While an omnichannel approach has become the norm across most industries, forward-looking businesses are considering the next level to gain competitive advantage. According to Andrea Tucker, Research and Development Head at e4, to disrupt a market using omnichannel strategy businesses will need to turn to Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“AI has become a tool that is being utilised to improve customer service, but what has been achieved is really just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more that can be done to improve and evolve customer service to meet the needs of a much-changed and mobile customer,” says Tucker.
Given the nature and pace of business today, coupled with the blurred lines between a consumer and a client, Tucker says that self-service is set to boom as one of the key take-outs from AI.
In a Salesforce report, State of Service AI adoption is predicted to grow by 143% in the next 18 months. This pending spike is attributed to AI’s ability to automate manual tasks, answer routine questions and scale support: “This gives the business more time to be strategic, focusing on building customer relationships as opposed to the more menial tasks that are often time consuming,” says Tucker.
AI driven self-service also addresses digitally-savvy consumers via the use of chatbot technology. This is a step further forward in terms of time-saving when doing manual tasks and keeping customers happy by providing instantaneous answers: “Chatbots will greatly enhance omnichannel engagement and more importantly, improve customer service experience. The technology is perfectly designed to handle a variety of simple tasks often requested by customers,” says Tucker.
The automation derived from AI enables the business to address more important customer queries, reduces the average handle time of the interaction as well as creating a better experience for both the agent and the customer.
In its report, Tucker says that Salesforce has identified that only high-performing organisations, with excellent customer service rates, are more likely to employ AI: “There are significant benefits to using AI on the inside too. As a growing trend, an integrated approach delivers immense benefits to business, of which enhanced customer experience is one of the most important.”
End-to-end AI delivers better customer experiences and business results. It impacts the bottom line and improves several customer experience metrics.
“An AI solution needs to compliment a business and its approach to customer experience. Once you have the right one, focus on doing what you do best and the technology will help you engage with customers intelligently, while being efficient and effective too,” says Tucker.