AI | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Use AI to Improve Your Performance - 7/23/24

Many companies are integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into some aspect of their business.  This could greatly change how they operate, how they communicate with customers. This AI wave reminds me of a story from 20+ years ago when a stock brokerage firm launched a new website that greatly enhanced the Read more

The New Burger Experience - 7/16/24

Floyd loves a good hamburger. Any chance he gets to try a new spin on an old standby, he takes it. Recently, a burger joint opened near his house, and Floyd was very excited! It was owned by and named for a world-renowned chef, so it had to be Read more

Boost Customer Happiness - 7/9/24

There’s a cooking show that a friend of mine watches, and the premise is all about reverse engineering food.  They may take a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, analyze it, and determine the ingredients just by tasting it.  Then they figure out a recipe.  The cook will try to make Read more

Brainstorm to Better Yourself - 7/2/24

I’ve led enough sessions with clients on continuous improvement topics to have solid experience on how to lead ideation exercises, brainstorming to develop new ideas.  Oftentimes these sessions start with the right question; the first answers may not be the ultimate solution, but they can serve as a jumping Read more

The Power of the Pause - 6/25/24

When I’m facilitating a meeting, and it feels like it’s going off-track or the discussion is going a little longer than it should, I may say something like “let me pause the conversation so that…” or “let’s pause just for a minute and consider…” I don’t like the word STOP. Read more

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24

In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24

Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24

Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24

The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24

The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Use AI to Improve Your Performance – 7/23/24

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

Many companies are integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into some aspect of their business.  This could greatly change how they operate, how they communicate with customers.

This AI wave reminds me of a story from 20+ years ago when a stock brokerage firm launched a new website that greatly enhanced the information available to its clients.  The company thought they would need fewer call center staff, but what they realized was the additional information it provided clients created more in-depth and challenging questions from customers.  It turned out that the company needed roughly the same number of staff, but the staff had to be more knowledgeable.  What was expected of them was higher-level.  The basic questions were handled by customers on their own, so now they had deeper, more complex questions to be answered.

That story addressed the company view and how – in the end – the website impacted what was expected of employees, how their expertise had to improve.  The same thing will occur with AI.  Companies will use AI to do the basic things, the more monotonous things, the more time-consuming, lower-level activities.  Our tasks will require more expertise, more knowledge.

Free Up Your Time, Expand Your Knowledge

So, let’s be proactive, and let’s see how we individuals can use AI to actually free up some time for us to focus on the higher level, the more complex, and position us more as consultants with our clients.  Here are three ways each of us can tap into AI to better ourselves.

Create Your Own FAQ Responses

Identify 5-10 core questions that you’re asked, and use AI to give you a draft set of responses for those types of questions with the specific types of customers who pose them.  Then you can tweak the draft AI responses to meet your needs.  Save yourself time by creating your own FAQs.

Develop Draft Messages/Documents

If you have typical e-mails or documents that you send to clients – whether it’s a meeting follow-up, a request for information, or details you’re providing them about a process, use AI to start the template.  Emphasize to AI that you want it to be professional and courteous, succinct and clear.  Use AI to be more consistent in typical communications.

Train Yourself

Identify some aspects of your job where you are not yet proficient or you’re not at the expert level.  Use AI to identify a list of resources or a set of information you can review to enhance your skill set.  It might be about a particular situation, type of customer, type of technology.  Let AI get you started on personalizing a professional development plan so you can more quickly learn and excel.

Use AI to save yourself time and help you speed up your own performance improvement.

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

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

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.

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