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Published April 16, 2023

AI in customer service: how to improve customer experience

Learn what AI is and why using it for customer service is a game-changer to achieve greater success in the long run.

Customer service is essential for every business. Unsurprisingly, many companies are starting to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their customer support. With AI technology, companies streamline their customer service processes, reduce operational costs on support agents, and improve the overall customer experience. In addition, AI helps businesses gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences.

In this article, we will explain what AI is, why using it in customer service is a game-changer for your business, and how it helps to optimize customer support strategies and achieve greater success in the long run.

What is artificial intelligence (AI) and how it works

AI is a field of computer science that aims to create machines that can do things that generally only humans can do, such as seeing, hearing, thinking, and understanding language. AI uses special programs that help machines learn from information and techniques that simulate how the human brain works.

AI systems can look at information, find patterns, and then make predictions or decisions. For example, in customer service, AI interacts with prospects, improving user experience, customer engagement, and support.

How do you use AI in customer service?

Let’s look at the three prominent cases for AI in customer service experience:

  1. Customer self-service

One common use of AI in customer service is through customer self-service. With AI-powered chatbots, customers can interact with virtual assistants to get answers to their questions, find solutions to their problems, and receive personalized recommendations. It enables customers to quickly get the help they need without waiting for a customer service representative.

  1. AI-powered customer service representatives

AI can also be used to enhance the capabilities of customer service representatives. With AI tools, customer service agents can access customer information in real-time, provide personalized recommendations, and resolve customer issues faster. Machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) can also help customer service representatives understand customer issues better and provide more accurate solutions.

  1. Knowledge base

AI can help businesses build a comprehensive knowledge base that clients can access to find answers to frequently asked questions. That way, customers can find solutions to their problems without waiting for a support manager to assist them.

Benefits of AI in customer service

The benefits of AI in customer service include the following:

  • Improved customer experience. AI can help businesses provide faster and more efficient customer service. So that customers can get the help they need quickly and on time.

  • Reduced operational costs. AI can automate many aspects of customer support, including customer self-service and frequently asked questions. That helps businesses reduce their operational costs by requiring fewer customer service representatives.

  • Increased customer satisfaction. AI can provide personalized recommendations and solutions to customers, which can improve their overall satisfaction with the business.

  • Improved accuracy. AI can help businesses provide more accurate responses to customer inquiries, reducing the potential for errors and increasing customer trust.

  • 24/7 availability. With AI-powered chatbots, businesses can support customers around the clock, regardless of time zone or business hours.

  • Scalability. AI can help businesses scale their customer support operations quickly and efficiently as their customer base grows.

  • Data analysis. AI can help businesses analyze customer data and feedback to identify areas for improvement and better understand customer needs and preferences.

Is AI replacing customer service?

Fortunately or not, AI is not replacing customer service. Instead, it is enhancing it. While AI can automate many aspects of customer support, there are still situations where customers need to interact with a human customer service representative. Therefore, businesses need to balance using AI to streamline their customer service processes and providing personalized support.

An example of this balance is the customer service provided by Apple. While Apple uses AI-powered chatbots to provide technical support, they also offer customers the option to speak with a human agent if the chatbot cannon resolve their issue. That way, clients receive both personalized support and benefits from AI-powered customer service.

Examples of AI in customer service

AI can automate many aspects of customer support using the following features:

  1. Conversational AI

Conversational AI enables customers to interact with chatbots in a natural language conversation. That way, customers can get the help they need without navigating through a complicated phone menu or waiting for a human agent.

An example of conversational AI is the chatbot used by Domino’s Pizza. Customers can place their orders directly in a casual manner without browsing the menu or waiting for a manager.

Dominos bot 2.png
Domino's Pizza chatbot Dom interacting with a customer

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP can help chatbots understand customer inquiries better and provide more accurate solutions. It means customers can get the help they need faster and more efficiently.

An example of NLP in customer service is the chatbot used by the clothing retailer H&M. The chatbot helps customers find specific items, suggest outfits, and provide sizing information, all through a natural language conversation.

HM chatbot.png
H&M chatbot handling customer inquiries

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

AI can help businesses build a comprehensive knowledge base that customers can access to find answers to frequently asked questions. It means that customers can find solutions to their problems without waiting for a customer service manager to assist them.

An example of answering FAQs with AI is the chatbot used by the airline KLM. The chatbot provides customers with information on their flight status, booking details, and baggage information, all through a natural language conversation.

KLM bot.png
KLM chatbot answering FAQs

Key takeaways

  • AI can enhance customer service in various ways: customer self-service, AI-powered customer service representatives, and a comprehensive knowledge base.

  • The benefits of AI in customer service include improved customer experience, reduced operational costs, increased customer satisfaction, improved accuracy, 24/7 availability, scalability, and data analysis.

  • AI is not replacing customer service but rather enhancing it. Businesses need to balance using AI and providing their customers with personalized support.

  • Examples of AI in customer service include conversational AI, natural language processing, and FAQs.

How can AI automate customer support for your business

AI transforms customer service by providing faster, more efficient, personalized customer support. With AI chatbots, natural language processing, and machine learning, your business can enhance customer experience, reduce operational costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

Take advantage of the AI benefits for your business. Consider Chatfuel — a code-free platform with the last generation of GPT-4 by Open AI built-in. Sign up today to easily create your own AI chatbot and take your customer service to the next level.