Using AI to Improve Customer Service
The customer service landscape is changing quickly. Companies are using new platforms to engage with their customers – such as social media and web chat – and are augmenting their live call center agent service with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems. However, traditional IVRs have not kept pace with the growing capabilities of these other customer service channels, and studies show that most people still prefer to solve their customer service queries by phone. An artificial intelligence (AI) voice self-service system helps to provide human-like, conversational, consistent, relevant, and helpful information to customers, and is designed to surpass their expectations for what a virtual assistant can do. The statistics below illustrate the importance of getting it right the first time.
89% of consumers are frustrated by having to repeat their issue to multiple representatives.
Companies need to ensure that their customer service solutions work together seamlessly. If your company is using a traditional IVR integrated with live call centers, proper implementation of your IVR along with Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) can be as important as your product. Even better than CTI, more advanced self-service applications will remember customer information from one call to another, and share that information with live agents, avoiding frustrating conversations.
68% of customers leave because of bad customer service.
You probably already know that price is not the main reason for customer churn; it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service. Companies should be spending at least as much time thinking about ways to improve their customer service as they think about how prices affect their customer base. And it pays to keep the customers you have. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer then it does to keep a current one.
It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
This is why a mediocre IVR is not “good enough.” While studies have shown that customers’ expectations are relatively low when they are looking for a successful customer service experience, the impact of a negative one is long-lasting. It will take a dozen positive experiences to make up for one negative experience. So when a customer reaches out to a company, it is more important than ever for that experience to fulfill their needs.
91% of customers that leave a brand never return.
Customers have a long memory when it comes to negative customer service experiences. Once a customer chooses to leave, more than 9 of 10 will never return to a brand. This is why it’s crucial that you are providing customers an effortless experience and consistent, good service when they contact your business. An effective voice self-service system should be able to provide consistent answers to simple and slightly more complex questions, giving live agents more time to focus on the moments of truth that can make or break a customer’s opinion of your company.
U.S. brands are losing approximately $41 billion each year due to poor customer service.
Good customer service is good business. There is a reason that when a company has exemplary customer service, it’s a part of their brand. It becomes part of the conversation about their product, improves their reputation and attracts more business. It’s time to capture your part of that $41 billion in missed revenue.
The point is, keeping customers happy is vital. Using the same old IVR systems from the past are not satisfying customers anymore. This is why they so often try to escape the IVR without even giving it a try. There are even websites that can tell you how to get straight to an agent and bypass the IVR for various service companies.
There is a better way. The evolution of Artificial Intelligence has brought tremendous advancements to IVR technology and it is called IVA (Intelligent Voice Automation). IVA uses AI and natural language processing, and conversational handlers that enable it to handle self-service tasks any common IVR would never even try. AI has become part of everyday life so it’s not surprising it’s now improving what voice self-service can do.
If you are looking to compare voice self-service providers – and you should be – make sure you answer these questions first.
- U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner
- Lee Resources