For decades, customer service has been highly revered as the backbone of any company. Whether or not you are a service-oriented business, you will need to interact with some sort of clientele during your tenure. It’s imperative that your customer service and client service skills and programs are up to date, approachable, and working for you as a company. It is certainly not a leap to say that customer service can make or break any business.
With developments in technology, customer service is getting a bit of a facelift. In the past few years, artificial intelligence and machine learning have been introduced to customer service practices. One clear example is the use of automated answering systems where you press numbers for certain topics and departments. These are known as chatbots, and if you are unfamiliar with how they work, Forbes has a great infographic that explains how they work. The latest tech goes deeper than just simple questions and answers, however. Below, I’ve outlined several advancements within customer service departments thanks to machine learning, and what we can expect to see next.
Chatbots and Chat-boxes
According to a recent article on The Telegraph, tech leader Gartner is predicting that by 2020, people will have more conversations in a day with a bot than with their partner or spouse. Researchers say that this is due to an increase in popularity with messaging apps. Many companies have already started using this technology through the use of chatbots and chat boxes. Essentially, chatbots are able to give answers through chat boxes to help customers navigate through a website or answer simple customer service questions. This helps to free time for employees to work on other things behind the scenes while still keeping customers happy.
What to expect:
It’s very safe to say that chatbots will continue to be a rising trend for all different types of brands. Also seen in the same article quoted above, some companies get buried with emails and messages that can take hours to respond to, whereas chatbots can answer questions immediately. By having chatbots ask and answer the right questions, data can be captured from customers using the service. This data can then in turn help to improve customer service practices or even the quality of their product all together. It’s all about data in the end!
Chatbots: The Ultimate Sidekick
Since chatbots are run by a computer, and computers are much faster at collecting data points and organizing information to provide answers and results than the human brain, chatbots can make an excellent sidekick for live customer service reps. By first interacting with a chatbot during a customer service experience, any live agent that you speak to can see what pages you’ve clicked on, what questions you’ve asked, what content you’ve viewed and so on. This can greatly help swamped customer service agents who need to go from question to question without skipping a beat.
What to expect:
Customers can expect more direct, accurate, and personalized customer service experiences. After all, each bot is focusing on your specific data points, so every conversation that is being aided by a bot will be completely customized to your trends. In the future, however, we can expect answers to be even more accurate in nuance and response, as well as the ability to explain processes and answers to really help you walk through processes and pain points step by step.
While it is an exciting time in customer service, it might take a bit of getting used to for old-school customer service fans. There is something quite comforting about talking to a live service agent. What users need to realize, however, is that these bots are working to make your experience even better and to educate the service rep that you’re speaking with to help you more accurately. For now, companies will be finding the middle ground and jumping on board the chatbot train to excel their services into the 21st century.