As the labor shortage in the customer service industry continues, customers’ expectations are becoming more rigorous. In a recent survey, 90% of consumers said that getting an immediate response to their customer service questions is important or very important. Most respondents also indicated that a slow response time is the most frustrating aspect of customer service. In this environment, the labor shortage has had a major impact on customer satisfaction.

A positive employee experience is vital to retaining good customer service employees. With better retention, organizations can both reduce operating costs and improve customer satisfaction, according to McKinsey. This is where artificial intelligence comes in – a tool that can both improve the employee experience and the customer experience directly. Organizations are already putting more resources and energy in this area. Almost a quarter of businesses have increased their spending on AI since the start of the pandemic, and 75% plan on continuing to invest in new initiatives even after the pandemic ends. Here are three major ways AI can be used to improve CX.

Collect Helpful Data

One important function AI serves is in collecting and integrating data from a variety of sources. For example, data on customer satisfaction like net promoter score and churn rate can help organizations identify unhappy customers and create a strategy to resolve customers' challenges. AI programs can also collect data points that speak to other customer trends, such as the different behaviors of customers across various demographic and geographic groups.

Meanwhile, some organizations are also using AI for auto-merchandising – where purchase history data is collected and used to make web page layout decisions. For example, showing the most commonly purchased items first is a good way to hook potential customers with your most popular items rather than having this information buried far down the page. If customers don’t see what they want quickly, they might scroll away instead of scrolling down.

Personalize the Customer Experience

By using AI-driven machine learning, organizations can learn about customers and solve their unique problems more quickly. Personalization goes beyond just knowing what first name to include in an email or having customer data ready for when they call customer service. With AI, personalization can also mean being there for customers at every physical and virtual touchpoint, making every part of their experience interconnected and integrating data from multiple sources to influence what happens at each touchpoint. This can give an organization a major competitive advantage.

Big brands with a large amount of resources may be able to put a lot of time and money into AI for personalization, but that doesn’t mean organizations with smaller budgets and fewer resources can’t compete. Experts suggest that these smaller companies carefully choose specific use cases for AI and take a more targeted approach to improve the customer experience where it matters the most.

Learning Opportunities

Invest in Conversational AI

Relying on only human agents is no longer the norm with the development of conversational AI models. Not only is this solution scalable, but it eliminates wait times for customers and stops agents from being overwhelmed with tasks – many of which can easily be resolved with this technology. As a result, customers get answers quicker, and employees can focus on more human-centric tasks and conversations while the AI answers customers’ more basic questions. This helps agents enjoy their job more, improving employee retention and customer satisfaction.

One of the greatest perks of conversational AI is that these technologies learn as they go and get more skilled over time. Just like your human agents, these tools are not static in their abilities; they grow more efficient and valuable to the company over time. Another bonus is that natural language processing allows AI to interact with customers in a human-like manner, so customers feel more comfortable in a less robotic and more natural conversation.

Start Improving CX With AI Today

Engaged, happy agents help create satisfied customers. By investing in the right AI tools, companies can make the agent experience better, as well as directly influencing the quality of the customer experience in more direct ways. For example, Interactions’ Intelligent Virtual Assistants give agents the support they need to avoid monotonous work and focus on more complicated and time consuming — but ultimately rewarding — jobs. Other tools can help you collect, analyze and use data in the most strategic way possible. Start exploring AI solutions today!

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