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Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service and Contact Centers

Does your company use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assist in delivering the customer experience? Whether your answer to that question is yes or no, the chances are pretty good that you’ve heard about AI in the customer service world. In a recent article, Tara Wildt explores the topic of AI in customer care and learns from an industry expert the answers to some common questions about it.

Many people have heard the term “Artificial Intelligence” without fully understanding what it means. Wildt’s article points out that AI is an effort to give machines the ability to replicate human intelligence and behavior through the use of algorithms. AI can often get confused with Machine Learning, but the two are distinct and independent. Machine Learning can be used in AI, but it can also be used for other practices. Some examples of AI given in Wildt’s article include speech recognition, computer vision, and dialog management/conversational AI. With this general understanding of AI, how can we apply it to the customer service industry? 

Wildt’s article discusses that the current best use for AI in customer service is to serve as Intelligent Assistants that can interact with humans and help them complete simple tasks or obtain information. A common example of AI in the form of an Intelligent Assistant would be Siri in Apple products/software. While much of the things AI assists with can be done by the customer alone, the AI can help by simplifying the customer journey in parts where it can be confusing. Just as a human agent can talk the customer through necessary steps in a process, so to can an Intelligent Assistant if it’s properly connected to every channel in the customer experience. While this concept is great in theory, in practice it could still be an issue because technology can fail and provide suboptimal responses to customer inquiry. However, since contact centers still rely heavily on human agents, the AI can always be overridden if the human agent feels certain responses don’t fit for the customers’ needs or there is a glitch in the process. With this human intervention, the AI system can constantly learn and be trained to provide better service in the future.

AI can do more than assist people in the customer experience; it can also assist contact centers in other applications. Wildt’s article gives an example of how AI can support human agents by looking up relevant information throughout the course of a live call to provide a more personalized customer experience. Additionally, AI can help survey the activities in the contact center and provide analytics on both employee and customer activity. Ultimately, contact centers shouldn’t be intimidated to try implementing AI into their systems because of the fact that humans can intervene when it matters and maintain control of the overall customer service.

This blog post is based on an article from CustomerThink. To read the original article, please click the link below:

8 FAQs About Artificial Intelligence and Customer Service – Tara Wildt

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