How to Identify Opportunities for AI in Your Support Workflows

August, 1 2019

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Artificial intelligence is an ideal match for customer support workflows, but not every support workflow is ready for AI. To determine where your customer support AI opportunities lie, you first have to answer three basic questions:

  1. Do you have support documentation AI can consume?
  2. Do you handle support over a channel AI can observe?
  3. Do a significant portion of your customers have relatively similar support issues?

AI needs support documentation

Artificial intelligence requires training data in order to learn how to perform the best possible job for your organization. Artificial intelligence can't hand out customer support advice, or manage customer support processes, that you haven't clearly written down first.

If you don't have clear, current, or comprehensive support documentation on hand, that doesn't mean you can't adopt AI, but it does mean it will take longer for your artificial intelligence support solutions to get up to speed. And if you want to cover your bases, you should adopt an AI support solution that helps you build and maintain documentation even after artificial intelligence is in place -- because the support documentation that's valid today can be stale by tomorrow.

AI needs access to support communication

Artificial intelligence is often tasked with translating customer questions and complaints into structured queries that identify documented solutions. That's also the job description of customer support staff, who coax details out of customers with follow-up questions, collate that data into a set of likely problems, then research those problems for likely solutions.

If artificial intelligence can observe your human support staff turning customer problems into documented solutions, AI can learn to how to help do this kind of work, too. AI can only do this if a significant portion of your support team’s communication with customers happens over a channel that AI can observe. Email, chat, and similar text-based communications is a natural for AI.

Voice-based communication can be useful to AI if you're willing to invest in quality transcription. In person communications are likely out of scope for contemporary AI.

AI needs common support issues

Software can deliver artificial intelligence, not artificial creativity. AI can connect known solutions to known problems, but it is not broadly competent at finding new answers to novel questions.

If a significant portion of your customers' support issues can be associated with and resolved by documented solutions, AI is a good match for your support workflows. If your support team must develop bespoke solutions for the large majority of your support cases, AI will not be nearly as helpful.

Put another way, if your FAQ list is fairly stable, AI can be of real benefit. If your support team is more like an internal consultancy that dreams up new solutions for each new customer, AI is unlikely to have a significant impact on your support outlay.

You probably need support AI

The good news is that most organizations have relatively predictable customer support needs, use email and chat as major support channels, and either have or can develop support documentation for use by artificial intelligence.

There's a high probability you're ready to add AI to your customer support workflows, you just have to find the right AI solution for your customer support team.

Talla is building the most advanced customer support AI assistant on the market today. If you'd like to learn more about how AI can assist your support team -- or you're ready to enhance your support workflows -- contact Talla today.

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