How AI will disrupt the customer service industry

AI in the service history

For every business, handling customers’ expectations and problems is essential. With the rapid expansion into digital platforms and applications, many business processes have been streamlined using artificial intelligence, including customer service.

Technological innovation will only continue to improve and, sometimes, disrupt what you’ve come to expect from any environment – whether in the business world or other spheres. Take a few moments to consider what one of the most advanced forms of technological innovation – artificial intelligence – will have on business. In particular, we should contemplate what it’ll mean in establishing relationships with customers and providing good customer service.

Related: Demystifying Artificial Intelligence buzzwords

Technology, on-demand disruption

By now everyone is aware of Uber disrupting what we expect from taxi services. The rather simple app for smartphones allows users to summon an available taxi wherever the customer needs it. This overturns what people expect from taxi services, providing people with a streamlined customer experience that previously did not exist at all.

This is what technology does. It overturns our expectations and changes how we see the world. Out of this, people hope this leads to good customer service in spheres they had never considered before. And there’s no reason to think it stops at taxis. This really highlights the broader framework of on-demand services, available 24/7, which require no human input from the business’ side.

Artificial intelligence and customer service

As Nuance Communications points out, the next step involves artificial intelligence disrupting what we’ve come to expect for customer service:

“Consumers are hungry for automated systems that are available 24/7. Intriguingly, with virtual assistants, businesses now have the technology to provide exactly that.”

This means services are available regardless of office hours since customers’ problems don’t only occur when it’s convenient for businesses.

The fact though is that artificial intelligence can help provide the necessary framework for helpful responses. Consumers are provided with good customer service without requiring staff to be available. An example of this is a chatbot.  VentureBeat wrote an article around chatbots replacing email support and make the point that even rudimentary AI can help provide a basis for helpful customer experience. In their example, they highlight what it would be like using a chatbot while shopping for car parts.

The bot would respond by asking about the part in a question and offering some basic product guidance. It would query a database and determine if the part would work and let me know. It might even process the order. I’ve saved a ton of time, I can search for other parts, the retailer has made a sale, and a human who would otherwise be tasked with responding to my email has moved on to more complex and important activities.

Companies should most definitely be aware of AI and what it can mean for business. It could fundamentally improve operations and provide a framework for improved customer service.

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