Artificial Intelligence in Self-Service: How to take customer service to the next level with conversational AI

Digitization has fundamentally changed the relationship between companies and customers, and it is not stopping at customer service. Aspects such as service quality, information options, and accessibility have always been the be-all and end-all of a good customer experience, but the current digitalization push is fueling these requirements even further. More than ever, companies are being called upon to provide efficient and personalized services through digital channels - when and if the customer demands them. By using innovative technologies such as Conversational AI, companies will be able to significantly increase the efficiency and quality of their services and sustainably take their service promise to the next level.

Digital customer service offerings are booming, and more and more companies are turning to self-service offerings in the form of voice- and text-based chats to cope with the large number of inquiries that need to be handled. In this context, it is too short-sighted to merely expand existing channels to meet customers' new demands for digital service offerings. The integration of intelligent solutions supported by artificial intelligence is therefore becoming interesting for more and more companies, because they not only promise to relieve the workload of their own service staff, but also ensure high customer satisfaction with efficient information offerings.



Advantages of messaging offers in service

A recent study by Aalen University shows how important written communication has become in customer service. In the Global Conversational Business Study 2022, 75 percent of respondents said they would invest more money in a brand if it offered written customer service instead of a purely telephone-based service.

The combination of synchronous and asynchronous written interactions makes it possible to handle multiple customer inquiries in parallel. In addition, recurring processes and inquiries can be better identified. This call data can be used for future developments in customer service.

Last but not least, a new level of multimedia can be achieved by integrating image and video content, which rounds off the customer experience and the omnichannel service offering.

Optimizing the customer experience through AI bots

So-called conversational AI-powered bots can go one step further, however. They address various application scenarios and process recurring service requests in an automated manner.  

Virtual tools such as Serviceware's Solution Bot excel at providing customers with a suitable answer in the shortest possible time. Customers can thus easily handle frequently occurring inquiries via standardized dialogs, the so-called flows, or find answers to questions by providing suitable FAQ texts. If this is not possible for a complicated inquiry, the chat bot can quickly and seamlessly initiate contact with an employee. This helps avoid frustration experiences through chat. Solutions like the Solution Bot overcome this challenge through a so-called agent handover, in which the bot forwards the query to a human employee or offers a personal contact (e.g., callback service).

Prerequisites in the introduction process

For the introduction of AI to be successful, it is helpful to analyze customer preferences and then embed the data in a central knowledge database. Companies that have collected data from interactions with potential and existing customers have an advantage here, as they already have a stable foundation for building a self-service offering.

This allows them to analyze the subject of a customer inquiry, the associated process, and the adequate solution in order to effectively train AI models and validate their quality using meaningful metrics.

Opportunities for AI-driven customer services

With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies will be able to partially reposition themselves in the future, process standard tasks more efficiently within the company and on the customer side, and use resources more advantageously and profitably. Although personal human-to-human interaction in service will remain important in the future, the use of AI in self-service will definitely increase in the coming years. This is because the continuous improvement and progress of service components will further simplify the switch between written and spoken communication and thus contribute to an optimized customer experience and a mobile and, above all, flexible customer journey.

Learn more about Self-Service with Conversational AI. We look forward to chatting with you.

Eleftherios Hatziioannou

Written by Eleftherios Hatziioannou

Eleftherios Hatziioannou has been working with digital media in business contexts for many years. He has helped many renowned brands and companies (e.g. Daimler and s. Oliver) to become digital leaders of their respective industries. Furthermore, he is an expert on business models and startups. As a co-founder of smoope he broke new grounds in Germany when it comes to establishing messaging as a modern and safe medium for communication. Today, he works as a messaging specialist at Serviceware.

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