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AI in customer support – A new necessity

October 14, 2020 -  Ashwini Balakrishna Specialist - Product Support

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Digital transformation programs were taken as a priority by many enterprises even prior to covid-19 pandamic. These enterprises proved to be more resilient than others and were able to handle their business setbacks better when triggered by global lockdowns. Some enterprises had to learn and adapt hard way and find a quick way for remote delivery to sustain their business.

One of the major focus during the pandemic was to ensure that the customers were served as before even during the lockdown days and humans were expected to work virtually. Enterprises had to focus on finding ways to connect with their customers, continue to support the customers for their product support and services. Enterprises currently must fast track their digital transformation initiatives to ensure the customer deliverables are not impacted due to remote working models to survive in their industries. While the enterprises are still operating in a flux environment during the covid-19 pandamic times, learning and adapting to the new norms, they are also keen on finding new ways to contain any revenue loss due to inability to deliver their support and services, internal productivity losses due to challenges of remote working by employees, they are also taking steps to find and use cognitive AI solutions which can help customers find answers to their issues faster.

It’s a good time to AI-enable customer support activities – which guarantees first response and first resolution via self-help knowledge bases handled by AI solutions – based on low code deep learning techniques with the use of relevant business and technical domain ontology. These AI solutions continuously learn, adopting new techniques and approaches for better cognitive search for issue resolution with high confidence level accuracies. Front end responsibilities of simple, repeated tasks or service requests can be more efficiently handled by cognitive AI bot – in chat-bot versions, or cognitive search avatars in 24/7/365 mode without any delays as the AI use cases can be implemented, compliant to internal customer/user support process by an AI bot also.

With the adoption of cloud technologies, the enterprise SaaS solutions need quicker seamless upgrades, continual customer support for their SaaS platform customers. Having AI as part of these SaaS solution has become a necessity as opposed to good-to-have feature before. By following the similar e-commerce based enterprises servicing consumers, the b2b enterprises are also opting to purchase SaaS based – subscription licenses which are enabling faster business growth and staying ahead of competition. While the risks of these new models are being addressed, pandemic has made enterprises to take a big step forward to embed cloud and SaaS technologies which offer better value for investment.

There are many use cases to use AI in customer support of any enterprise. These use cases have to be implemented based on the analysis of the kind of issues or service requests that are handled by customer service desk function. Once the possible use cases best fit to be handled by AI bot are identified, prioritize them and implement them in phased manner for sustained success with constant monitoring and validation of the responses from AI Bots preferably with model Ops to operationalize AI.

Some suggested use cases for leveraging AI in customer support are:

Direct AI solution interface with User/Customer:

AI solutions to enable Customer Support Agents:

As AI solutions are continuously evolving, they tend to have more frequent agile releases, hotfixes/patches. There needs to be a structured way to take these new products releases to the customers quickly via pushing release bundles to external repositories. Enterprises consuming these products also have to be at same wavelength to receive the latest features with agile deployment processes to deploy from external repository registries – in bettering their AI capability to stay ahead in their business.

Some of the Critical success factors (CSFs) for enterprises to enjoy the fruits of their AI enablement of customer support systems journey are:

Customer loyalty is a significant driver of business growth, an enterprise risks losing out to competitors due to lack of timely service extended hand-holding services for customers to achieve the committed value outcome for the customers. We believe AI solutions are not just a good-to-have products any more, but has become a necessity for any enterprise to stay relevant and be able to take decisions quickly. Hence augmenting traditional data systems with AI solution has become a necessary commodity – to adopt and adapt in times of crisis and grow their businesses in the digital economy for better growth and prospects.

Deliver support services smartly and quickly – to be a trusted value partner to your customers!

 Ashwini Balakrishna

Specialist - Product Support

Ashwini is a Technology Startup Enthusiast and Business Process Specialist, has passion for business strategy and execution with excellence.

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