Sascha Poggemann
Authors name: Sascha Poggemann March 28, 2022

What does AI stand for and how can it improve your customer service offerings?

AI, which stands for artificial intelligence, can significantly improve your customer service offering by augmenting your human agents and delivering a faster, more efficient response to customers who have simple, easy-to-understand-and-resolve issues. If you're thinking about adding AI to your contact center, here's what you should know.

What exactly is artificial intelligence?

AI definition: AI is a branch of computer science devoted to building systems or machines to perform human-like processes. Unlike in the movies, AI cannot perfectly mimic human interactions. However, AI capabilities can be used to help assist in and automate tasks typically handled by people.

AI combines large amounts of data with intelligent algorithms and undergoes fast, iterative processing. This allows the software to automatically learn from patterns or features in the data and improve its responses over time. This learning ability sets AI software apart from a simple query-and-answer software that can only deliver premade answers in response to predefined questions.

The main advantage of using an AI application in business is that it can be created for specific verticals, using vast datasets and narrow knowledge to create highly tailored systems. For example, Conversational AI for the customer contact center can learn what specific questions customers are likely to ask, the different ways they may phrase them, and what kind of response is most likely to lead to a positive outcome.

How can people and AI work together?

Despite many fears that AI will take over jobs, this isn't the case and will likely never be. Instead, an AI algorithm works in tandem with people, assisting and augmenting processes and taking over the most basic and repetitive tasks so that customer service professionals can concentrate on more complex and rewarding jobs.

Machine learning and human learning go hand in hand. As AI becomes better at discerning what customers want, it also delivers an excellent customer service experience. This goes hand in hand with our ability to better interact with AI systems, tailoring how to ask for information or help in simple, easy-to-understand ways that increase the AI's chances of delivering successful customer outcomes.

Likewise, agents can learn from AI assistance, as the software is designed to spot patterns and so can offer agents suggestions to improve customer experiences. For example, suppose an AI system interacts with a customer one-on-one, and it's not going well. In that case, it recognizes when the customer is becoming frustrated and alerts an actual agent to take over the conversation. 

While AI and machine learning are no match for emotional intelligence, compassion, and empathy, they can take much of the repetitive workload from contact center agents' shoulders. With the support of AI virtual agents designed to manage general and repetitive customer queries, contact center agents are free to continue to drive customer satisfaction by handling complex queries and situations that demand a human touch. 

Can AI improve a company's customer experience?

Specifically, AI can improve customer service by enabling the following:

Self-service options 

Many customers appreciate the speed of response offered by an advanced speech recognition AI, which can answer their basic questions quickly and accurately without the need to wait on hold for a human agent.

Streamlined workflows

AI solutions can also be used at the start of every customer conversation, using natural language processing to gather information and identify their needs for intelligent call routing. As a result, your customer service team can be segmented according to skill and calls routed to the most appropriate agent.

Better employee experiences

Call center agents can quickly become disillusioned and burned out when their job consists of answering the same questions repeatedly. With AI technology taking over repetitive tasks and queries, employees can spend their time on tasks that are more challenging and deliver a higher sense of accomplishment and value.

Better customer experiences

Customers whose issues are resolved using an AI get faster, more efficient service. Customers who need to speak to an agent will also get faster overall response times as all simple queries are no longer clogging up the queue. 

Are you ready to discover what AI can do for your contact center? Contact Cognigy today and ask for a personal demo to explore how to transform your customer experience. Or why not take a test drive and take up the free trial offer. There is also a wealth of information, here’s a link to our whitepaper, "Trusted Use of Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service Automation" or take your knowledge a step further by becoming an AI-certified specialist.