"Inbox Zero" is all the rage for personal productivity, but the equivalent for your support team would be "Backlog Zero" -- and it's achievable with artificial intelligence.
We all know that Slack is awesome for knowledge creation. The ability for a team member to send out a question and quickly get a response is incredibly powerful -- we refer to this as transactional communication. For example, it’s great if you’re a support rep and your company has launched a new product. If you’ve been at the company for some time, you need to quickly figure out what’s changed and what’s still valid. If you’re a new rep, you need to quickly get up to speed on all the offerings. Yes, there might be training available, but people can only keep so much information in their head and searching online can be far too time-consuming. With Slack, you can simply post a question in your team's customer service channel, and get almost immediate results. Often, these types of channels have subject matter experts (SME) monitoring them and part of their job responsibilities is to answer these types of questions.
There are a lot of companies that want to use AI, but just don’t know where to start. 85% of executives believe that AI will give their business an inherent advantage (MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group), however, of the half of CIOs planning to use AI, only 4% have actually implemented the technology (Gartner).
For those trying to introduce AI projects internally, generating buy-in requires more than facts and figures or trusting that the AI mystique will sell itself. As with any software sale, there will be an objection handling effort. It’s likely no one in your company has had to navigate this with an AI implementation yet, so you’ll find little internal advice. To help, here’s a brief look at three objections you’ll face. Included are insights on how to overcome each.
Customer support leaders are generally receptive to new technology that is faster, cheaper and more reliable. What they aren’t onboard with is overhyped tech that promises everything. It’s why AI gets met with eye rolls inside some offices. No one believes there’s a panacea for every support ail. Yet everyday unscrupulous marketers boast of AI as a cure-all. Often, they don’t even have true AI, just basic scripts or data science techniques. They promise big and invoke “AI” in their marketing to stay relevant. These products disappoint and it’s no wonder why the real opportunity of AI get lost as leaders grow wary of dubious claims.
For as long as there are businesses with customers, there will be a need for customer service teams -- but what your customer support organization will look like in the future will be heavily influenced by artificial intelligence and software automation.
Case deflection will be far more proactive in the future, as automation software will monitor customer usage of your products and services and detect problems as the happen -- perhaps even before the customer notices a downgrade in service or performance. This automation system will reach out to the customer itself -- via chat, email, autmated voice calling, or contacting their smart-speaker -- to advise on how to solve the problem without needing to search for advice in your FAQs or contact your support team.
Support case deflection is the art of empowering your customers to troubleshoot their own support issues without having to actually engage with your customer support teams. While case deflection is inarguably a cost-saving practice, it isn't an optimal experience for your customers. The real goal should be case prevention -- solving your customers' problems before they even need to contact you.
One of the best ways to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest developments in the world of AI and machine learning is a great podcast. Just like the field itself, AI-centric podcasts are continuously developing and diversifying - they’re a great way to learn while commuting, working out, and living your life. We’ve put together a roundup of five podcasts that explore the latest advances through different lenses. We’ll tell you a little bit of background about each one so that you can start to get a sense of which of these highly rated podcasts appeals most to you.
Let’s start with a moment we’ve all experienced. You’re having an issue with a company’s product. Whether it’s your cell phone, your bank account, or Starbucks mobile account. It’s safe to say you’re not happy, and you’re definitely not over-the-moon-excited to call or chat customer support. You probably don’t have much time, and you’re picturing yourself being shuffled from automated recording to automated recording, eventually screaming into your phone, “Speak to a rep-re-sen-ta-tive!”. Long story short, you want your problem solved as quickly and painlessly as possible.
It's the difference between a map and directions, between a recipe and a meal, between sheet music and a song. That's the difference between search results and a real answer to a question, and that difference matters a great deal to customer support teams.