Exciting news: Artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing new opportunities to the table. In today's business landscape, exceptional customer service (CS) is crucial, and embracing artificial intelligence technology is becoming essential.
The potential of AI technology leaves customer service professionals wondering about where exactly they "fit in" going forward. But AI is creating new opportunities for service teams rather than pushing them out of the picture.
Feeling curious about how the customer service field is using AI every day? Dive in to uncover key data, insights, and expert advice about how it's already changing the game.
Table of Contents
- How AI is Streamlining Customer Service
- Top 5 AI Tools Service Teams Are Using
- Unlocking the Power of AI for Your Customer Service Team
- Maximizing the Benefits of AI: What's Next for Service Teams?
How AI is Streamlining Customer Service
Customer service has become smarter and more efficient thanks to AI-powered tools, which are optimizing processes and delivering high-quality support at lightning-fast speeds. According to HubSpot's March 2023 State of AI report, 62% of business leaders say their company has already invested in AI and automation tools for their employees to leverage.
Additionally, 71% report positive ROI, and 72% say AI and automation make their employees more productive.
Nevertheless, you're still probably wondering: In what specific ways are service teams making use of AI daily?
Check out this visual diagram below that segments specific uses of AI-powered tools into day-to-day customer service responsibilities.
Top 5 AI Tools Service Teams Are Using
As outlined above, AI can serve several purposes in enhancing customer service teams' efforts, from automating manual tasks to increasing customer satisfaction (i.e., shorter hold times and more strategic conversation).
Below is a list of some of the top AI tools that allow for service professionals to refine their customer interactions:
- ChatSpot: ChatSpot is a conversational CRM bot that sales, marketing, and service professionals can connect to HubSpot to maximize their productivity.
- Content Assistant: HubSpot's AI content assistant uses OpenAI's GPT model to unlock productivity and creativity, helping marketers, sales teams, and service professionals not only streamline busywork, but elevate the quality of the work they love.
- Speechify: Speechify is a mobile and desktop app that speeds up customer service interactions by effortlessly transforming text into a captivating audio experience, courtesy of its innovative computer-generated speech technology.
- ChatGPT: ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that empowers users to navigate and reshape customer service conversations with unprecedented finesse, enabling them to tailor the length, format, style, level of detail, and even the language used to deliver an unforgettable customer experience.
- Google Bard: Google Bard is a conversational generative AI chatbot that serves as a relentless ally in both productivity and creative endeavors. With its quick-thinking abilities, Google Bard effortlessly weaves together conversations that help CS pros harness boundless creativity.
If you're interested in learning about more functional AI tools that will upgrade the way your team completes tasks, check out this video from Marketing Against the Grain.
Unlocking the Power of AI for Your Customer Service Team
For consumers, AI offers several advantages, including personalized product recommendations and streamlined online transactions.
Additionally, AI will even route customer service requests to the correct representative. In fact, 88% of customer service pros who use AI agree it is highly effective for this specifically.
For customer service professionals, AI can leverage pre-existing skills to provide even better service in several ways.
For example, customer service teams can easily automate their routine (and their most repetitive tasks) in seconds, enabling them to focus on more complex and critical customer issues.
It can also…
- Help analyze the sentiment of customer service conversations (100% of CS pros who use AI agree it is highly effective for this purpose)
- Write responses to customer service requests (46% of B2B CS pros use AI in their role agree it's especially effective for this task)
- Monitor social media for customer-service related issues (75% of CS pros who use AI agree AI is incredibly helpful here, too)
Is your service team at risk of being replaced by AI?
HubSpot CMO, Kipp Bodnar, said it best:
While artificial intelligence technology has made significant progress in recent years, it cannot replace CS professionals entirely.
Here are our answers to a few questions you may have about why:
1. How should AI technology be used in customer service relations?
Though AI can help automate and improve service and support processes, it cannot fully provide the same empathy and connection that consumers crave in typical customer service experiences.
That said, we must use AI technology with specific intention and good judgment to receive the best outcome, regardless of what it is being used for. Mastery of AI has more to do with how people use AI as a tool, and less about AI itself.
2. How can customer service teams develop a strategic plan for implementing AI?
It is essential for customer service professionals to develop a strategy for AI implementation.
We suggest identifying the functions that could benefit from automation and determining how to integrate AI with existing systems (i.e., email systems, live chat systems, and self-service knowledge systems, etc.).
By doing so, customer service pros can expect seamless integration, ensuring minimal disruption to their workflow.
3. How can customer service teams effectively leverage AI?
To make AI function best for customer service teams, it is vital to adapt both collaborative and fast-acting approaches to support the various functions of customer service.
By adopting a hybrid approach to utilizing AI, teams can improve the efficiency and accuracy of customer service interactions, while also maintaining the human touch that is essential to building strong customer relationships.
Customer-facing teams and business leaders should develop a balanced ratio of AI involvement to their original human touch points.
Maximizing the Benefits of AI: What's Next for Service Teams
Overall, integrating AI technology into customer service processes has led to a positive impact on businesses. Reports are showing significant investment, increased productivity, and general enjoyment across businesses.
For consumers, AI provides targeted recommendations, more personalized experiences, and streamlined transactions.
Customer service professionals can leverage AI through their existing skill set to improve service and increase speed and efficiency, while also analyzing customer feedback to improve the customer experience.
All-in-all, while AI undoubtedly holds the potential to optimize and simplify the efforts of service teams, it is ultimately up to those teams to shape the role that this technology will play in the future of customer service.