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How machine learning is changing customer service

19th Jul 2017
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Machine learning is making fundamental changes to how businesses and clients interact. Customer service is at the forefront of these changes, with increasingly advanced artificial intelligence giving companies new options for offering customers support, information and assistance.

More than 80 percent of retailers think big data changes their relationship with their customers, according to the National Retail Federation. Companies that aren’t looking to take advantage of developments in artificial intelligence are going to fall by the wayside in the marketplace.

Let machines learn what your employees know

Thanks to machine learning, computers are capable of tagging, bundling, identifying and recalling more complex pieces of information. In addition, companies have a greater capacity than ever to program data into a computer system. The result is a database that is more helpful, answers questions more intuitively and provides the information people are looking for without juggling through specific pre-selected keywords or phrases.

As it turns out, customers deeply prefer finding information on their own, and they want to avoid speaking to someone as much as possible. Furthermore, customers prefer information to be accessible 24/7, rather than just during business hours. Customers can never predict when a problem will occur, and oftentimes offering 24/7 customer support is the upside that draws customers in. With machine learning, companies can adapt their customer service to a self-service support system, which 76 percent of customers prefer.

Machine learning allows a computer to predict what problems a customer will have based on data they input, help identify the problem more accurately and provide more customized, detailed advice on how to solve the problem. This will give customers greater freedom to solve problems themselves without needing a customer service representative, which can allow you to focus your customer representatives on people who want to speak to a real person, and get all your customers the help they need faster.

Help employees complete their jobs faster

Although increasing developments in artificial intelligence allow a company to computerize more and more customer service, machine learning advancements also help customer service representatives access the information they need, as well as complete routine processes much more easily.

Artificial intelligence tools like Gorgias allow customer service representatives, for example, to access all information available about a customer automatically when that customer calls them. That allows the representative to instantly identify information that might help them help the customer, such as what products they own that they might be calling about, their name and other personal information and previous conversations the customer has had with the company.

Machine learning tools will enable a customer service representative to easily find and send relevant information, or automate particular tasks such as follow-up emails. This reduces the amount of labor your employee needs to do and the amount of low-level tasks they have to take care of, making your company more efficient and your customer service more streamlined.

Allow your business to effectively analyze customer data

Companies that are looking to address customer service problems on a large scale need to look at data analysis to make sense of information they’re collecting. Thanks to machine learning developments, computers can analyze and predict customer behavior, allowing you to anticipate and try to prepare for different problems and scenarios.

For example, machine learning might be able to identify when your business is most likely to get customer service complaints after a particular product is released, such as identifying a trend in which customers almost always need service after three months of use. This can allow you to identify that there is a problem, come up with an official response and solution, and prepare the right amount of staff for the amount of representative support your customers need.

Your data might show that a particular demographic struggles with a product or service. You might identify a particular customer who consistently needs extensive product support, so that representatives know to make extra time for that person. Your data can even get more detailed, such as figuring out what questions a particular shopper browsing your website might be having, based on their clicks and browsing history on your site.

Machine learning enables your business to learn details about your customer on a micro level based on macro level data collection. This allows you to provide more thorough support, anticipate needs and questions and identify weaknesses in your customer service.

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