Why AI holds the key to elevating customer experience

Freshworks Australia

By Ben Pluznyk, Director and Country Manager, ANZ at Freshworks
Friday, 10 February, 2023


Why AI holds the key to elevating customer experience

Providing a great customer experience at every touchpoint is a critical part of business success. An exceptional customer experience can have a ripple effect on a business’s overall performance like enabling a lower churn rate, an increase in revenue and — most importantly — happy, loyal customers.

While many businesses leverage artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools such as AI chatbots to optimise their customer experience, many are still sceptical about the technology. In fact, according to The Committee for Economic Development, AI is still in the early stages of implementation in many Australian companies and industries, with only 34% of firms using it across their operations in 2022.

With customers now expecting support to be at their fingertips, businesses can no longer rely on manual services. Instead, they must look for ways to optimise their customer experience offering by providing always-on, precise and reliable information. Leveraging AI tools, such as chatbots, can help businesses meet growing customer expectations.

The evolution of chatbots

When businesses think about automating their customer experience, the first thought that comes to mind is often how to respond better and faster to customer queries. This is where chatbots come into play. Acting as an intermediary between businesses and customers, chatbots serve to provide immediate resolution to any query. While chatbots previously had limited functions, the evolution of chatbots over the years has allowed businesses to depend heavily on conversational AI chatbots to provide exemplary support to customers.

When chatbots first emerged, they were keyword-based with predefined conversational flows. This meant chatbots were limited to answering frequently asked questions (FAQs) or basic questions. If a question did not include any predicted keywords, the chatbot would not be able to provide a satisfactory response. This often resulted in chatbots receiving a low resolution rate.

However, in recent years, conversational AI chatbots have significantly advanced to better understand and react to queries. Using natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), machine learning (ML) and speech recognition, conversational AI chatbots are able to offer a personalised experience that mimics human-like engagement. Contrary to traditional chatbots, they do not follow predefined rules, but leverage AI to understand the intention behind questions asked.

The role of AI chatbots in improving customer experience

By using deep learning, conversational AI chatbots are able to improve and learn from every conversation, effectively processing and analysing information to offer relevant recommendations, solutions and suggestions.

With the capability to understand complex questions, conversational AI chatbots deliver a consistently high resolution rate by offering round-the-clock assistance with instant responses, even during surge times. These chatbots can also be integrated with multiple channels, including websites and social media platforms, so customers can receive support on their preferred platforms. In the event the chatbot is unable to provide a conclusive answer, chats are immediately routed to an available agent to resolve the query.

Maximising employee performance through AI

According to the Freshservice Service Management Benchmark Report 2022, chatbots have played a significant role in deflecting nearly 60% of IT tickets. This not only helps businesses increase ticket resolutions but frees up employee time for more complex issues.

Conversational AI chatbots can be of great assistance to support agents and are a great addition to support teams. Research by Aberdeen Strategy & Research found organisations that rely on AI capabilities have successfully achieved increased customer satisfaction rates 3.5 times and generated lower costs while maximising agent performance. A single chatbot can resolve thousands of customer queries at a single time, meaning employees can prioritise important tasks and be confident that simple queries are being attended to.

The way forward

With more businesses operating online, being able to differentiate from competitors is harder than ever before. An exceptional customer experience can significantly help businesses create meaningful relationships with customers and build consumer trust and loyalty. Tools like conversational AI chatbots go a long way in building long-lasting and impactful impressions. Providing easily accessible and reliable customer service tools can help to elevate the customer experience and bridge the gap between customers and businesses.

Image credit: iStock.com/ipopba

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