By Mark Smith
If long-term predictions about artificial intelligence bear out, the way we work will soon be upended in ways not seen since the Industrial Revolution—but in the meantime, AI is already helping humans work better and smarter. And in customer service, AI stands to help support teams emphasize that most human of skills, empathy—a trait that no software program can match (well, at least until the singularity).
For many people, AI’s role in customer service brings to mind bots, which indeed play an increasingly effective role in giving customers the human-free interactions they crave for low-complexity issues. But intriguingly, AI can also drive self-service, a channel that customers prefer and support leaders love, since a curated knowledge management base can reduce operational costs by 25 percent.
So why have AI-powered knowledge bases become vital to providing high-quality customer service? Here are a few reasons.
AI enables faster service by surfacing relevant knowledge
When reps are served knowledge proactively by an AI system, they don’t have to go searching for the answers they need—and that means customers spend less time waiting. While a customer won’t know whether an agent is being aided by AI or not, they will know the difference between an immediate answer and “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
Because AI can operationalize a knowledge base and make information from different teams available instantly, reps don’t have to pass customers from department to department when a question is out of their purview. After all, customers don’t care which department they’re speaking to, they just know that they’re speaking to your company and need an answer.
When an agent doesn’t have to put the customer on hold or transfer them to another department to find an answer, it’s an opportunity to grow and nurture the customer relationship. “An agent has to be empowered with all the right data and knowledge to be able to answer a customer’s question as quickly as possible,” says Kate Leggett at research firm Forrester. “Customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing. And that’s a really difficult proposition.”
AI helps keep content accurate and relevant
Beyond serving content to agents so they can quickly resolve customer issues, AI can ensure that a company’s knowledge base actually stays relevant—and studies have shown that companies with an agile approach to updating content have higher self-service ratios and better search results. In this era of complex products and services, curating a help center can be surprisingly difficult, but support teams can lean on AI to make that process run smoothly.
For example, AI can flag content for review at regular intervals, leveraging machine learning to identify articles that need updated titles, new content, and better search labels. Yet perhaps the most powerful feature of an AI-powered knowledge base is its ability to suggest new content based on what customers are asking …read more
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