Intelligent Assistants: Striking a balance between automated and human customer contact

With consumer appetite for AI now seemingly high, service providers are under pressure to deliver it. But how do you seamlessly integrate AI into the existing customer service function, whilst striking the right balance between automated and human customer contact. Martin Hill-Wilson explores the dilemma facing many customer service departments.

Despite what you might think of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Assistants or Chatbots, they’re at the forefront of customer service for forward thinking businesses. The chances are you’re probably already using them in your customer service function, or feeling the pressure to do so, as consumer acceptance of AI reaches an all-time high. In fact, according to research from Gartner, by 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be through AI-powered services.

Why the sudden acceptance of AI powered services? Because millions of people are now using AI technology in their home. Amazon’s ‘Alexa’, Google’s ‘Assistant’, and Apple’s ‘Siri’ to name just a few; we’re at the dawn of a new age of computing and people are starting to see the benefits.

While Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking wax lyrical on the dangers presented by this emerging AI defined society, Andrew Ng, one of the world’s foremost AI experts, is far less sensational. He is incentivising everyone – consumers and businesses alike –  to invest in AI, and develop AI skills to keep ahead of the forecast.

Whatever way you look at it, AI is here to stay; it’s dominating the conversation whether its first-time resolution workflows, auto-generated performance dashboards or simply smart self-service.

Although a technology that’s been around for a few years, the challenge now for businesses is how to seamlessly integrate AI into the existing customer service function, whilst striking the right balance between automated and human customer contact. After all, there are always going to be some points in the customer journey where human to human contact is preferred.

To help companies strike this balance we’re working with CX Company on a series of webinars and whitepapers to help educate, inform and inspire customer service professionals on the possibilities, and opportunities of AI.

The first in the series kicks off on September 28th and provides advice and tips for developing a powerful use case for intelligent assistance in your customer service department. It will help you anticipate how to measure customer demand for AI services, and the best solutions available to meet these customer demands. It will give you everything you need to know to assess the chatbot landscape and pick a solution that will help you drive customer loyalty and realise rapid ROI.

So, if you’re in need of answers to some of the below questions, or are a customer service team yet to invest in AI, sign up to the free webinar here, and download part one of our whitepaper series here. The content will help you answer the following questions:

  • Where’s the evidence that customers want intelligent assistance?
  • From digital assistants to chatbots – is there any real differences?
  • What AI use case offers the lowest risk and best ROI for my business?
  • How can I sell AI investment into my senior managers/the board?