How to Use AI to Improve Your Customer Experience (5 Examples)

by | May 6, 2020 | Customer Support, Knowledge Management, Productivity

This post was updated on May 27, 2022 to reflect industry best practices.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the pandemic was one of those events that divided a lifetime into pre-COVID and post-COVID periods. As a result, companies were forced to innovate, forced to learn how to support employees working remotely; many organizations finally turned to AI to help achieve the best customer experience possible.

Slowly but surely, organizations picked up the pieces and turned to innovation to build a better, safer, and less fragile world. Remote agents should feel empowered, connected, and equipped to accomplish their work faster and more efficiently—at Shelf we’re honored to provide tools that help support teams accomplish more, wherever they work.

Many customer support organizations are now 100% remote; many agents still need better software, better solutions to provide great customer experiences. When your customers have questions, many agents can’t just ask their buddy for an answer or flag down a supervisor as they once could. And with over 20% of customer enquiries marked as “difficult”, all agents—new or tenured—must have great knowledge at their fingertips to quickly resolve requests.

In this post, we’ll cover five examples where AI automates day-to-day tasks for customer support teams. You can improve your CX with AI-enabled solutions, all it takes is putting a few of these ideas into action.

1. Automated deflection in self service channels

Only 19% of customers choose to contact support before they attempt to find a solution on their own. Not surprising, people want answers now. Most customers prefer self-service channels because it’s easier (and often quicker) to find a solution assuming they can find the right information.

The problem: two thirds of customers say there is not enough help available on organizations’ websites or apps; 77% of customers admit they prefer a phone number on every web page or app as a last resort.

Even a robust and updated self-service page can be unsuccessful if the search is weak and customers simply can’t spot the right information. Organizations can’t surface information quickly with out-of-date knowledge practices; brands must innovate, they must let artificial intelligence come to the rescue to deflect calls. 

How AI automatically deflects tickets and calls

AI-powered self-service channels can easily deflect tickets and calls, because the AI surfaces answers from a knowledge base before customers resort to human support (like submitting a Contact Us form).

AI helps deflect around 20% of inbound interactions when deployed across common self service channels like email portals and live chat. To see this technology in action, check out our Self Service solution here and learn how the Shelf platform’s recommendation engine works.

2. Chatbots…powered by AI

If customers have more non-phone support channel substitutes available (like chatbots), they’re less likely to wait on hold and clog up call queues.

But you need to deploy the right chatbot, because not all are created equal. To make your chatbots truly smart, you need an AI-powered knowledge platform.

With AI-suggested answers, your chatbot will be able to handle simple and more complex enquiries. After all, chatbots shouldn’t route customers to a live agent if an answer can be found in an FAQ.

To learn more about how to make your chatbots smarter, check out our post, How to Improve Chatbot Performance via Knowledge Management.

84% of customers report negative experiences with a corporate chatbot, why not make your chatbot solution one of the 26% customers actually like?

3. IVR

You can do much more than route calls with an IVR, you can improve your agents’ performance on calls if you apply AI to your IVR system.

Here’s a simple example of how a smart IVR works.

  1. Like chatbots, your IVR must first connect to a knowledge management solution that uses AI to recommend answers
  2. AI detects caller intent based on information given to the IVR, and surfaces a transcript and recommended answers to a customer service agent before the call connects (so they don’t have to search)
  3. The agent answers the call, with context and relevant solutions in hand.

You can capture a ton of data from your IVR, which agents will appreciate; since agent’s will be better prepared for the call, your customers will never have to repeat information they just gave the IVR system.

4. Predictive routing

When your customers have problems, they prefer agents familiar with their requests who can resolve their issues quickly. Predictive routing can improve a customer’s experience by using AI to match the right customers with the best customer support agent for the job.

Using a CCaaS platform like Genesys, you can configure your own routing logic based on KPIs that matter most to your organization. Predictive routing goes beyond basic skill-based routing because recommendations change based on logic you configure.

Since you can test your own routing logic to optimize outcomes, predictive routing can help improve Average Handle Time and transfer rate over time.

5. Agent Assist technology

A chat comes in, a customer service agent needs to find an answer, now what? With Agent Assist technology, agents never even have to switch tabs. Shelf’s Agent Assist uses AI to surface recommendations on-demand.

According to McKinsey research, a searchable record of knowledge can reduce the time employees spend searching for information by as much as 35 percent. Imagine how much time your agents can save if knowledge finds them automatically?

In this webinar, see Agent Assist for Voice in action within Genesys Cloud CX. Shelf + Genesys takes Agent Assist to a whole new level by generating recommendations for agents not only in a chat environment, but during a live conversation.

Level up your CX with knowledge management that does more

Your company likely has quite a few solutions deployed company-wide that all promise to improve CX (in one way or another), and most probably use AI in some form. But few things impact a customer’s ‘experience’ with your company than trouble finding answers in a time of need.

Your agents and self-service channels should provide great answers, in the right place, at the right time. And as we’ve covered, AI should do most of the heavy lifting.

Accuracy and speed are foundational items of CX, two critical areas where Shelf’s knowledge management platform shines. If you’re ready to start delivering better experiences, start with knowledge.

Contact Us to learn more about how the Shelf platform powers leading CX technology with the best knowledge available. Shelf helps customers like HelloFresh, Glovo, and Gerber Life Insurance create world-class experiences for customers, one answer at a time.

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