Although once perceived as pure science fiction, artificial intelligence has transcended the boundaries of academic curiosity and Hollywood’s imagination into something that now has measurable influence on our daily lives. These technologies have been developed and commoditised for the average consumer (think Siri), and have also been leveraged for a multitude of business purposes. For instance, cognitive systems have been transforming the way companies engage with customers, not by rendering the human obsolete, but by interfacing with service reps to provide guidance and answers during customer interactions.
However, in industries where human perceptual and cognitive skills are required to complete detailed tasks, should intelligent technology be viewed simply as a fad or as a lasting business solution? Cognitive systems and customer experience According to a recent Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, customers are increasingly frustrated with the level of service they receive from companies. The survey found that 91% of customers have to contact a company multiple times for the same reason, 90% are being put on hold for too long, and 89% are forced to repeat their issue to multiple agents or representatives.
However, cognitive systems, when applied to customer service, are precisely optimised around these issues and are proved to help alleviate customer pain points without entirely removing the human element from the equation. With that frame, below are three reasons why cognitive systems have revolutionised the customer service industry and why these technologies are here to stay:
1. Enabling immediate responses -Today’s cognitive learning systems are so fast, the only thing that gives away the fact customers are talking to a computer is just that – it responds immediately. Through implementing intelligent systems, companies have been able to better handle and solve customer service inquiries while reducing the programme’s overall operating costs. More importantly, if the human touch is needed, no problem. The systems can easily hand over the customer – with all context and attached information – to a targeted, skilled agent.
2. The power of pinpoint accuracy - Cognitive systems can read keywords and understand information, and also interpret context, sentiment, as well as even understand humour. Moreover, they can process extra large volumes of information, including knowledge bases and trained responses, to find the most relevant response. Although these technologies can mimic human responses and mirror human abilities, they also enable agents to give the customer precisely what they need, when they need it, without removing the human touch.
3. Instant omnichannel-readiness - A cognitive system can help companies engage customers across all channels, including phone, tablet, website, SMS, email and more. This omni-channel approach allows service reps to communicate with customers through their channel of choice, while seamlessly connecting agents with customer information at each touch point, effectively lowering customer effort while elevating quality of service.
Yes, it’s here to stay! In reality, any customer experience channel can leverage intelligent systems to assuage a variety of customer pain points or to further enhance specific business agendas. Yet, while artificial intelligence does not spell the end of human interaction, at least within the realm of customer service, there is still a great deal more for us to explore as we continue the interface between humans and machines.
The evolution of the digital world has given more power to the customer – but also more touchpoints for organisations to reach out directly to them.
This blog will offer informative insight into just how organisations can take that extra step from offering good customer service to providing a great customer experience. Topics will include how to exploit the cloud to quickly add new customer touchpoints, easy tips on improving your contact centre operations and which channels are key for which services.
Regular contributions will be from key Genesys customer experience professionals. Genesys is the global multichannel customer experience and contact centre solution leader. Our solutions help companies engage effortlessly with their customers across all touchpoints, channels and interactions to deliver differentiated customer journeys, while maximising revenue and loyalty.