Technology is ever-evolving, and it brings out the best with it to enable businesses to interact with their existing customers as well as potential customers. With enthusiasm to achieve excellence and offer the best services, businesses continuously push themselves to resolve customer queries and support them without any hurdle that has started a battle between digitization and the human touch in customer service. Humans no longer want to wait for more than 1 minute, which calls in for bots as they are 24*7 available to resolve the queries.
The question of how technology affects the future of customer service and support is not an easy one to answer. There are so many factors that are constantly evolving the business landscape—and even more opinions on what may be best for your company. While one person might say that companies should automate everything, others feel like there will always be a role that would need a human touch to understand and execute the business and customers’ needs.
As per a survey conducted by PWC, around 64% of U.S. consumers and 59% of all consumers think that companies today lack the human element of customer experience.
Basically, support chatbots are used to automate the first level of customer service during peak hours. During that time, chatbots can answer simple questions and direct customers who need more assistance to a human. Businesses can avoid making customers wait on hold for long periods of time, especially when they want an answer to something simple.
There’s a strong correlation between the growth of technology and customer expectations, and as technology advances, so do customers’ demands. With the evolving customer service industry, customers are also increasingly expecting flawless customer service from businesses that call in for chatbots that are responsive, accurate, and to the point.
Acknowledging this shift in customer preferences, many companies are re-evaluating their chatbot strategy. For example, chatbots can now deliver personalized service experiences for consumers based on their previous interactions.
As the report suggests, 56% of customers stopped purchasing from a brand and switched to another because of a single bad experience. So, it can be safely quoted that if businesses want to meet customer demand for perfectionism, “hiring the right people” is not all it takes. Businesses must also adopt new customer service technology to meet these baseline customer expectations and exceed them.
“Customers want chatbots that are not just there when they need them, but that behave like humans.” –Kiran Prasad, Chief Technology Officer of IBM Watson.
This article will explore customer service technology and the future of customer service and support.
What is Customer Service Technology?
Customer service technology is a set of software and hardware solutions that emphasize improving the customer experience and empowering agents to deliver better customer support and service. Customer service technology trends allow businesses to provide a more personalized communication experience and save money.
What is the Role of Technology in Customer Service?
In the customer service industry, technology is being used to increase the efficiency of customer interactions with businesses. As reports suggest, In 2016 chatbots helped with 35% of customer interactions and developments, with an estimation that by 2021 chatbots will handle up to 85% of all interactions.
The advantages chatbots give are they provide answers instantly and do not need a large call holding time that human interaction would need. Rather than waiting hours on the phone, or days for a reply to an email, customers can make instant communication through the use of live chats or social media interaction.
Although chatbots can handle many questions and comments, they cannot match the ability of human understanding and creativity. Despite chatbots having limitations in what they can do, chatbots help customer service agents meet increased demand for their services.
Ashish Nigam, CIO, and CTO of PTC India Financial Services Limited said,
“Chatbots or telephones are not enough for customer interactions, as customers prefer in-person meetings over digital interactions. However, technology plays a crucial but limited role in giving actual data of customers to the management”
The Future of Customer Service Technology
In today’s competitive marketplace, the best and only way to win over customers is by providing them exemplary customer service. The speed at which technology has begun to impact the way companies do business is quite incredible. As Alan Sugar once said, “Looking back, the greatest invention that impacted my life was not actually a product or service but an organization called Uber.” He’s not wrong.
Technology impacts every aspect of the customer experience, starting from placing an order, asking for help to resolve queries, or making a complaint. It adds value to the customer’s experience by helping the customers’ throughout their journey with the businesses.
Nowadays, customers expect a lot more from customer service interactions. Customers are increasingly connected with the bots and chat-based interfaces across most websites, be it the insurance sector or e-commerce. But we can not assume that it is the end of technological evolution.
Chatbots: Are AI Chatbots Capable of Handling Customer Services?
Chatbots are becoming a crucial part of the customer service industry. They help businesses reduce customer service costs by up to a great extent in some cases. They undoubtedly are replacing live agents as the first touchpoint for people seeking information on websites and apps. But this certainly doesn’t mean that they are indispensable or so essential, that they will make human interactions redundant.
While bots are outperforming humans in the customer service industry, they have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Many consumers say that they prefer humans over bots. Without knowing both sides of the coin, we can’t hope to answer the question — are AI chatbots capable of handling customer services?
Bots have their own advantages and loopholes, as they answer customers’ queries within seconds, possess no downtime, and cannot perceive human emotions impeccably. Due to technological advancement, they can pick up on nuances of language and expression-based o interactions but can not pick up on sentiments.
When it comes to choosing between chatbots and agents, there is no clear winner. A human agent might do you better in certain situations, while a chatbot can handle a few tasks with more ease.
The best solution is for chatbots and humans to work together and deal with any sort of unexpected issues, giving businesses a commendable support strategy that covers any possible gaps.
IVR: Predict Customer Intent to Enhance CX
In today’s fast-paced world, the new digital-savvy customers expect simple, intuitive, interactive, and personalized interactions, providing a better customer service experience. To fulfill this, Businesses have started incorporating Voice Recognition, AI, and Machine learning to build Conversational IVR that enables more personalized and human-like conversations.
Where IVR is essential in the customer support and service industry, Businesses can implement IVR to enhance customer experience. IVR services are integrated with other support systems for faster response time, workflow management, improved agent productivity, and customer satisfaction.
An IVR (Interactive Voice Response) helps to resolve problems while keeping the customers happy effectively. IVR is a more dynamic, conversational, and intelligent system that allows customers to contact the right department throughout the journey for seamless interaction.
Businesses use the digital IVR to guide and steer customers to the optimal channel based on agent availability and wait times and offer them call-back options. IVR helps the contact center balance volumes across channels, keep SLAs in check, which reduces customer frustration up to an extent. It also helps predict the customers’ intent based on previous interactions and data to enhance customer experience. Aside from the customer benefits, businesses can personalize and contextualize customer interaction by incorporating IVR.