How Artificial Intelligence helps to transform customer service

Customer experience

The possibilities of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for business purposes are finding new levels as research and development progresses. Time is not too far for robots and AI-powered machines to replace human counterparts.

This technology has transformed sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and finance.  AI is also expected to overhaul customer service by helping agents in many ways.

For example, AI helps customer service person to address repetitive, predictable tasks, or takes them over. More clearly, instead of replacing agents, AI will enhance their skills and allow them to move beyond routing tasks, like collecting and reporting information, to customer interactions requiring deeper insight and analysis.

The pace at which AI is developing has created a notion that the technology is more efficient than ever in customer service.  An IBM blog citing a research report says that by 2020, more than 85 percent of all customer interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent.

Adding to that, a customer study found that 72 percent of Millennials (those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium) believe a phone call is not the best way to resolve their customer service issue.

These tech-savvy Millennials prefer to solve their own customer service issues, turning to self-service solutions including FAQs, forums and online chat or bot services.

Besides, Forrester’s Q2 2016 Global State Of Artificial Intelligence Online Survey, found that that nearly half of consumers already engage in automated conversations with intelligent assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.

Intelligent agents for customer service range from single-purpose chatbots — like the one KLM uses to communicate booking confirmations — at the low end of the complexity scale to virtual agents that embed deep learning at the high end.

AI will delight customers by making these conversations natural and effective, anticipating needs based on context, preferences, and prior queries; delivering advice, resolutions, alerts, and offers; and getting smarter over time.

Further, AI plays a key role in uncovering new revenue streams and reinvent business models. AI finds patterns in large data sets that reveal new insights that companies can use to create and monetize completely new services for customers. Machine learning algorithms used for business and customer intelligence find answers to questions that humans didn’t even know to ask.

According to a Markets and Markets research, global AI market is expected to be worth $16.06 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 62.9 percent from 2016 to 2022.

The way enterprises currently respond to AI suggests that it is the next wave in computing and the technology is set to offer a sea of opportunities for market players over the coming years.

Last year, Apple acquired Seattle-based AI and machine learning start-up Turi for about $200 million to increase its focus on AI, while its rivals such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are also in the race.

Most recently, networking giant Cisco announced its decision to acquire MindMeld, an AI company, for $125 million. Cisco, which has leadership in networking, data center, analytics and unified communications, aims to take advantage of AI, ML and embed it across the network and the cloud.

It is a reality that AI-powered smart devices and solutions are gathering momentum globally, triggering fears of job losses.

But, industry experts see no reason to fear and believe that AI will actually assist people intelligently, because a human mind is a lot more creative than a machine.