AI and Customer Experience – What You Need to Know

by | June 15, 2023

Customer interaction is a crucial aspect of nearly any business. Successful customer relations and repeat sales don’t come from just selling a successful product; they also require responsive communication with your customers about their questions and complaints. This is even more true for service businesses, which must be profoundly communications-focused with their clients.

The High Cost of a Good Customer Experience

Hiring people to interact with customers at all levels, however, can be an expensive proposition. The cost of employing people to field live calls, emails, SMS, and social media communications from clients is high and rising. While live customer support options have been streamlined with newer, better, and cheaper technologies, running your own contact center with live chat options makes it pricier to manage phone calls between clients and staff.

On the other hand, many customers prefer to speak with human beings when they have a question for a company they’re buying from—and again, this applies especially to service-oriented businesses. As research has shown, businesses that implement live chat and other human-based contact options often enjoy enhanced customer loyalty, revenue, and sales. So, how can your business balance these conflicting priorities? One of the answers involves contact centers as a service (CCaaS), which are using AI to further improve the quality and cost of their CX.

What Is Contact Center as a Service? 

Contact Center as a Service is part of the larger Customer Experience technology ecosystem. Similar to the many other “as-a-service” products, such as the well-known software as a service (SaaS), CCaaS delivers a robust, multifaceted third-party option for contracted customer support. Instead of installing your own in-house contact center technology and managing it with internal IT staff, a third-party provider can securely host your contact center infrastructure remotely. Your customer experience team will then be able to work from anywhere: in your office, a remote office, or from home.

CCaaS users can often scale up or down their use of cloud software, external data storage, and other remote communications and call center technologies as needed on the fly, depending on the terms of their provider contracts. The provider handles all the back-end technology and costs of maintaining it so you don’t have to. CCaaS providers can serve a wide assortment of organizations with diverse and complex customer contact needs.

How Does AI Support Customer Experience? 

It’s indisputable that customers generally prefer to communicate with real people who can respond to them in real time when they have complaints, questions, or support issues. Fobbing the whole of your customer support chain onto algorithms obviously isn’t an effective solution, especially for complex customer care issues or for service-related inquiries. However, AI can play a major role in streamlining the customer support process by using automation to make it more cost-effective while maintaining high customer NPS and CSAT scores. Here are three ways AI can help you maintain an excellent customer experience and reinforce client loyalty while saving your company time and money:

1. Superior Contact Routing and Filtering

By allowing a highly trained AI system to manage the initial steps of your customer’s inquiries and calls, you can ensure your staff are better able to attend to your customers as efficiently as possible. Select a system that filters the specific nature of customer requests down to their concrete needs and handles support options well.

2. Answering Basic Questions

Many customer issues involve questions about very basic subjects, which can easily be answered without the need for human support. Even during events like the COVID-19 pandemic, when support ticket requests have saturated numerous industries, AI-powered chat systems and phone answering interfaces provide rapid answers to many simple questions for a broad range of customers in many industries. The speed and accuracy of response are key contributors to increased brand affinity and customer retention.

3. Intelligent Analysis

AI systems can do more than directly serve customers. They can also analyze data gleaned from your customer support calls. In this way, AI can provide insights into customer behavior, desires, and other information that can help you improve customer relations protocols.

The Benefits of AI-Powered CCaaS

A CCaaS experience that fully integrates AI provides a number of advantages for your business over an in-house contact center:

Easier, More Affordable Scalability
If your customer service needs to increase, decrease, or change in a fundamental way, you can adapt and scale accordingly with a request to your dedicated team at UPSTACK or your CCaaS provider. If you run an internal contact center system, this could require considerable time and expense.

Superior Agility
By using the highly organized and dedicated services of a CCaaS provider for your call center needs, you gain access to their robust technology. Instead of spending a fortune on specific technologies for customer contact, which may or may not work out in the long run, you can experiment with different contact channels on the fly at very low or no additional cost.

Disaster Resilience
By remotely hosting your contact center operations and staffing them with your own independently hired remote agents, you can largely immunize your business to localized disasters such as floods, power outages, or earthquakes.

An AI enhanced Customer Experience can help your business save time and money while providing superior customer service. UPSTACK has expertise in CX strategy and solutions that will help lower costs and increase revenue, while providing flexibility for evolving work environments. Talk with a technology expert at UPSTACK today.