Machine learning for customer service and the benefits of digital assistants
How can machine learning can help customer services?
Right now, customer service and customer support is one of the most exciting areas for technological progress when it comers to customer satisfaction.
Artificial intelligence (AI) – once thought of as the preserve of sci-fi films – is transforming the way organisations interact with customers, improving efficiency for businesses and reducing frustrations for service users.
At Connect Assist, we use Oracle software to design digital assistants. So how does AI or machine learning power these virtual agents, and how can they improve the customer experience you offer?
How is machine learning used for customer service?
Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to learn from the data it processes. In the field of customer service, it can be used in several ways by virtual assistants.
One is to analyse the search terms that customers use when self-serving on your website. This enables you to adjust the information available so it is easier to find, and so it answers customers’ questions.
Another usage is to analyse data from customer service interactions, make real-time insights, and predict future results to improve a customer journey.
What is an AI digital assistant? And, how do digital assistants work?
The most visible deployment of machine learning is to power digital assistants. Digital assistants are artificial personal advisors that can be used on technical devices such as smartphones or PCs. They serve as an aid in everyday life by providing the user with information on request.
If you’ve had a poor experience of using a chatbot in the past, don’t let that put you off. Technology is advancing so quickly that the Oracle digital assistants of today bear scarcely any more resemblance to yesterday’s chatbot than humans do to Neanderthals!
Whereas chatbots can only handle basic interactions in simple language, Oracle digital assistants can connect to your back-end systems and knowledge bases to deal with more complex queries and provide accurate answers.
Plus, organisations are learning how to implement the technology better. Digital assistants use machine learning not only to answer queries, but also to determine when they should pass on a complex issue to a skilled and experienced customer service agents for further customer support.
The rise of digital
Unconvinced? You’re in danger of being left behind. The last few years have seen an explosion in the number of virtual customer assistants in operation.
It was predicted that by the end of 2020, some 25% of customer service operations would be using virtual assistants, up from less than 2% in 2017.
And the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the switch, as more organisations had to boost their digital capacity to cope with the rise in remote working coupled with an increased demand for customer service.
But it’s not just in AI powered customer service where digital assistants are making waves. Telemedicine is just one area where you might encounter a highly specialised AI-powered assistant.
It’s all part of the digital transformation of our working world. By 2022, it’s predicted that 70% of customer interactions will involve technologies such as machine learning, chatbots and mobile messaging – up from 15% in 2018.
Voice and text powered
One great advance is that increasingly, digital assistants can understand humans’ preferred method of communication: their speech. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are notable examples.
Advanced natural language processing and understanding – also forms of AI – enable digital assistants to pick up speech patterns and idioms, and hold a human-like, personalised conversation.
What about humans?
So digital assistants can improve efficiency for organisations by enabling customers to find the answers they need quickly improving customer satisfaction. The return on your investment in this technology is likely to be impressive.
But what does this mean for your staff?
Digital assistants should free them up to do the work in which they most take pride: using their training, expertise and empathy to support customers with complex or sensitive issues.
How about customers? As technology advances, more and more people are being won over by the great customer experience that digital assistants can offer.
And according to Oracle: “It’s likely that eventually many people will have a digital assistant they can interact with at home, work, or wherever they go, making us more efficient and giving us time back in our days.”
Connect Assist and Oracle digital assistants
At Connect Assist, we believe firmly in the power of technology with a human touch.
Our live chat services have designed Oracle digital assistants for a number of clients, integrating them into the omni-channel contact centre services we offer.
That spells efficiency and cost-effectiveness for your organisation, and a great customer experience for your clients.
Contact us today to find out how outsourcing your contact centre to us can improve the customer service you provide.