Customer support relies on agents who can answer questions quickly and accurately, but how can that be accomplished in an industry with high turnover and long onboarding? How can support agents be experts when they don’t stay in the position long enough to gain experience?
This type of integration is now made possible with the help of AI customer support products like Answer Assist. With entry level experts, your support center will have faster responses, improved accuracy, and better customer satisfaction.
What is Answer Assist?
Answer Assist is one of Shelf’s products designed to take advantage of emerging AI technology. It relies on structured knowledge to provide answers to support agents during customer interactions. We believe your organization’s knowledge is more than information, it’s the infrastructure used by AI to provide accurate answers quickly. Answer Assist leverages this knowledge as an infrastructure to empower AI solutions.
If you’re just getting started with knowledge as an infrastructure — or if you’re uncertain if your organization can use Answer Assist — we have other articles, guides, products, and assessments you can take to see what steps you need to take to start taking advantage of our AI future.
Among our customers, we’ve seen support centers using Answer Assist reduce the time spent resolving customer questions by 80 percent, and average handle time go down by 30 percent.
This supports independent research done by Harvard Business School showing AI-assisted workers can improve productivity by as much as 43 percent. These gains in productivity are derived from AI raising the floor of capabilities for all workers. This is especially useful for roles in support centers where knowledge is typically the difference between a high-performing and low-performing support agent.
Here’s how Answer Assist makes your agents into entry level experts.
Integrating Organizational Knowledge
Answer Assist seamlessly incorporates your organization’s knowledge into your workforce through the power of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). In a typical support center, agents are expected to be well-versed in your organization’s wealth of knowledge, including policies, procedures, and other documentation. However, human memory and execution can be imperfect — leading to occasional inaccuracies and inconsistencies when applying this knowledge to resolve customer questions. Additionally, new agents don’t necessarily have the time to gain the expertise and knowledge they need to perform well in their position.
Answer Assist’s use of GenAI ensures precision and consistency by addressing customer queries while drawing on your organization’s knowledge. Whenever a customer asks a question, Answer Assist analyzes your organization’s knowledge and generates an answer which is then provided to your organization’s support agent. This functionality is equally accessible to experienced agents and new agents, which means the same level of knowledge and consistency is applied with all of your support agents. Answer Assist creates entry-level experts by providing answers to any agent’s question.
Adapting and Updating Your Workforce Seamlessly
Any organization will need to adapt and change as time goes on. One of the challenges of significant changes is there is a risk the change isn’t universally adopted by your workforce. For example, if your organization updates its refund policy it’s possible some agents will apply the new refund policy more consistently than others.
With Answer Assist, these types of changes don’t risk inconsistency because the answers provided by Answer Assist are generated from your organization’s knowledge. It doesn’t rely on your agent remembering the details of each policy and which one is the current one. If the document you use to outline a refund policy changes, then the answers provided to agents by Answer Assist will also change. This gives you greater control over your organization’s ability to adapt and update its policies and procedures.
Changing your knowledge can affect Answer Assist’s responses, but it also takes feedback from your agents and customers. For example, if an agent is provided an answer that appears unhelpful they can mark it as an unsatisfactory answer. Answer Assist uses this feedback to influence its future answers. This feedback can also be reviewed internally by your administrators to discover if a part of your knowledge is the source of negative feedback. This feedback loop is pivotal to enhancing the quality of your agents’ responses to customers.
Elevating Your Agents’ Baseline Ability
Many customer support inquiries are based on resolving straight-forward questions, but sometimes support agents are asked to guide customers to a resolution that doesn’t necessarily have one answer. For example, your organization may offer a dozen different courses or programs to customers based on their interests. In a typical support center, the agent would have to be familiar with all 12 of these programs and have insight into why a customer would choose one over another. This can be simplified with Answer Assist.
Answer Assist can analyze the conversation with a customer and make recommendations based on the details of the interaction. These recommendations can be guided by feedback to previously provided answers, or they can be customized by your organization’s administrators. This is another way of integrating your organization’s knowledge and making it accessible to agents. Your agents can provide specific recommendations for programs based on customer interactions or customized preferences for your organization.
AI Creates Entry Level Experts
Answer Assist is the transformative technology that makes your organization deliver at your customer’s expectations. With AI, your agents become entry level experts to resolve customer questions accurately, consistently, and quickly. All of this is accomplished without lengthy onboarding and ensures uniform execution of your organization’s policies and procedures. Customers expect this level of accuracy and consistency from their support interactions and it’s only possible thanks to AI-assisted products like Answer Assist.