Exceptional customer support leads to many benefits for businesses, including reduced churn rate, increased revenue and, of course, happy customers. But with 61% of consumers reporting their customer service standards have gone up over the past year, how do you keep up with their growing expectations?
A solution many companies have turned to is automating customer support practices. And one of the automation tools that has recently grown in popularity is AI writing software. So, how can you use this tech to deliver exceptional customer service?
AI writing tools can enhance your support efforts. Let’s get started on understanding how these tools can help.
How Is AI Transforming Customer Support?
Automation and AI practices in customer service are nothing new, but they have forever changed the way companies deliver support. Businesses have integrated this technology in many ways — whether it's interacting with customers online through chatbots or guiding callers to the right department through an IVR system.
With these tools in place, businesses can increase their accessibility and provide omnichannel support without overworking teams. And by accommodating customer preferences, their experiences and impressions of your company improve, building trust in your brand.
So, where does AI writing software come in? By adding AI writing tools to your automation stack, you can further improve your support efforts. This technology combined with other automation or AI tools helps you craft a highly effective service that exceeds customers’ expectations while reducing your team’s workload.
Related Article: What's Next for Artificial Intelligence in Customer Experience?
Recapping the Basics of AI Writing Software
AI writing combines machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to produce content from scratch or improve your written work.
Content generation tools require the user to enter information such as topics, keywords, format and so on. Then, it crawls the internet — based on your input — collecting relevant information from billions of data points. Once it’s gathered enough source material, the program uses natural language processing and deep learning to generate natural-sounding and grammatically correct sentences.
Writing editors also use natural language processing to analyze each sentence of your written text, looking for ways to improve it. In other words, it checks your content for grammatical issues, spelling errors, redundancies, poor word choice and more.
There are many options for both AI content generators and writing editors, all with their own features. Here are some examples:
Benefits of AI Writing for Support Tasks
Investing in your customer support practices has many benefits, from increasing customer lifetime value to boosting sales. But, you may be wondering how your support efforts can benefit from this tech specifically. Here are the top 3 advantages:
1. Consistent brand voice: Creating a consistent brand identity across all your touchpoints is important to building a successful customer experience (CX). AI writing software ensures support teams stay true to the brand’s voice and values by evaluating their tone, style, intent, syntax and more. All you have to do is configure your content style guidelines, and the application will do the rest.
Jason O’Donnell, a knowledge centered services program manager at Autodesk, said, “I use AI-empowered tools to help ensure the face we put forward to our customers is accurate and clear from the start. Likewise, it helps us provide solutions in a consistent voice and helps ensure we deliver the right customer experience every time.
2. Increase response time: 90% of customers seeking support services rank “immediate” (aka under 10 minutes) responses as essential. A quick response time is undoubtedly vital to meeting the customer’s support expectations.
Instead of wasting time finding the right words or proofreading their response, agents can increase their response time using AI writing tools. This software helps speed up agents’ response times by suggesting phrases, editing their text or generating a response for them.
Mark Pierce, CEO of Cloud Peak Law Group, explained, “With predictive text input assisted by machine learning, the software was able to learn our most used phrases, as well as our customer support rep’s writing style. Now, common replies can be written in just a few minutes, effectively cutting the rep’s time for writing in half.”
3. Avoid miscommunication: With text-based responses, it’s easy for messages to get misinterpreted — especially if they are full of errors or include toxic language. AI writing helps you avoid miscommunication by analyzing your work before you hit send.
Lisa Richards, CEO and creator of Candida Diet, elaborates, “With this [AI writing] tool, our customer support teams can avoid using negative, toxic words or language when writing to our clients, and when communicating internally. The tool is able to pick out language that can be easily misconstrued, as well as offensive words, and provide appropriate alternatives. The instances of miscommunication internally and between our support staff and our clients has dramatically declined, resulting in more positive interactions internally and externally.”
The Challenges of Using AI Writing Tools
Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room — AI writing tools are not foolproof. This tech comes with its own set of drawbacks that might vary from tool to tool. To paint a complete picture, let’s review the challenges associated with using AI writing for support tasks.
1. Lack of emotion or empathy: Expressing empathy in customer service is essential to a meaningful and effective CX. When clients reach out to your company for support, they want to feel understood and cared for. Currrently, AI writing tools can’t replicate or even comprehend human emotion or empathy. This tech cannot reproduce the “human touch” often needed in support interactions.
Tiffany Payne, head of marketing at Replace Your Docs, explained, “One of the most glaring issues with AI technologies is that they don't have a fundamental knowledge of the intricacies and emotions of people. They frequently oversimplify things and lack the ability to fully comprehend the subtleties of human language.”
2. Limited personalization: Personalization is another essential factor in support services, as it instills customer trust and enables you to address a client’s individual needs. Many AI writing applications say they deliver personalized content, but it’s not quite what you think.
While these tools customize written text based on the writer’s needs, the software cannot personalize responses that address individual customer pain points or concerns without extensive input. And they cannot consider the client’s motivations or previous interactions with your brand. As a result, you may end up with a stock response instead of a tailored, customer-focused one — leading to bad CX and the potential loss of a valuable client.
How to Use AI Writing Tools to Provide Better Customer Support
AI writing applications provide users with a variety of templates and frameworks to meet their range of writing needs. Let’s take a look at how you can use these templates to create support resources and responses for a more effective service.
Here are four examples of support use cases:
1. Creating Self-Service Resources Using AI Writing Software: With AI writing tools, you can create knowledge-base articles and FAQ pages that provide customers with quick answers and solutions. This is a straightforward way to automate customer support by empowering clients to help themselves through self-service support resources. To get started, look at frequent pain points, concerns, questions and roadblocks for which customers contact your business. Then, prioritize these topics first and make your resources easy to find.
2. Localizing Support Content: If your business works with international clientele, it’s worth translating and adapting your resources and responses to meet their basic support needs. Many of these AI writing applications come with a built-in feature for translating and localizing different types of written text. And some even claim they can translate the essence of your message and maintain accuracy.
Linda G. Thompson, the founder of Notta.ai, shared her experience, “Initially, we were hesitant to scale beyond the borders because we didn't know how we would handle customers who didn't write or read English. An AI-writing assistant perfectly resolved that. While some of the nuances of speaking may be lost in translation, an AI-writing assistant provides the perfect bridge between us and some of our foreign customers. As it is, we have captured a huge Japanese-speaking market without losing a beat due to the AI-enabled translation.”
3. Responding to Reviews: As we all know, customer reviews can make or break a business. And the way your company responds or doesn’t respond to these reviews says a lot about your brand. But the process of manually responding to each review individually is time-consuming — especially for enterprises. AI writing tools help streamline and scale this process by providing users with a template for responding to reviews.
4. Automatic Proofreading: Since support teams are extensions of your brand, their responses need to be professional and appropriate. At the same time, customers expect answers quickly — leaving your reps to choose between sending a speedy response or an accurate one. AI writing software allows your teams to craft quick responses without sacrificing quality by automatically proofreading messages as they type. And, you can integrate these AI editors with your other applications — saving your team even more time and energy.
Teri Shern, co-founder of Conex Boxes, explained, “It’s not that they can’t find those mistakes themselves, but having AI in place helps to save a lot of time and gives our customer support team the ability to put more focus into actually helping the customers rather than going over whatever they’ve written to make sure that they haven’t made too many mistakes."
Related Article: Real-Time AI: A Necessity for Great Customer Experiences
How to Get Started With AI Writing Tools and Strategies
When integrating new tools and automation strategies into your support processes, getting started might seem overwhelming. So, let’s break it down into 3 quick steps:
1. Determine your needs: It’s hard to find the right solution if you don’t know why you need it. Start by asking yourself: What pain point are you trying to solve with AI writing tools? What is your primary use case for this software? What tasks do your support reps spend the most time on? What’s your budget? After identifying your needs, research tools that fit your specific needs and use cases.
2. Integrate: Begin incorporating AI writing into your support workflows. Download appropriate extensions, and don’t forget to give your team time to learn these tools. Many AI writing tools have video tutorials and support resources for more information on how to use the tools effectively.
3. Test and modify: The last and most crucial step is testing and evaluating the new tool. Kate Bradley Chernis, co-Founder & CEO of Lately.ai, said “Experimentation is key… Don't overwhelm yourself with making a giant transition at once.”
Ask yourself: How is it working for you and your teams? Are your customers responding well to it? If you identify any gaps or fallbacks, modify the tool or your processes, and retest. This way, you’ll know if it’s the right solution for your support efforts.
Final Thoughts on AI Writing Tools
Currently, not many customer support departments are turning to AI writing tools as an automation solution. In fact, these tools are more commonly used for content marketing purposes than anything else. But with AI writing tools’ ability to save your reps time, avoid miscommunication, produce localized content, and so on, there is an opportunity for support teams to capitalize on this technology.