Why Conversational AI Makes Sense for Customer Service

Five reasons why brands need conversational AI

Once, customer service meant a face-to-face conversation between two people, one of whom was paying attention to the other’s questions or requests.

While brands now communicate with customers largely over long distances -- using mail, email, phone and live chat -- and as the scale has increased dramatically, customers still want the attention of a face-to-face encounter.

The answer lies in leveraging automated agents whose intelligent conversation is powered by a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI), one that can personalize an interaction as if it were a face-to-face encounter. These agents boost, but don’t replace, the unique value and performance of live agents.

5 Reasons Why Brands Need Conversational AI

There are five solid reasons why AI-powered automated agents are a powerful tool for customer service departments.

1. A Shift is happening.

There’s a major Shift happening in how users expect to deal with brands. Consumers, especially younger ones, expect always-on, immediate and personalized responses over their preferred communication channels, which are often some kind of chat or text.

This Shift means brands that can respond immediately to customers and would-be customers will meet the need. But brands who fall behind in the speed and personalization of answering their customers’ questions and requests will be at a competitive disadvantage, in an age when a competing product can be found in a click or two.

Related: Meet The Always On Consumer

2. Automated agents boost the performance of live agents.

Even for brands that have the resources to handle this customer service need with live agents, intelligent chatbots can boost live agent performance.

These automated agents can act as conversational frontends for live agents’ retrieval of info from the brand’s knowledge base, they can handle mundane inquiries so live agents can focus on more complex ones, and they provide quick conversational exchanges that live agents can lift and use in their interactions with customers.

Related: How a global fashion retailer reduces service volume by 55% with AI Assistant

3. Automated agents are harder to defraud.

It shouldn’t be surprising that, according to research firm Forrester, automated agents are harder to defraud with “social engineering” tricks like phishing.

After all, fraudsters employ software that is designed to fool gullible humans into accepting suspicious links or downloads.

But AI-powered chatbots know better than humans all the tricks employed by fraudulent software agents, through big data analysis that can find the most minute patterns of deception.

In other words, sometimes it takes one to know one.

4. Better analytics to determine what works.

As with fraud detection, intelligent chatbots can provide a better efficient conversation because they understand the changing patterns in all the available data.

Live agents’ responses or response times may vary, even for the same inquiry and even with a script, making more problematic an apples-to-apples comparison among the same kinds of inquiries or requests.

Automated agents, however, can be designed so that their responses are exactly consistent for the same kind of inquiry, with analytics finding the best combination of responses -- including the best offer -- for a specific inquiry.

5. A higher level of personalization.

Automated agents can provide a more targeted level of personalized responses, because they can more quickly and more completely access, analyze and provide the next best offer or specific info for a given consumer’s profile, compared to live agents. And they learn from data patterns over time, so that they can immediately make the kind of offer or message that has been most successful in the past.

This doesn’t mean that automated agents need to repeat the same conversation over and over with the same kind of visitor. Instead, they can be designed for specific inquiries or conversational sequences that draw on a data-driven understanding of what works, but that create unique experiences.

Automated agents are no longer considered a frill at customer service departments. They have become a necessary component of any modern customer service department, augmenting the existing staff with enhancements that can better meet the expectations of modern customers.

Related: It's a Team Thing: Conversational AI in the Enterprise

 

At Snaps, we’ve learned how to fine-tune these automated agents for the needs of each brand, boosting the performance of current agents. To learn more on how face-to-face personalization can operate at a mass scale, request a free demo here.

 

Snaps is changing the way brands build relationships with consumers through conversation. Global brands like Nike Jordan, Marriott Rewards, Live Nation, VICE and more leverage the Snaps Conversational Marketing Platform to acquire new customers, increase lifetime value and improve customer experience with messaging technology. Snaps is an Inc. 100 business, one of the few companies listed in Facebook Messenger’s Partner Directory, a designated Leader’ by Opus Research and frequently covered by Forrester research on conversational marketing.