cleveland defines CAS as a framework that describes how customers and the organization interact, and access information, services, and expertise. It encompasses various components that work together to shape the customer experience.
The 10 Components of Your Customer Access Strategy:
Before exploring the role of CAI in your strategy, it's crucial to understand the ten key components that make up your CAS. These components include:
- Customer Segments: Identify and define customer groups based on relevant criteria such as location, purchasing behavior, or CLV. Serve each group effectively and avoid excessive segmentation.
- Interaction Types: Map and define different customer interaction types for each segment, capturing the topics and issues customers commonly contact you about.
- Access Channels: Define communication channels you offer to customers, considering the channels' scope, who they serve, and how they are served. Avoid multiple-point solutions and strive for consistency.
- Hours of Operation: Tailor the operating hours of each channel based on its characteristics and the balance between self-service and human assistance.
- Service Level & Response Time Goals: Set service level objectives for each channel, ensuring timely responses and considering both human and virtual agent interactions.
- Routing Methodology: Determine how inquiries are routed based on customer segment, contact type, and channel. Explore various routing methods based on factors like value, time of day, skill, geography, and occupancy.
- Required People, Technology & Resources: Plan for the agents and systems required to achieve your CAS goals, considering modular and flexible technology solutions for long-term agility and scalability.
- Information Requirements: Identify the information needed to deliver effective customer service, including customer data, product information, internal policies, and centralized knowledge management.
- Analysis & Improvement: Define strategic goals and metrics for analyzing and improving service processes, services, products, and customer interactions. Assign responsibilities for analysis and optimization.
- Guidelines for Deploying New Services/Channels: Develop guidelines for future service channel launches, considering technology architecture, standards, and investment guidelines.
How Conversational AI Transforms your CAS:
Conversational AI plays a transformative role in your CAS by offering integration, automation, and scalability. Let's explore how CAI revolutionizes your strategy:
- Integration: CAI acts as a meta-layer, enabling seamless integration across multiple systems and channels. It simplifies the integration process and connects previously siloed systems, providing a unified view of customer interactions.
- Automation: By integrating systems and leveraging CAI, you can automate repetitive tasks and processes. This allows for immediate responses, efficient routing, and self-service options that empower customers to solve problems independently.
- Agent Empowerment: By redirecting repetitive low-value work to AI, agents can focus on complex issues and provide personalized assistance. CAI provides context and support through warm handovers and proactive assistance, increasing job satisfaction and reducing burnout.
- Scalability: CAI automates a significant portion of repetitive work, enhancing scalability as customer contact volumes increase. This automation allows your organization to handle customer inquiries efficiently and consistently across channels.
Conversational AI redefines the possibilities in your customer access strategy, enabling organizations to elevate customer experiences, boost efficiency, and drive growth. To explore the full potential of CAI and gain deeper insights into its implementation, read the entire whitepaper.