The rise of artificial intelligence has recently morphed into a competition for supremacy when it comes to applying AI within the enterprise. With the hype surrounding generative AI, more organizations are looking for avenues to apply this powerful tool to their operations to achieve more streamlined workflows and increased revenues.
One area poised to experience the impact of this AI boom is customer service. Many brands are leveraging AI in the form of chatbots, which simulate human interactions without requiring actual human intervention and are designed to help companies expedite customer service tasks. But companies must proceed with caution and balance automation that streamlines customer interaction with over-automation that cuts costs but worsens the customer experience.
Afiniti, a leading CX AI provider, knows that chatbots can be great for helping customers handle simple tasks like updating their address on an account or asking for basic information, but when customers face a more complex issue or are simply frustrated, they’ll almost always want to speak with a live agent. There’s data to back this up: a Salesforce survey revealed that 81% of agents say the phone is a preferred channel for complex issues.
But with generative AI investment soaring and AI deployment increasing, companies are facing a dilemma – will the investment in these supercharged chatbots effectively eliminate the need to speak to agents? Time will tell, but most likely not. There is still a gap in customer needs and chatbot capabilities. If a problem is complex or an issue needs solving, customers want to speak to a human.
Therefore, brands aim to create seamless experiences in which AI improves customer interactions.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently shared that his hope is “that we successively develop more and more powerful systems that we can all use in different ways that integrate it into our daily lives, into the economy, and become an amplifier of human will.” This can be directly seen through the use of AI and chatbots in customer service, where AI supports the customer experience without necessarily replacing human interactions.
In addition to deploying chatbots, AI and machine learning technologies can be used to pair inbound callers with agents based on numerous data points in just seconds. This helps to ensure more ideal outcomes for everyone involved, boosting customer satisfaction and helping with agent retention over the long term.
As AI technology becomes more embedded in the enterprise, a careful balance is needed as customer service hastens its shift to AI-augmented interactions. Many leaders, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, have noted the emerging impact of AI.
Nadella has said that AI advances will “reshape every software category we know” and that it must develop “with human preferences and societal norms.” This approach to balance humans with AI, or to produce AI that resembles the human experience, can be found across industries.
Contact centers, like those using Afiniti’s technology, are striving to attain that balance between the human and the artificial. Afiniti uses AI to pair humans, not replace them – reconfiguring the contact center routing process by looking at best fit rather than agent availability. In real-time, Afiniti determines which agent is best suited to help the customer with their particular problem.
Rather than supplanting people, AI can be used to best support people to solve issues or complete tasks. And while generative AI continues to rise in popularity, it is worth noting that 60% of consumers prefer speaking with a real agent – a sign that customers prefer technology that augments the human experience rather than replacing it altogether.