How AI Is Changing Customer Service in the Age of the Internet

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It has been foretold that artificial intelligence will continue to become more sophisticated and take over humans’ jobs in the future. It has started to happen.

While AI has not reached a point where they can be mistaken as people, advancements in technology have been made. It has already started being utilized for various tasks, including customer service.

The inclusion of AI in customer service is revolutionizing retail and improving the connection between brands and consumers. Up to 50 percent of all businesses plan to spend more on and incorporate AI. Chatbot software can help businesses develop their own digital customer service representative to be at the forefront, receiving and sending back communication from the public.

Consumers Expect Quick Response

The digital landscape is fast-paced. In the time of same-day deliveries and videos on-demand, consumers have become accustomed to getting what they need or want in an instant.

It is no surprise, then, that people want an immediate reply from a business. They want their questions and concerns to be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible, or they would take their money somewhere else.

It is no longer acceptable to keep customers waiting for hours on the phone. One survey found that 82 percent of all customers want an immediate response from a business when they have marketing or sales questions. Meanwhile, 90 percent said that they want an immediate response to a customer service question.

Immediate here is relative, but most people do not have the patience to wait a day for a reply. Most cannot even stand by for an hour. In most cases, a customer starts to become restless after the 10-minute mark.

This is where an AI chatbot becomes convenient. A growing business would require more people to handle customer service to respond to the increased number of correspondence. While it will remain necessary to hire more human customer service representatives to respond to the demand, an AI chatbot can reduce the workload.

Not all messages you receive will be complex. Most questions are pretty standard and can be answered with pre-written material.

A chatbot can respond to 80 percent of standard questions fielded by consumers.

Present 24/7

Humans need a day or two away from work. AI does not. This is one way technology is changing e-commerce. It provides round-the-clock service to all your customers. If they ever have a question late at night when your staff is asleep, an AI can still do the job efficiently.

Through AI, even a small business can be online 24/7.

Moreover, consumers welcome the accessibility that AI provides throughout the day. One survey found that 64 percent of all internet users believe that 24-hour service is one of the best features of AI.

With AI, people no longer have to wait long to have a simple question answered. They get what they need instantly, whether it is 5 in the morning or the evening.

AI Chatbots Now Being Used Worldwide

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AI chatbots are increasingly becoming very common. In fact, in total, an estimated 1.4 billion people are corresponding with software, not a human, regularly. In the past year, 67 percent of consumers had used an AI chatbot. The vast majority of it happens in the U.S., but the technology is also widespread in India, Germany, United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Americans, in particular, have embraced technology. They have shopped with chatbots like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home to purchase in the past.

By 2021, it is estimated that non-human staff will handle about 85 percent of interactions between businesses and customers.

Human to Human Interaction Still Needed

However, while a bulk of the correspondence is being relegated to AI chatbots, some people would still prefer to talk to another human being. Machines will not resolve more complex concerns because they lack the ability to provide information outside of what they have been programmed to say.

Nearly half of all consumers in one survey said they want to communicate with a person, not an AI.

The future of customer service will not be automated. While AI will handle many questions and concerns, human agents will still need to apply their expertise and supply what machines still lack: complex and sophisticated thinking and problem-solving skills. Meanwhile, AI will continue to fill in for easy tasks and allow humans to rest or address more important issues.

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