There’s a lot of buzz around generative AI’s potential to push productivity into hyperspeed, from quickly spitting out lines of code for developers to text and image tools that allow marketing teams to produce new campaigns faster.
But one area where it can really make a direct and measurable impact for your customers is by adopting it within your support and customer experience teams.
Perhaps you’ve heard that consumers are less patient than ever before?
Zoom recently conducted a survey with Morning Consult to learn more about what consumers think about their customer support experiences with businesses. Over half of the respondents said they’d switch to a competitor after just one or two bad customer support experiences.
And let’s not forget how many potential customers will detract as soon as they read the negative reviews these experiences can generate.
On the flip side, the study also found that respondents who had a positive customer support experience would be surprisingly likely to sing said company’s praises publicly:
- 79% would recommend the company to others
- 60% would write a positive review online
- 46% would mention the company on social media
Patience isn’t just something affecting customers. Employees (including customer service reps) are suffering from digital overload which is hurting focus, productivity, and ultimately engagement. In fact, a recent study by Gallup found that employee engagement has remained stable but low at 21% globally over the last few years. That’s where generative AI has the potential to make the most significant impact in the workplace, by automating repetitive tasks and becoming a virtual assistant to busy teams.
Companies like Zoom have been using AI for years to improve the user experience and automate business processes.
But not all companies are taking full advantage of its capabilities. Let’s dive into a few stats around what consumers actually expect and how generative AI can help you, not only meet those expectations but go above and beyond.
What consumers want: Less waiting and better problem solving
It’s important to keep in mind that your customers don’t love Kenny G as much as you do, so keeping them listening to that smooth jazz on a loop won’t dull the pain of having to be on hold all afternoon to speak to a service rep. Zoom found that, while a majority of customers expect short wait times (85%), only 51% actually experience them.
Once they do get through, another factor that causes frustration for customers is inaccurate resolutions to their problems (54%). What’s more, customers expect representatives to be knowledgeable (90%), friendly (89%), and easy-to-contact (89%).
This may sound pretty obvious but catering to each customer individually – with a smile – can wear your customer service team thin as your business scales.
In the last few years, chatbots have become every customer service agent’s favourite technology, helping them to cut waiting times by providing self-service support for customers. However, today most companies have chatbots that operate on a preset range of questions — any question that goes even slightly out of those bounds and your chatbot is utterly useless.
Next generation chatbots
Generative AI allows your chatbot to go off-script. Instead of reaching for a set copy/paste responses, these intelligent operators can search through a much broader database to generate unique answers. This helps relieve customer service teams by allowing for more self-service. For example, Zoom has reported it’s now able to successfully resolve 93 out of 100 customer conversations through self-service (without needing to involve a customer service agent).
And, the longer they interact with your customers, the more they learn about your product/service and the types of queries and issues customers commonly encounter.
Add to this the fact that they can easily be trained to answer in a wider range of languages, providing better support to global businesses.
What’s more, you can employ generative AI algorithms to analyse customer feedback, reviews, and social media data to get a complete picture of each customer’s interactions with the brand. This ensures a more complete and accurate handover to human customer service reps if needed. Additionally, it even allows for predictive support, so that your team can detect and solve issues before they become actual problems.
Voice and speech generation will be the next frontier. Generative AI can be used to develop realistic and natural-sounding voice interfaces, enabling customers to interact with devices, applications, or customer support using voice commands.
Keeping customers happy beyond basic needs
Most customer service reps spend time putting out fires, but the promise of smarter self-service bots means your team can move from spending time on problems to building a base of happy and loyal customers.
In fact, Zoom found that customers are more than twice as likely to buy from a company after a positive support experience (87%) than after a negative one (35%), providing a unique window of opportunity. Here are a few ways your team can take advantage of generative AI to make customers happy:
As mentioned previously, a great strength of generative AI is its ability to analyse a broad set of customer data, preferences, and behaviours. These insights can also be used to generate personalised recommendations. If your chatbot helps a customer successfully exchange a product for the right size, why not suggest an add-on or a complimentary product based on their order history?
Content generation for dynamic customer segments
With more time, customer service teams can redirect their attention toward building engaging customer loyalty programs. With the help of generative AI, they can create dynamic customer segments based on purchase history, allowing for a personalised approach. Generative AI can also help generate content in seconds for newsletters, a dedicated website, or community page.
AI innovation and human connection
If you’re excited about the possibilities generative AI could bring to your business, check out Zoom’s Work Transformation Summit EMEA on-demand to learn what this year’s speakers had to say on the topics of generative AI, the future of work, and customer experience.
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