How AI and Live Agents Can Help Deliver Better Customer Care

Artificial intelligence isn't just a pipe dream anymore. In fact, this technology is dramatically changing the ways we conduct business — and so-called "chatbots," powered by AI, are quickly becoming a viable customer service channel. If your business is contemplating adding chatbots to enhance the overall customer care experience, you're certainly not alone.

Chatbots for online businesses

Chatbots can handle a wide array of issues, from answering customer complaints to rolling out surveys with eye-opening results. In one successful case, computer software firm CONVRG conducted a simple, three-question customer survey via chatbot technology, with participants earning coupons to redeem later. And the decision paid big dividends, as CONVRG saw three-times the typical response rate with its chatbot survey compared to its traditional email surveys.

However, the rise of chatbots handling customer service responsibilities doesn't mean live agent jobs will become obsolete. Of course, the future is uncertain, but experts say it's unlikely chatbots will ever replace person-to-person interaction. Instead, live agents can work in concert with chatbots to better streamline and enhance the overall customer care experience.

Here are four ways live agents and chatbots are working together to deliver quality customer care:

1. Enhancing the Human Touch

Customer service reps are often effective in resolving issues, making customers happy, and putting a face to a brand. But these employees are often tasked with conducting repetitive and laborious tasks. Instead, they could be focusing on going above and beyond to serve customers.

Companies that use chatbots in tandem with traditional support reps can supercharge the overall customer care experience through more complementary efforts. For example, customers can pose questions to chatbots and receive an answer within seconds, giving live agents more time to focus on providing exemplary customer service and resolving complex issues.

Furthermore, investing in a cloud contact center solution will allow your business to incorporate call center technology with chatbots for enhanced and more flexible customer care options.

2. Gaining Better Customer Insights

The typical customer care experience goes a little something like this: Live agents focus on assisting customers and conducting routine data-entry tasks to track service and support issues. But this type of manual entry often doesn’t scale, and live agents may miss some of the finer details customers are looking to communicate.

For example, chatbots can analyze your customers' buying habits and patterns and determine which services they prefer, or examine how the products they've bought in the past could predict future sales. This could help live agents make more detailed and relevant recommendations to help find the best products for their customers.

3. Streamlining the Customer Journey

From the moment a prospect visits your website — via organic search, social media or online ads — they're entering the so-called buyer's journey. Instead of putting this all on their hands, companies can use chatbots to more quickly begin the engagement process, ensuring these consumers more easily find the information they're looking to uncover.

Additionally, chatbots can also pull up previous customer interactions in order to make the overall customer care experience more efficient, particularly if these same customers elect to speak with a live agent.

4. Increasing Customer Retention Rates

Beyond gaining more customer insights, perhaps the most important benefit of turning to chatbots is their ability to create higher rates of customer engagement and retention. In particular, chatbots can tap into data to more quickly:

  • Uncover existing customer information
  • Resolve any ongoing issues
  • Draw up details to help live agents better streamline the support experience

Ultimately, this type of hyper detail and engagement often flatters customers and better showcases that your brand "gets them." Additionally, customer retention rates are bound to see an uptick as the level and quality of customer service increases.