Dec 07 2023

Leverage AI Customer Service to Drive Business Outcomes

Businesses are focused on using AI to improve customer service. Here’s how to get started.

It’s been an eventful year in technology, but one theme stands out as the dominant one of 2024: the emergence of generative artificial intelligence as a viable, even breathtaking, advancement. It promises to deliver dramatic change throughout nearly every industry. And it has tech leaders buzzing.

Of course, AI is nothing new; technology suppliers have been building it into their products for many years. But when the world learned of the eye-catching capabilities of ChatGPT, even many industry veterans were caught off-guard by how far it had come so quickly. It’s no wonder that practically all of the meetings I have these days with businesses focus at least partly, if not primarily, on how to best capitalize on generative AI’s potential to drive business outcomes.

Organizations are targeting customer service as their highest-priority use case for leveraging generative AI solutions. Customer experience is now the top brand differentiator in many industries, and leaders in those businesses know it. For example, a recent Propel report notes that 54 percent of consumers say they would consider dropping a brand after a single bad experience.

RELATED: Learn why artificial intelligence requires high performance computing.

How AI-Infused Call Centers Improve Customer Service

One way for businesses to leverage generative AI to improve the customer experience is to upgrade their call center technology with AI-driven solutions. This includes implementing intelligent bots to directly handle certain aspects of the customer experience while enhancing others.

DISCOVER: Find out the right computing resources you need to deploy artificial intelligence.

Bots can often be the first line of contact when customers call or engage online with a business. With an ever-growing ability to both use and understand natural language as it is spoken, a well-trained AI bot can inquire about a customer’s issue and either pass the customer along to the correct human agent or, in some cases, assist the customer without human intervention.

Adam Weiss
Customer experience is now the top brand differentiator in many industries, and leaders in those businesses know it.”

Adam Weiss Vice President, Vertical Markets, CDW

AI can also help human agents do a better job of helping customers. For example, it can listen for certain keywords spoken by a caller and then provide the agent scripted responses or direct them quickly to the right information. It can also summarize calls and help agents fill out reports about the interaction.

The benefits to all sides are clear: Customers get better service faster when sent straight to an AI bot or directed more promptly to a human agent. Businesses get happier customers and more granular data about their customer interactions. And according to research firm Gartner, AI will likely reduce contact center labor costs by $80 billion within two years.

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How to Get Started with Generative AI

So, how do businesses get started? It’s not as simple as buying some AI-infused call center tech and watching the magic happen. Every business is unique and (just like human employees) the AI technology must be trained on an organization’s products, options and terminology before it will be able to effectively assist customers or workers.

For this reason, it’s understandable that some organizations feel daunted by the idea of trying to leverage AI to improve the customer experience. But this is misguided: The process of developing and training AI models is getting easier, as the major technology providers have been building AI foundation levels upon which a business can build. We can help by providing software development kits and other key tools for creating and training AI models quickly.

No organization should attempt to embark on its generative AI journey alone. The best first step is to reach out to an experienced partner that can guide a business through a directed process, understanding its needs and taking it safely where it needs to go.

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