What is AI for Customer Service

AI for customer service explained

The customer service process comprises the following main steps:

  • Route the query to the right person or group
  • Understand context
  • Understand query intent
  • Resolve the query
  • Analyze and improve the process

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term that encompasses many technologies such as ML (Machine Learning), CBR (Case-Based Reasoning), NLU (Natural Language Understanding), NLG (Natural Language Generation), LLMs (Large Language Models), generative AI or gen AI, and much more. When applied the right way, AI can help speed up and improve the customer service process end to end. As an example, NLU (Natural Language Understanding) and ML (Machine Learning) can help understand the intent, generative AI can be used to create or repurpose knowledge content, conversational AI can help answer the customer’s questions, resolve their problems, and provide contextual advice. AI can also make analytics easier in many ways.

AI for customer service: The Business Case

Embedded in a robust knowledge management platform, AI can handle a wide range of tasks, including:

  1. Automated Responses: AI-powered chatbots can engage with customers in real-time, providing instant responses to inquiries, resolving common issues, and guiding users through various processes.
  2. Personalized Interactions: Through ML algorithms, AI systems can analyze customer data to personalize interactions, offering tailored recommendations, product suggestions, and support based on individual preferences and past behavior.
  3. 24/7 Availability: Unlike traditional customer service channels that operate within specific hours, AI-powered systems are available round-the-clock, ensuring seamless support for customers across different time zones and regions.
  4. Efficient Ticket Management: AI algorithms can prioritize and categorize support tickets, routing them to the appropriate teams or agents based on urgency and complexity, thereby streamlining the resolution process.
  5. Data Analysis and Insights: AI can analyze vast amounts of customer data to identify patterns, trends, and sentiment, enabling businesses to gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can inform strategic decision-making.

Among business benefits are:

1. Enhanced Efficiency and Scalability:
By automating routine tasks and inquiries, AI reduces the workload on human agents, allowing them to focus on more complex issues that require human intervention. This efficiency not only improves response times but also enables businesses to scale their customer support operations without exponentially increasing costs. Moreover, AI also guides agents to answers and through customer conversations, serving up information and next best steps. This enables all the agents in the customer service contact center to perform as well as their best agents. Advanced AI systems such as eGain’s allows you to personalize the conversational guidance, based on an agent’s experience level and other factors.

2. Improved Customer Experience:
AI-driven personalization enables businesses to deliver tailored experiences that resonate with individual customers. Whether it’s recommending relevant products, providing proactive support, or resolving issues promptly, AI enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty by delivering seamless and personalized interactions.

3. Cost Savings:
Implementing AI for customer service can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. By automating repetitive tasks and reducing the need for human intervention, businesses can optimize resource allocation, minimize operational costs, and achieve greater ROI on their customer support investments.

4. 24/7 Availability:
In today’s global marketplace, customers expect round-the-clock support, regardless of their location or time zone. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants ensure that businesses can provide consistent support and assistance to customers anytime, anywhere, thereby improving accessibility and customer satisfaction.

5. Data-Driven Insights:
AI enables businesses to leverage customer data more effectively, extracting actionable insights that drive strategic decision-making. By analyzing customer behavior, preferences, and feedback, businesses can identify areas for improvement, refine their products or services, and enhance overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

6. Competitive Advantage:
As AI adoption becomes increasingly prevalent across industries, businesses that embrace AI for customer service gain a competitive edge. By delivering superior support experiences, personalized interactions, and efficient resolution of issues, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and establish themselves as industry leaders in customer service excellence.

AI for Customer Service: Success Stories

Multinational Financial Services Provider improved First Contact Resolution (FCR) by 36% and slashed training time by 40% with eGain AI and knowledge.

Hypergrowth SaaS company improved contact center agent confidence by 60% and self-service adoption by 30%, while improving their gross margin three years in a row, thanks in part to customer service automation, powered by eGain AI and knowledge.

Large federal government agency experienced “phenomenal success” with the eGain Knowledge Hub. The hub empowers 25 million users and 128,000 contact center agents and other customer service personnel with consistent and accurate information and AI-guided customer service processes, compliant with regulations. Thanks in part to eGain, their position in the Forrester CX Index improved by 33% in 2021 over 2020!

After implementing the eGain Knowledge Hub, a mammoth federal government agency deflected up to 70% of incoming calls to AI-powered virtual assistance, reduced case handling time by 25%, and improved form-filling with granular knowledge assistance within forms. No wonder these powerful capabilities elevated their agent engagement to 92% versus their industry benchmark of 67%.

Premier health insurance firm reduced agent training time for handling complex health insurance queries by 33% even as its agents—over 2,000 of them—had to go remote overnight due to COVID lockdowns. In fact, eGain’s AI-backed knowledge capability helped them meet all 30 of their goals, including slashing Average Handle Time and increasing First Contact Resolution, while vaulting them to a top 5 rank in Forrester’s CX Index benchmark evaluation.

AI for customer service: How to adopt risk-free

Have you ever bought a car without a test drive or by pushing a toy car? The answer for most people is a no. The same principle applies to acquiring SaaS solutions. Why risk it with a toy sand box or without a production pilot? Yet, few vendors—if any—want to put their skin in the game by offering a no-charge, expert-assisted, production pilot. The notable exception is eGain and our Innovation in 30 days program is just that—a no-charge, no-commitment production pilot with guidance from an expert for success. Many of our enterprise clients have taken advantage of this approach and adopted our solution for AI customer service risk-free. Learn more about it here. Want to talk to us first?

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