Be Better than AI Customer Service – 1/23/24

There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers.

The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds.

There are clear productivity and potential cost benefits to organizations of having a given encounter managed by computer rather than a person.

But there is an inherent set of problems that come along with AI, especially from the customer’s perspective.

What AI Customer Service Did Poorly

A relative was having cable issues recently, and trying to get customer service via the company app. Troubleshooting didn’t work; chatbot could not specifically answer the question.  The system kept moving to broad categories because it didn’t understand the specifics of the situation.  My relative’s issue didn’t fit into a box, so the technology didn’t know how to handle it.  The customer got frustrated and ended up having to call.

In the CBS story, customer service representatives noted that many customers are upset and just want to vent – that was the best way for the customer to settle down.  Unfortunately, virtual assistants and chatbots have a hard time giving empathy because, after all, they’re computers. They don’t have feelings and cannot truly sympathize with the customer.  Customers want sincere empathy, and they understand they’re not getting it when they’re talking to a computer.

What You Do Better than the Virtual Assistant

I’m not sharing this to suggest that the chatbots and the virtual assistants are going away.  They can provide value, and not just to the company, but also to the customer.  And some customers prefer to use this process for customer service.

This Tip is being shared so that those who serve customers can understand what differentiates us from those virtual service offerings.

We differentiate ourselves from virtual customer service with our interest and willingness to find out the specific details of the customer situation.  It is our willingness to find out about potential alternatives, and converse with the customer about the pros and the cons, what would work best for them.  It is the ability and desire to be empathetic and understanding, to truly convey how much we value the customer.  We differentiate ourselves from those chatbots by the ability to more often deliver first contact resolution, to avoid the multiple handoffs.

We don’t need to fear these alternative technologies.  We need to understand what we provide beyond what they provide.  We need to utilize them as tools, as useful inputs for what we offer to our customers.

Understand what you can and do provide beyond these technology supports, and make sure you’re engaging with customers to highlight your proactive nature, your inquisitiveness about the specifics of the situation, your empathy, and your ability to truly help the customer the first time.

Be Better than AI Customer Service.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.