How artificial intelligence is changing customer service

Service automation grows at the speed of light. Systems powered by automated solutions allow users to choose jewelry, book a restaurant, buy a movie ticket, and even make an appointment. Customer service is gaining momentum, especially due to Artificial Intelligence – a technological breakthrough that has taken almost every business in gigantic proportions.

For IBM Watson sales leader Roberto Celestino, AI can be applied for a variety of purposes. In the financial sector, for example, banks such as Bradesco, Banco do Brasil and Original use Watson to serve their customers, resolve questions and even conduct transactions through their virtual attendants. Via Varejo has created a virtual attendant with Watson so that customers of Casas Bahia and Pontofrio brands have access to their purchase information simply and quickly.

Therefore, its use is close in personal assistants like Apple’s Siri, or in smart persuasive technologies found in cars, phones and appliances. AI-based digital solutions enhance all aspects of the business, including the online customer experience, loyalty, brand reputation, preventive assistance and even revenue streams. By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be through AI-based chatbots.

And the change will bring countless benefits, according to Virtual Interactions CEO Marildo Matta. “Brazilian banks are among the most innovative and technology-savvy banks and have invested in AI solutions,” says Matta. To prove it, he states that 83% of Brazilian financial service consumers revealed in research that “they would rely on fully computer-generated banking recommendations, against a global average of 71%.”

Why have AI in client assistance?

As customer needs evolve, companies determined to deliver quality must integrate specific service methods to provide reliability and flexibility. The IBM executive says that the use of AI in the customer service journey is because consumers are more demanding and want speedy service. For that reason, along with employee turnover and expanding service to other channels, it is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to maintain  excellence in service.

When a call is transferred to an operator for completion, the entire conversation history is sent along, reducing average call time and avoiding the repetition of reported issues. Virtual Assistant learns from interactions, getting smarter every day, providing ever-evolving, customer-friendly service, ”says Virtual Interactions CEO. The process can always be improved, as machines also learn, according to the expert.

For Marildo Matta, the costs of conventional human care are very high and often prohibitive, since they would have to be added to the company’s products and services. “Artificial intelligence-based solutions allow companies to be available at a low cost whenever the consumer wants on the channel that suits them, 24 hours a day.”

The Forrester report on customer service trends shows that we have already entered the era of automating customer support more intelligently and strategically. Now, according to Celestino, companies need to look for solutions to deliver excellent service at a cost that makes sense for their needs. “Using artificial intelligence is one of the possible solutions for bringing service to thousands or millions of people, reducing service queues to zero, providing standardized service, reducing costs and improving the customer service experience,” he argues.

The future of humanized care

The concept that the use of artificial intelligence will evolve and continue in our daily lives is a fact. But will humanized care be part of the future? For the CEO of Virtual Interactions, despite technology advance,  there are many challenges to be overcome. “At this point, the support of specialized human operators who, with the help of CRM systems, can solve consumer demand is crucial.” By considering this strategy, companies will be able to accelerate service response time, improve customer satisfaction, and enable human agents to engage in more valuable interactions.

According to both executives, working together will enable more complex issues to be successfully addressed. “We are witnessing a whole new era where humans and machines will work together. For us, the current era is about ‘man plus machine’ not ‘man versus machine’, ”says the IBM professional.