As such, it should be no surprise that many forward-thinking companies are already experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve their processes and service their customers better. Primarily, AI is currently being deployed in customer service as a means to either augment, or in some cases replace human agents. The primary goals of these initiatives are to improve the customer experience, and reduce costs associated with human service agents. While it is of course true that AI and automation technologies are not yet sophisticated enough to perform all of the tasks currently undertaken by human representatives, many routine consumer requests are simple enough for AI to handle without human input. Perhaps more importantly, AI can deliver a level of responsiveness to an influx of customer requests that isn't humanly possible – or at least isn't possible without spending a fortune on staffing.
By 2020, 85% of all customer service interactions will be handled without a human agent. From enterprise apps that make it easier to track real-time insights and manage customer relationships, to emerging tools that allow clearer communication between teams and a streamlined exchange of data -- one of the most important decisions startup founders face today is selecting the right software. As a result, the average small business is accustomed to integrating a wide range of cloud-based apps to address a complex array of business needs. In 2016, small businesses spent over $55 billion on these cloud-based services, with the average professional using between 10-16 apps daily. By 2020, nearly 80% of small businesses are projected to use cloud-based services, increasing the current total by 37%.
In the previous article, we went over the basics of the impact that AI can have when introduced within the customer service industry along with some use cases. In this article, we take a look at the implementation and execution aspect of it as well as the benefits it entails for customer support agents along with support center management. Stinting on cost is the first priority for businesses as on today. When it comes to call center practices, it takes a good deal of money and time in hiring and training staff for customer service, as well as in erecting the whole brick-and-mortar infrastructure, even more if it isn't cloud-based. Just 10 support individuals can cost you as much as $35000, or even more if recruits frequently quit (attrition being quite high in the call center industry) -- which is a nightmare.
The hype train driving talk of artificial intelligence over the last couple of years is showing no signs of slowing down, but behind the unbridled enthusiasm, some businesses are finding that paths to real business value exist when AI's limitations are understood. One area where businesses are finding the most value from AI today is in customer service. Chatbot applications are among the most mature areas of AI. But enterprises are finding that, while AI chatbots can provide value, they have to be deployed the right way. For online test preparation company Magoosh Inc., that means giving machines license to recommend responses to simple customer service queries, while still maintaining a team of agents who handle more complicated issues.
DigitalGenius, a fledgling artificial intelligence (AI) startup that's setting out to automate many facets of customer service, has announced a $14.75 million series A funding round led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, MMC Ventures, Paua Ventures, Kairos, Runa Capital, RRE Ventures, Lumia Capital, Compound, Spider Capital, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.