If you're anything like me (or millions of other everyday consumers), you may be surprised to contact customer service only to be prompted with a litany of questions about who you are and what you're issue is. If I dial a service line, I've been conditioned to expect a friendly voice -- real or not -- that recognizes my phone number and asks if I'm calling about a recent transaction. What's more, I expect a similar experience if I connect over a myriad other digital touchpoints. Such is the level of sophistication we as customers now hold as standard, and the impacts on customer service are nothing short of transformational. A solid majority of consumers and business buyers (62 percent) now expect companies to anticipate their needs.
Sales has long been the biggest priority for many organizations, while customer service took a backseat, treated as a necessary evil and given limited resources. But a new report from Salesforce.com Inc.'s research division suggests that mindset is changing, as companies realize that increased investments in customer service, aided by new technologies, can help to boost their bottom lines. Salesforce's second annual "State of Service" report, released Jan. 5, quizzed more than 2,600 customer service staff from across the world to find out how smart technologies are impacting service protocols and how service leaders are responding to heightened customer demands. The report found that a growing number of organizations now see service as the primary vehicle to improve the customer experience as the balance of power shifts from sellers to buyers. These days, customer service is seen as a competitive differentiator that resonates across organizational lines, rather than a costly but necessary function.
Life is a series of progressions. Take the transition from student to professional, for example. In school, our objective is to learn the fundamentals of a subject. When we start our careers, we aim to apply what we've learned. As we gain seniority, we seek to hone our expertise and carve our niches.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) may seem like a futuristic concept, but its uses are spreading like wildfire. Garnering worldwide momentum and adoption, AI is on the path to becoming the new electricity – an innovation that customer service teams need and can't operate without. From transforming customer engagement to hitting targeted business goals, AI is proving it's not the technology of the future but rather the technology of today. As our world continues to be engrossed in the exponential gains it will deliver, learn how your business can amplify customer service by leveraging AI in a way that makes the lives of consumers and employees better. AI helps customer service teams further distinguish themselves from competitors in today's highly-saturated marketplace by leveraging new customer data to deliver more personalized customer interactions.
Artificial Intelligence is currently being deployed in customer service to both augment and replace human agents – with the primary goals of improving the customer experience and reducing human customer service costs. While the technology is not yet able to perform all the tasks a human customer service representative could, many consumer requests are very simple ask that sometimes be handled by current AI technologies without human input. In this article we'll shed light on the current trends and use-cases that business leaders should be considering today. We've broken this article on AI for customer service into the following four sections: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were just over 2.7 million Americans employed as customer service representatives with a mean wage of $35,170. Any technology that could improve the efficiency of customer service representatives or make some of these positions redundant would potentially produce significant business savings.