The customer support center feels like it is constantly facing difficult challenges. Agents can’t find accurate information, escalation rates have soared across the industry, customer responses can be inconsistent or inaccurate, and the dwindling of customer experience metrics create cause for concerns. However, there is hope with the arrival of AI Customer Support. In this article, we’ll explore the service benefits of AI customer support and how to improve three specific areas of your organization.
How to Begin with Service Benefits of AI Customer Support
The difference between typical customer support centers and AI customer support is best understood if you imagine the experience of a new support agent.
Support agents can begin with minimal or no experience in the role. They’re asked to provide accurate answers quickly within a hectic environment where information can be spread across different silos. Juggling different applications or databases to find answers can create a strain on their decision-making — leading to inaccurate answers to customers. Agents may be so focused on increasing the speed of their responses, they never get a moment to become more knowledgeable about your organization. In the event they do gain that knowledge, it comes from a lengthy onboarding which can prove fruitless if the agent underperforms or chooses to pursue another opportunity.
This glimpse into a support agent’s day-to-day reveals how the typical setup for support centers can lead to inaccurate answers, poor knowledge retention, and lengthy onboarding. All of these can change with AI customer support.
Service Benefit #1 – Accuracy and Consistency
AI customer support significantly elevates accuracy and consistency in your agent’s responses to customer questions. Shelf’s Answer Assist utilizing advanced generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to analyze interactions with customers and draws from your organization’s knowledge to provide answers. Since the product relies on your established knowledge management system, answers remain consistent. This eliminates inconsistency in your customer support which can come from independent agents attempting to interpret customer questions or manually search for information within your organization’s knowledge base. Answer Assist maintains a high standard of accuracy and ensure the right answer every time.
Service Benefit #2 – Knowledge Integration
Answer Assist works because it integrates your organization’s knowledge and makes it accessible to your support agents. Whenever an answer is provided by Answer Assist, it cites the exact document that influenced the generated answer. If your organization’s knowledge changes — such as an update to your refund policy — then the answers provided will also change. Providing answers to your support agents with citations to specific documents ensures they gain familiarity with your organization’s knowledge and keeps them informed even as policies or procedures might change.
Service Benefit #3 – Cost-Efficient Onboarding
Providing greater accuracy and integrating your organization’s knowledge into an accessible product results in reduced time onboarding new agents. Traditional onboarding can take weeks or months before an agent is confident in their grasp of your organization’s knowledge. This onboarding process also requires taking an experienced agent off of their primary responsibilities to focus on bringing your new support agent up to speed.
Answer Assist mitigates this challenge by providing new support agents with immediate access to accurate and consistent answers, generated from the organization’s knowledge base. This means that new agents can quickly become effective in their roles without the need for lengthy onboarding periods, allowing experienced agents to focus on their core customer service responsibilities rather than spending valuable time training newcomers. The cost savings and efficiency gains in onboarding make Answer Assist a valuable asset for organizations seeking to streamline their support operations.
Service Benefit of AI Customer Support & Answer Assist
With AI-assisted products like Answer Assist, the day-today of a support agent is remarkably different than before. An agent can begin their position and with minimal onboarding focused on how to utilize Answer Assist, they can answer any question asked to them by a customer. The agent doesn’t need to worry about juggling multiple applications or silos because Answer Assist can retrieve answers from multiple locations. The accessibility and ease-of-use of your organization’s knowledge results in an agent who is immediately helpful at resolving customer questions. With one implementation, your support center can benefit from the service benefits of AI customer support including greater accuracy, better knowledge integration, and reduced onboarding costs. This contributes to your support agents becoming entry-level experts.