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“Can machines think and perform activities that require human intelligence?” It’s the idea that spurred the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) since its inception in the 1950s. As AI continues to shape the way we operate and execute various tasks, it's becoming more advanced and continues to impact almost every area of our lives — sometimes in ways we may not even notice.
Whether it’s utilizing the built-in smart assistance on your mobile device, running your automated vacuum cleaner, or noticing advertisements on your social media feeds that seem to be tailored to your interests, AI technologies are interacting us every day. As AI technologies continue to analyze, learn and mimic the human mind as well as act on decisions without involving humans, it can significantly create efficiency and accuracy within your business.
THE BENEFITS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
Specifically in customer service, consumers are quickly becoming fond of the convenience that AI provides in their interactions with various brands. Because the technology anticipates the needs of a customer potentially before they even know, it can increase their engagement and overall perception of the brand. Chatbots and virtual customer service agents have an increased presence among many company websites and portals.
If you look at the healthcare industry, many insurance companies place AI solutions in the customer service experience for questions related to billing and insurance claims. Not only does it help with efficiency, but companies can cut costs in average call handling times. The average annual cost savings in this industry total $10 million. Advancements across every sector have changed the operations of many organizations for the better.
Another benefit is its capabilities with real-time decisioning and predictive behavior analysis. Real-time decisioning is the ability to make operational choices based on the most current data or information, which can be an effective marketing tool for consumers. With real-time decisioning, personalized recommendations can show more relevant content based on the user. This positively lends itself to companies as an effective tactic to drive sales to a particular brand.
Predictive behavior analysis relates to identifying patterns or trends on user data with data mining, data visualization and neural networking. AI solutions are skilled at knowing when and how to approach a customer, also known as predictive engagement. The almost instant analysis of data brings real-time action and results, which is an advantage for brands and continues to bring convenience to a customer’s journey.
With interest in virtual shopping increasing, retail companies have advanced the creation of personalized recommendations to enhance the customer experience. On the flip side, business owners are introduced to the newest business models that provide accurate data on how to increase profit. AI allows for the ease of enhancing a brand’s image for consumers while exposing areas of success and profitability to managers.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE?
With the majority of everyday interactions moving to virtual means in the past year, there’s been a vast increase in the volume of people online seeking digital-first service, which is aiding in the continued development and adoption of AI solutions. The amount of people who shifted online for shopping, remote work, teaching, learning and any other form of virtual collaboration has offered AI more time to go to work. With no end in sight, it will only continue to develop and tailor to the needs of consumers.
AI and customer relationship management are quickly paving the way to a better future. A previous study from Gartner predicted 70% of customer interactions will include some form of emerging technology, such as chatbots, mobile messaging and machine learning applications by 2022. This number has since increased 15% since 2018.
As businesses look to continue evolving, remaining competitive and increasing profitability, streamlining the customer service experience with AI will continue to ramp up. While AI will not replace humans altogether, it can be paired with human teams to ensure a smarter, more efficient and highly productive workforce.