Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

AI Helps With Customer Service

June 13, 2018

Customers tend to contact business contact centers and websites with problems about their bills, inability to access their accounts, or to add or drop a service. They might also need assistance in figuring out how to use a new product or making a return. And artificial intelligence is pretty good at helping with simple and repeatable processes.

So, clearly, customer service and AI are a match made in heaven.

Sure, businesses still need actual humans to help with more complex tasks and high-value customers. But AI can come in very handy in serving up customers with the information they require – or quickly gathering that information for live agents so they can help customers in a more efficient manner.

“Artificial intelligence can’t replicate the human touch, but it can ease your agents’ burden by handling many simple, repetitive requests,” notes Gensys.

Gensys commissioned Forrester Consulting to write a white paper on this topic. The document, published in November, notes: “AI is here today. Companies are leveraging AI embedded in their customer engagement platforms to gain efficiencies, increase agent productivity, deliver better customer experiences, and, ultimately, transform operations by uncovering new revenue streams. However, AI only delivers value if it is added to a solid operational foundation and incorporated into a broader context that includes your living and breathing employees.”

Other customer service companies leveraging AI include CallVu, Comm100, and DigitalGenius.

CallVu has a Conversational IVR that allows callers to use natural language to get service. That helps them avoid complicated audio menus. NICE is among its investors.

Comm100, meanwhile, has a chatbot. Its initial chatbot could deliver pre-programmed answers to certain, pre-programmed answers. However, its new chatbot employs AI and natural language processing (text-based, not audio) to understand and respond to customer intents without being programmed for them, explains Kaye Chapman, the company’s customer experience and training expert.

As IDC notes in a NICE Systems-sponsored paper “The insurance industry is a prime candidate for the use of chatbots and conversational AI applications. These solutions operate well when trained on data within specific use cases. In healthcare, for example, consumers are often frustrated by the need to use industry lingo when navigating the system. Making the process easier can greatly enhance a frustrating environment for already stressed users. Questions that people can easily respond to (e.g., "Why are you contacting us today?") can be quickly parsed in natural language by the conversational AI engine after it is supplied with the answer (e.g., "I'm calling about my doctor's appointment yesterday"). Immediately, the engine can narrow its response down to a time and offer potential types of "doctors" to move the conversation along.”

DigitalGenius is an AI platform that works with existing business systems like Salesforce and Zendesk to analyze incoming messages, predict metadata, route cases, provide agents with suggestions on what to do, and automate responses. It does tagging, suggests an answer, and provides confidence ratings of those answers. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is among the DigitalGenius customers.

Edited by Maurice Nagle