Technology is transforming the lives of people, and simultaneously changing all business operations. As a result, every industry is focusing more on adopting new technologies in their businesses. The customer service industry is no exception, as it has turned into a new stepping stone for businesses.
Customers have access to the product information, while businesses have access to customer data and means of reaching their customers. Therefore, it has become imperative for businesses to offer a seamless customer service experience in all aspects.
With the advent of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, customer service experience has reached new heights. These technologies incorporate business intelligence and decision making, at the same time giving much insight into the businesses pertaining to the latest trends and consumer behavior.
According to a report by Gartner, “By 2020 , 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human .” This finding brings us to a discussion on how these changing technologies will bring significant differences in the functioning of call centers.
Let’s begin by understanding the two most important technologies –
According to Prof. John McCarthy, Stanford University, “ Artificial intelligence is the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. ”
This definition of AI includes learning (acquisition of information and rules), reasoning (using rules to reach a conclusion), and self-improvement or correction.
Gartner’s definition of big data states that “Big data is data that contains greater variety arriving in increasing volumes and with ever-higher velocity.”
Thus, big data is used to describe a collection of data that is considerably huge and is growing exponentially. Traditional management systems can not manage such data.
Customer experience is now becoming a competitive part of the business domain. Data is increasing enormously, and there has been a significant rise in customer expectations. This rise of data and expectations has created complexity in various sub-domains of customer experience including– technical support, online help, campaigns, surveys, account management, billing, and payment.
This increase in data complexity has given rise to the inclusion of technologies like big data and artificial intelligence. Analyzing and maintaining huge data and providing customer-centric solutions are the biggest reasons why the call center industry is shifting towards automation technologies to improve customer experience.
Customer interactions with a business have shifted to social media sphere and for that reason , it has become important to integrate artificial intelligence and big data technologies in the customer service practice.
Big data and artificial intelligence assisted machine learning methodologies work on recommendation systems to provide personalized customer service.
What is a Recommendation System?
The recommendation system is an algorithm that studies and analyzes the behavior of customers and then suggests items based on their taste and preferences.
- Thus, with the help of big data and machine learning technologies, companies can do a predictive analysis of customers’ interests and offer them products they are likely to purchase.
- Sometimes, due to the abundant availability of information, the customers may fluctuate or deviate from their desired preference path.
- In such cases, proper recommendation systems and market basket analysis (MBA) is used to predict the future purchase decisions of the customers. This technique enables businesses to offer a personalized and improved customer service to their customers.
A survey conducted by Deloitte suggests that “56% of companies in the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector are planning to invest in AI”.
The most significant, practical application of AI is to make customer service automated and hassle-free. AI is now used to analyze the customers’ entire history before a conversation. Such analysis was not possible initially with the help of call center agents.
Following are some applications of AI that are being used to transform customer service experience-
· Use of Chatbots
Chatbots are AI-based software that are used to simulate a conversation with the user through Natural Language Processing (NLP). They provide a streamlined interaction between users and services that enhances the customer service experience.
Chatbots can be considered a critical AI tool for improvising communication with customers via mobile messaging. They are used to give pre-defined responses to the customers based on keywords in the question.
· Virtual Assistants
Virtual Assistant is an AI application program that understands natural language voice commands and accomplishes the task for the user.
It can also be used to direct the users on a website and assist in website navigation .
For instance , Alexa , the smart home voice assistant is used for voice interaction , music playback , setting alarms , providing wather reports , news and so on.
Big data analytics is used to study consumer behavior and purchase patterns. A customer, while using a product or service, may have several points in mind. They might look for quality, or it might just be their emotional need to buy the product.
Thus, big data analytics of the customer behavior pattern can help in delivering a smooth virtual experience for the customers.
Traditional methods of tracking customers’ journeys have now become redundant and outdated. AI-powered customer journey analytics can deal with a large amount of data. It is capable of handling complex customer analytics data, which can be used to studying customer behavior.
Also, AI-driven customer analytics can predict the likelihood of future behaviors with greater accuracy, thereby enhancing customer performance.
These customer analytics can find answers to crucial CX queries like –
- What pattern of customer behaviors indicate of them turning into prospects?
- What CX actions were taken by your team have been successful/unsuccessful?
- Which customer or prospects should you target to maximize your outreach?
The strategical approach towards big data and AI can help in creating improved customer service. Since the amount of data is increasing exponentially, big data and AI can help call centers enhance their productivity and come up with customer-focused solutions.
The constant evolution of these technologies is creating more and more opportunities for call centers and businesses to improve their degree of customer service. They have enabled companies to create a smooth and customer-friendly experience.
Also, the potential of these technologies is increasing rapidly and are no doubt the future of business.