Your customers already want AI Customer Service. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Generative AI (GenAI) have created a new era of automating the most vital aspects of customer service. The leaders of this space have already explored how AI can improve your organization’s customer service (or support center). The results have shown boosted employee productivity, enhanced accuracy, and improved self-service containment rate. In this blog, we will explore how GenAI can revolution service and support for your organization.

AI Customer Service Boosts Employee Productivity:

The key innovation for AI Customer Support has been the proliferation of large language models (LLMs). We have an entire article dedicated to what makes LLMs special, but what’s important in the context of customer support is the interface. Large language models work by replicating human-like text-based content which means you can “chat” with an LLM to give it prompts and receive information. From a customer’s point of view, chatting with an LLM is identical to chatting with a support agent. Of course, the LLM has far more functionality than a typical support agent.

Customer service representatives (CSRs) can leverage LLMs to find the right information quickly. Customer service tools augmented with AI (such as Shelf’s products) can analyze the inputs provided by a customer then automatically suggested responses. If you connect these tools to your knowledge base then you can enable the AI to cite sources of information provided in the generated text. This functionality can greatly reduce average handle times (AHT) by accessing suggest responses and solutions to customer queries faster than humanly possible. This not only saves time but enables CSRs to handle more interactions with efficiency. This use case of AI customer service can even develop what we call entry level experts because of the amount of knowledge a new CSR has access to with these tools.

5 Point RAG Strategy Guide to Prevent Hallucinations & Bad Answers This guide designed to help teams working on GenAI Initiatives gives you five actionable strategies for RAG pipelines that will improve answer quality and prevent hallucinations.

AI Customer Service Enhances Quality and Accuracy of Interactions:

Generative AI not only expands an agent’s ability to resolve more customer queries, but also enhances the quality and accuracy of responses given in customer service. By analyzing the context of the conversation with a customer, GenAI can formulate suggested answers. These suggestions are built off of the AI’s access to your organization’s knowledge and providing relevant information based on concerns cited by the customer. This process is done instantly within a conversation with customers — reducing the time your agent spends searching for answers and providing quick and accurate responses to customers.

More advanced GenAI can further automate processes and expedite resolutions. Intent recognition and classification can be greatly improved with AI performing the analysis on intent. This enables virtual assistants (VAs) to understand customer queries better and provided more helpful responses. If you empower a VA with AI then it can also engage in human-like conversations while maintaining greater accuracy and efficiency compared to your highest-performing agents. Streamlining these interactions with customers frees up your support agents to handle more complex resolutions.

Midjourney depiction of AI Customer Service while cooking at home

AI Virtual Assistants Increase Self-Service Containment Rates:

One of the evolving demands from customers is the need for service to be available at all times. Customers want to be able to resolve their problem 24/7 and their preference is to reach a conclusion in the shortest amount of time possible. Generative AI plays a pivotal role in increasing self-service containment rates —  the rate at which a successful resolution was found for a customer query without involving a human agent. Virtual agents can leverage GenAI to provide responses to a wide range of customer inquiries at any time during the day.

Prior iterations of self-serve technology have been associated with decreased customer satisfaction, but LLMs have really changed the landscape. Conversational virtual agents provide genuine human-like interactions to resolve customer queries. This technology is more than a complex web of pre-written prompts. It’s a convincing conversation your customers can engage with to resolve their concern.

Some support centers seek to provide 24/7 support through offshoring, but multiple studies have concluded customers are frequently dissatisfied by these solutions for a variety of reasons. An offshore solution won’t satisfy your customers and also doesn’t take advantage of the greater accuracy and efficiency made possible by AI-enabled virtual assistants. Virtual assistants empowered with AI can provide consistent service that is accurate, conversational, and efficient for both your department and your customers.

Midjourney depiction of AI Customer Service in a retail environment

AI Customer Service is the New Standard:

AI Customer Service isn’t a far-off innovation — it’s already been implemented in support centers around the world. Generative AI has revolutionized customer service by leveraging advanced LLMs and automating key responsibilities within the support center. The implementation of GenAI has boosted employee productivity, enhanced quality and accuracy within interactions, and increased self-service containment rates. These outcomes empower your business to provide exceptional customer service experience and free up resources for other initiatives or priorities.

Organizations partnering with AI solution partners and embracing the value of GenAI can unlock the transformative power of automation to elevate customer service to new heights. For many customers, they’ve already experienced the enhanced efficiency when they need a resolution to their query. For those customers this is the new standard for support centers. It’s not too late to embrace the potential of AI. The journey for your AI strategy could begin with your knowledge base.