Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has infiltrated every aspect of our lives and made things infinitely easier.

Despite being a fairly new and advanced technology, AI doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag. Quite the opposite, by implementing it, you can even cut some expenses by automating a number of business processes and repetitive tasks.

If we bear in mind that businesses spent $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls in 2017, it’s clear that finding a way to reduce this sum while still providing superb customer support can bring immense benefits.

And AI-powered call deflection is among the best ways to achieve both of these goals. 

What Is Call Deflection?

Simply put, it’s the method of rerouting customer calls to other support channels, in an attempt to provide shorter waiting times and reducing the support reps’ workload.

Customer support is closely associated with customer experience, and it’s one of the most important elements for preventing churn. Surveys corroborate this statement, as customer experience is poised to overcome product and price as the key brand differentiator by the end of 2020.

Thankfully, AI can be successfully implemented as a call deflection strategy, thus reducing your costs and increasing customer satisfaction and experience.

Though there are several channels that you should have in place, conversational AI is an absolute must for a variety of reasons. 

Respond to Your Customers Instantly

One of the most crucial reasons why you should deflect calls to a bot lies in the fact that your customers expect their questions and issues to be addressed and solved immediately.

And if they have to wait for a support rep to become available, they will get impatient and nervous, which will ruin their customer experience.

Chatbots are available all the time and can deal with several customers simultaneously. This means that even if you have clients from different time zones, you don’t have to worry about whether they will be able to reach you and get answers to their questions.

Needless to say, conversational AI will reduce not only your customers’ waiting times, as well as the workload of your support reps, but also your expenses.

Instead of hiring an army of human support agents to be at your customers’ disposal 24/7/365 and ensure faster response times and first call resolution, you can opt for an intelligent conversational chatbot to take care of all that. 

Predict Customer Intent

There are different reasons why your customers reach out to you. AI can help you collect, analyze, and process this information, thus gaining a better insight into your customers’ needs and pain points.

You can use all the data you have collected over time to train your chatbots to understand customer intent during conversations and identify their true motivations. Besides, AI chatbots are capable of learning from every interaction with customers.

This way, it’s possible to help them solve their issues faster, which will result in better customer experience.

In other words, by understanding customer intent and true motivations, you’ll be able to optimize interactions with them in the following ways:
  • better reroute their calls and direct them towards the most suitable channel
  • offer cross-sell or upsell suggestions
  • personalize conversations based on previous interactions with a customer.

Free Up Human Agents’ Time

When it comes to conversational AI in customer support, it’s worth mentioning that it by no means should completely eliminate human agents out of the picture.

Regular support reps and chatbots should work together towards the same goal, and that is making customers happy, improving their satisfaction with the brand, and preventing churn.

There’s no need for your support reps to waste their time responding to frequently asked questions and performing some repetitive, low-value tasks.

It’s a much better idea to direct such queries to chatbots as they can handle such simple queries non-stop, without getting bored or annoyed. If you think about it, it’s evident that solving issues such as forgotten passwords or helping customers fill out a form can be somewhat of a dead-end job – your customer reps won’t be too motivated for further growth and development.

On the other hand, if you free up their time and let them take over only complex issues that require critical thinking and creativity, they will reach their full potential and give their best to help customers.

Make Customer Service More Intuitive

Don’t let your customers go from one channel to another trying to solve their issues. Everything from the moment they decide to ask for help has to be easy and user-friendly.

AI chatbots allow for this because they can be trained to forward customers to the next best channel unless they can’t help them instantly.

Also, you should know that 59% of customers don’t feel comfortable when they have to pick up the phone and talk to support reps – they’d rather use any other channel.

This particularly refers to the millennials who turn away from the traditional call-center approach and opt for messaging and self-service options. However, although it’s highly recommended to implement different support channels, including texting, email, various helpful resources, and a detailed FAQ section, AI should be your first choice when it comes to call deflection.

It’s powered by natural language processing, which adds a somewhat human touch to the entire experience. Chatbots are much more engaging than texting, emailing, or Boolean search, and in the not so distant future, it will be impossible to tell them apart from human customer support reps.

AI chatbots are the most effective method of call deflection, and implementing them is a win-win situation as both your customers and your business will benefit from them.