Artificial intelligence (AI) technology for customer support is the next big technological breakthrough your company is disregarding as a “fad.” Think of AI for customer service akin to cloud for IT — it’s now synonymous. Automation is changing how support tickets are routed and resolved and is creating greater company efficiency and customer satisfaction.
As with any emerging technology, not everyone is immediately convinced of the practical, day-to-day benefits of artificial intelligence. However, familiarizing your team with AI is easy, and starts with some key conversations with your CFO.
Convey how automation will make your business more efficient.
The most important thing CFOs should understand about AI (and be able to explain to decision-makers around them) is how AI will improve and automate previous manual processes. It’s a no brainer. AI automates manual tasks that are repetitive and redundant. In a nutshell, the machine learns how agents make decisions and mimics them. Who wouldn’t want that? This shouldn’t be too challenging to communicate, as CFOs have likely already brought automation to parts of the organization, in the form of data reporting, fraud detection, or even crafting investor reports.
Let your agents focus on more complex tasks and issues, and leave the machine to resolve the repetitive tasks.
Position the benefits of incremental time and cost savings.
Vendors have filled your CFO’s ear with jargon. They come in talking about “leveraging big data for decision making” and “longterm data driven savings.” Cut to the chase and focus your conversation on the ROI of costs saved in terms of productivity and time given back to your team.
AI savings include not only a lower cost to serve each customer or lower per-ticket cost but, more importantly, a reduced cost per customer as the company scales. Speak the CFO’s language and bring the dialogue back to customer service efficiency and future service team productivity.
Reiterate how AI crushes customer churn.
Businesses should be obsessed with churn since it is the biggest enemy of growth. The antithesis of churn is excellent customer service. 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated (McKinsey). In other words, excellent customer service is about three things: speed, accuracy, and empathy.
Today’s AI technologies enable your agents and your company to provide the best possible customer experience because it's fast and leverages historical answers to tickets which means it’s very accurate. This efficiency is key to improving CSAT and reducing churn.
How does AI do this exactly?
Simply put, AI equips a company with artificial (but acute) senses when it comes to “looking” at data and “listening” to the data coming in and moving throughout an organization. Machine learning enables companies to turn subtle customer cues, like words or actions, into insightful data. This data can then be leveraged to serve the customer faster with consistent, accurate, and relevant information.
Share how AI turns support organizations into profit centers
Historically, support centers, sales teams, and marketing groups existed in three different silos. AI makes it possible for organizations to make strides in sales, support, and marketing efforts — all at the same time. The ability to have real-time influence between the sales, marketing, and support processes is an obvious precursor to additional profit. Because artificial intelligence works from up-to-the-minute, granular information regarding customer actions and interactions, sales teams will always have real-time information on which customers are most satisfied.
And why is this so great? Consider this InsightSquared stat: 83% of customers are willing to refer others after a positive experience. People feel great after their problem gets solved. Having a system that enables sales teams to be constantly in touch with the most satisfied clients not only gives them prime opportunity to upsell, it also gives the marketing team a list of people who can be used as part of a referral-based outreach strategy.
CFOs don’t need to look much further than their current customer support system to see how predictive analytics can improve customer retention and satisfaction. By automating simple responses, and augmenting those that are more complex, representatives are free to focus on applying valuable, personalized support to customers.