Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around since 1950s and has made some giant leaps in that time. Companies have only recently started adopting AI for core consumer services. The relationship between men and machines is changing, and organizations are now ready to make AI an everyday element of their customer offerings.

Artificial intelligence is a utilitarian tool that has many valuable applications, especially in a business setting. When considering its use for customer support it becomes very attractive as an investment in a company’s overall IT infrastructure.

Integrating AI with the customer data is enabling companies to leverage the vast amount of hidden insights into the customer’s behavior and preferences. Despite its many advantages, they need to maintain integrity and not cross the line of customer privacy.

Microsoft is en-route for a four-front approach to AI development in enhancing Cortana; adding intellect to applications like Office 365, phone photo apps, Skype etc.

CEO Satya Nadella in 2016 Microsoft Ignite conference in Atlanta, GA outlined the firm’s four pillars to democratizing AI: Agents, applications, services, and infrastructure. This is a direct implication how AI‘s immersion in IT infrastructure is in prominence with big house’s investment going into it.

Optimize AI and Bots for better customer service

Today the problem for businesses to have quality conversation and relationship with their customers are the plethora of channels through which customers choose to communicate. These include ‘live’ (telephone), ‘real-time’ (web chat) and ‘offline’ (social media, emails, etc.) communications. With so many format and channels, it is a fact that businesses are struggling to understand what their customers are saying to them.

The changing customer needs and business scenarios mandate that customer engagement solutions focus on providing value-added services and enhanced omnichannel customer experience.

Artificial Intelligence and bots come into play to provide human-like, conversational, consistent, relevant, and helpful information to customers and is designed to exceed their expectations for what a virtual assistant can do.

How they do it?

  • Using natural language understanding (NLU) and algorithms behind the speech-to-text technology, the solution maps the customer’s call.
  • Companies have quick access to the consumer’s information and apply cognitive reasoning and analytics for better customer service.
  • Chat bots use advanced functionality such as contextual sign and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to create a more human-like response that’s in line with the customer’s queries.

The NLP and machine learning (ML) bot is meant to function more like a real conversationalist by picking up keywords and phrases from the user’s input to gather information, instead of requiring direct answers to specific questions. Examples of this type of bots are Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

Artificial intelligence is ushering in a new era of customer experience management platforms that unite the online and offline experience.

Ways in which AI will change customer services:

On-the-spot response:

Customer expectations are growing exponentially with the advanced technology and channel avenues available for them to express their feedback and sentiments. Companies must optimize their customer experience management and AI ability to quickly sort through massive amount of online data to field on-the-spot research and data requests. AI is being used across various sectors to improve efficiency, reduce cost, increase revenues and boost customer satisfaction by improving on key areas of customer experience.

Let’s look it one by one:
  • AI streamline the processes:Basically, it’s making the information available to customers in new ways, reducing the friction that customers must make to get to the information. It is a two-way process, where it can directly learn from the customers or learn from other customers.
  • AI offers better future options:New information is available to companies every second through various channels. The biggest challenge is to make sense of that huge amount of data. Analyzing the data present an opportunity to look at the way people use the applications, and based on that companies can offer better future options.
  • Get better with more data input:AI and machine learning is really at the core of these smarter, more targeted user-centric applications. Utilizing pattern analysis companies can analyze the vast data to get the desired outcome. As more data is available, these AI and bots can learn as they grow resulting in better customer service.
  • AI evolves the user experience:It has become highly competitive for companies to emphasize on user experience as the key differentiator between success and failure, as AI focuses on the user. It’s now more of voice-activated and text-based that collapses many apps into one seamless experience.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) understands, reasons, learns and interacts. This is when AI turns into IA, Intelligent Assistance. This level of AI, which can assist in business matters is being used across sectors to improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase revenues and boost customer satisfaction by improving on key areas of customer experience.

While there is huge potential for companies to harness AI into their customer service plans, they should take care not to step into the “uncanny zone”, the unknown territory where customers start to feel uncomfortable dealing with an AI chatbot.

Further to that AI in IT Infrastructure Services leverage the new- generation technologies like IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, to renovate your IT landscape with effective infrastructure management solutions which in turn facilities customer services to many heights.

On a closing note, AI and bots will not replace people but complement the high-level tasks in customer engagement. They are still limited to taking care of routine and easy requests through automation, that can be handled by today’s chat bots.