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5 Ways AI Improves Customer Service

ByThomas Griffin,
business.com writer
|
Nov 26, 2019
Kritchanut / Getty Images
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Incorporating artificial intelligence into your customer service can improve your overall process.

  • Artificial Intelligence plays a crucial role in mastering customer service. 
  • By 2020, chatbot use in enterprises could hit an all-time high of 80%.  
  • Consumers expect fast response times, personalized offers and individual attention. 
  • Data gathered with AI can help you improve your products, design and support. 

Are you thinking about adding artificial intelligence to assist with your customer support team? If so, you’re not alone. Business experts use AI in virtually every industry. According to Chatbots Magazine, 80% of enterprises will supplement their customer service team with chatbot technology. 

Customer satisfaction translates to more sales, fewer refunds and better user experiences. A well-oiled customer service team can improve visitors and paying customers alike. When your support team can handle customer questions and problems, the result is a stronger business that focuses on creating a worthwhile experience for your target audience. 

There are plenty of practical reasons you should consider adding AI to your service team. We are going to look at five significant ways businesses can improve customer support for consumers and your employees. 

Increased conversion rates

Consumers are far less patient for information than they were a decade ago. We can now get answers to all of our questions just by reaching into our pocket and pulling out our smartphone. Access to 24-hour support is key to keeping visitors engaged with your brand. Research shows you're seven times more likely to convert a lead if you answer them in less than 60 minutes. 

Chatbots are an excellent use for AI that allows business owners to keep in touch with their audience, even if there's no human employee to answer their questions. The great part about using chatbots in this instance is you can program them to answer common questions that consumers may have. If someone comes to your website for the first time and wants to know the average price for your services, a chatbot can direct customers to your pricing page, and even offer them an exclusive discount if they accept your offer on the spot. 

Overall, AI helps business owners increase their conversion rate with new visitors, but what about existing customers? 

Retain existing customers 

Customer retention is a vital part of growing your business. One time purchases are beneficial, but a 5% increase in retention can increase profits by 25%. In other words, you should do everything you can to ensure that customers come back for repeat purchases. 

A competent customer service team is necessary for retaining customers. Let's say someone comes to your website for their second purchase, but first, they want to know if you have any articles about the product that caught their attention. They are not going to spend all day browsing your blog for one piece of content. 

Customer service teams that incorporate artificial intelligence can handle these requests with ease. Instead of letting the visitor blindly scroll through your blog, they can directly message a chatbot on your website and ask for articles about the product. Your bot will send out an immediate response, and you'll have a better chance of keeping that customer invested in your business. 

Make personalized recommendations

Netflix, Amazon and many e-commerce storefronts offer personalized recommendations for their users. The first two companies show their recommendations in the form of movie and product recommendations onsite or within the app. When you consider the data analysis that takes place during this process, it's clear that AI plays a role in making product and show suggestions. 

E-commerce platforms have a wide range of options when it comes to personalized recommendations with AI. The first option is similar to what Amazon uses on its site. You can group your products into different categories and create rules for your AI software to offer products based on consumer behavior, including past purchases. 

You can use the data mined from this software to improve your customer support on the email marketing side of your business. Your live representatives can analyze the raw data points gathered and recommendations of the AI program to create personalized experiences for each customer. Research shows that personalized, segmented emails tend to receive a 100% higher click-through rate compared to "canned" responses. 

Review customer feedback 

While we are on the topic of AI and raw data, let's talk about how you can use this technology to analyze and implement customer feedback. Artificial intelligence can handle simple tasks, like compiling data from forms and surveys into comprehensive reports. You can use this information to see the general sentiment of your audience and better understand their pain points. 

AI shines when it comes to identifying patterns customers exhibit both intentionally and unintentionally. For example, you can generate a report from your AI customer support to see what kind of topics are driving consumers to your website. 

If you notice that 80% of all blog-related inquiries are about a specific topic, it's safe to say that more content about that topic would see increased traffic. This behavior is an intentional pattern. Consumers are actively seeking this information. 

Identify and squash bugs 

Unintentional patterns generally fall under bugs and glitches. AI can pinpoint and analyze data about the experience customers have on your website. These reports can help educate and train your live customer support team while improving the development of your website. When you can identify trends, you can make your live team aware of these issues so they can address customers with confidence if they come to them with a concern. 

Let's say your bounce rate on the checkout page goes up 70% after a new update. There’s a good chance that there is a bug on that page that is preventing people from finishing the check out process. At the same time, your live support team is getting inquiries about how they can't complete their purchase. These patterns are the result of a problem on your end and need your immediate attention. 

AI allows us to learn what is baseline normal, so we can make smart decisions when looking for bugs or looking for new ways to grow our websites from a developmental standpoint. The key to identifying development opportunities is extensive report research. You have to look at this data if you want to identify areas of opportunity, as well as learn where you're doing things right.

Customer service teams are on the front lines of our company. They are responsible for making sure customers have a great experience and get all of their questions answered along the way. AI is helping customer service employees analyze feedback, make accurate product recommendations, bring in new visitors and retain existing customers.  

Artificial intelligence has improved customer support experience in many ways over the past decade. There's an upward trend of new and exciting advances in the AI field, and the horizon is looking bright for business owners. Some predict that by the year 2022, AI could be a global market worth well over $50 billion

As time goes on, we are going to find new and exciting ways to build better websites for our audience. A mix of live support and AI is crucial for timely, accurate and personalized customer service. 

Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin
See Thomas Griffin's Profile
I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.
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