Top benefits of conversational AI for customer service
Conversational AI can help your business save time and cut operational costs. Keep reading to learn how.
By Kelsie Anderson
Voice- and text-based conversational AI has revolutionized the way humans interact with machines. This technology, which combines natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), enables machines to understand and respond to spoken or written input in a way that mimics the patterns of natural human conversation.
As robots have started catching up to humans in their conversational capacity, more and more organizations are leveraging conversational AI for customer interactions. The increasing pervasiveness of conversational AI is clear in the numbers:
- Around 80% of people have interacted with a chatbot—an application that leverages conversational AI to replace or supplement human interactions, most notably in customer service, support, and engagement.
- Over 60% of people would rather chat with a bot—as long as the bot could answer their question more quickly than a person.
With the market for conversational AI expected to grow to $18.4 billion by 2026 (from $6.8 billion in 2021), we can expect to see businesses continue to leverage this developing technology in creative ways.
For organizations looking to get in on this growing market, one of the most common use cases for conversational AI is for customer service. Keep reading to learn how to use conversational AI for customer service and how it can benefit your organization.
Benefits of using conversational AI for customer service
Like many machines, the benefits of conversational AI largely lie in its ability to work more quickly and efficiently than most people on their own. By using conversational AI in their customer service operations, organizations can expect to save time and money when interacting with customers.
Below, we’ll dive into several of the top benefits of using conversational AI for customer service.
Wherever they’re being used, one thing is typically true of robots: they can work more quickly—and more tirelessly—than their human counterparts. Especially when it comes to answering simple FAQs or retrieving basic information, conversational AI can respond far more swiftly than a person.
For a simple query, a person can respond within 15 seconds while a tool using conversational AI can respond instantly.
Of course, 15 seconds seems insignificant. However, if you’re an agent tasked with responding to customer questions over an eight-hour shift, you can answer nearly 2,000 queries (assuming no lag time between questions). But under the same parameters, a bot could hypothetically answer nearly 30,000 questions.
And bots don’t require lunch breaks—another reason why businesses are turning to conversational AI tools for customer service. A conversational AI-powered bot can work 24/7/365. It doesn’t need sleep, and it doesn’t get vacation time. Customers can interact with bots after business hours for answers to simple questions, and bots can route more complicated queries to the appropriate human agent’s inbox before the start of business.
Even during the workday, tools using conversational AI can automatically process customer requests and send them on to the appropriate department quickly.
Quick response times, no breaks and automation means customers get answers more quickly, and customer service teams can spend less time on manual, repetitive tasks.
Deeper insights into customers
Bots can also collect large amounts of customer data and dive deeply into it to provide insights on customer behavior.
Within minutes—or even seconds—of “speaking” with a customer, a tool powered by conversational AI can answer simple questions, route the customer to an agent who can answer a more complex query and dive into an organization’s CRM to analyze past interactions with a customer. By analyzing data from those past conversations, a conversational AI-powered tool can even pass along suggestions for how an agent should handle this customer’s query.
With more knowledge about what customers want and need at their fingertips, agents—and robots—can provide customers with timely, personalized experiences.
More cost-effective staffing and training
By using conversational AI to process simple requests and provide answers to FAQs, bots can free agents up to focus on more complex customer issues. That means that customer service teams can rely on fewer agents to handle more requests and focus on hiring and training multi-talented agents who can resolve more nuanced customer issues.
Customer service teams can even use conversational AI to help with training and issue resolution. For example, a conversational AI tool can “listen in” on customer calls. As the AI processes the conversation, it can provide: Information about customers that might otherwise be buried deep in a CRM. Resources, such as videos or guides, that can help answer questions. Suggested responses to help an agent process an issue more quickly.
With conversational AI acting as a personal assistant in the background, customer service teams can process more requests with fewer—but more skilled—agents.
Increased customer satisfaction
More efficient customer queues managed by better trained agents should mean you can cut down on the most dreaded customer service outcome: being put on hold. The numbers are clear: customers don’t like being put on hold, even for relatively short periods of time. Nearly 60% of people will refuse to be put on hold for longer than a minute, and almost a third of people won’t wait at all.
In an era where immediate answers and instant gratification have become the norm, organizations can capitalize on conversational AI to help them save time answering customer queries. Fewer customers waiting for assistance means happier customers overall.
And surprisingly, the robotic help of conversational AI tools can also help make customer interactions feel more personal. According to a Salesforce survey, nearly three quarters of customers “expect companies to understand their unique needs,” and over 60% of people think companies should predict their needs.
With its ability to run in-depth data analyses and forecast and predict needs, conversational AI can help businesses create more targeted, relevant customer experiences. This level of personalization can help customers feel like businesses and brands are catering directly to their needs.
Use cases for conversational AI in customer service
The potential of conversational AI is immense, and its use cases are growing every day. We’ll take a look at how businesses can use conversational AI to improve customer service.
Set up automated routing
One of the more basic uses of conversational AI is for automated routing. By interacting with customers, conversational AI can use NLP and ML to send tickets and requests to the correct department. AI-powered tools can sort more tickets more quickly than an agent could manually, helping customer service teams save time.
Off the top of your head, you can probably think of questions your customer service reps answer over and over again every day. You’ve likely already added an FAQ section to your site, but some customers might have difficulty with visual processing, find your site difficult to navigate or just prefer some guided help.
Instead of signing your reps up to provide the same answer thousands of times every week, you can use voice- or text-based conversational AI to rattle off those repetitive answers. Rerouting FAQs to bots gives your agents the time and energy to handle customers’ more complex issues.
Generate suggested responses for agents
Real-time listening means that conversational AI can run not just during a chatbot session but during a live customer interaction. With the help of AI running in the background, reps save time hunting down answers to every question.
Process bookings, reservations and appointments
If you’re running a restaurant or hotel, every booking or reservation will likely require the same information. Similarly, a visit to the doctor or a salon generally prompts the same questions from a receptionist—virtual or human. Conversational AI—through voice or text—can guide customers through a necessary process that would be a very repetitive activity for agents.
Connecting with customers requires the right (digital) connection
Not every business has decided conversational AI is the right tool for them—yet. However, we expect to see more organizations take the leap as AI technology advances. Consider some of the following statistics:
- In 2023, chatbots will save businesses a predicted 2.5 billion hours.
- Chatbots can help businesses lower customer support costs by up to 30%.
- Over 85% of customers report having either a neutral or positive experience with a bot.
But leveraging conversational AI successfully isn’t as simple as purchasing a SaaS solution or hiring a dedicated programmer. If you want to connect with customers quickly over various channels, you need a reliable network that will deliver your messages. Especially if you’re looking to use voice-based conversational AI, you need to make sure your customer calls travel over a low-latency network so your bots don’t sound buggy and, well, robot-y.
In short, you could pay for the most cutting-edge conversational AI tool on the market. But if it’s not supported by a solid, reliable connection, your customers will know you’re using robots to avoid talking to them—and glitchy ones, at that.
- Conduct calls on a low-latency network with minimal lag time between customers, reps and conversational AI tools.
- Feed high-quality, high-fidelity audio to your AI tools so it can process speech in real time with fewer errors.
- Access the telephony and APIs you need to access media and control calls in real time.
And our AI and Voice Analytics tools can help you craft conversations that will delight your customers.
Learn how you can leverage Telnyx technology to communicate reliably with customers by contacting our team of experts.