Why You Shouldn’t Automate Customer Support with AI Just Yet
5 July 2017
A new revolution has started, and it’s disrupting everything it comes across. Industries are being wiped clean, and new opportunities are opening up. If you have heard of Artificial Intelligence, then you have heard how quickly it’s developing, just think back to yelling at SIRI 5 years ago, she would have given you the weather report, to how you can have a full-blown conversation with Siri and other AI’s such as Cortana, today.
Now, while the advances may not be available to everyone just yet, companies around the globe have been vigorously trying to implement Artificial Intelligence to enter the new era. Would AI be right for your business or should you try customer service outsourcing for small business, so you can get that human touch?
The thing is, affordable AI’s are not advanced enough yet. Just call your bank, and you will most likely run into an automated helper, who may not always understand you and can’t always help you thoroughly with your needs. Chatting online with bots is also not the best way to get a decent answer to all your questions. AI doesn’t always understand how a customer feels and can’t act accordingly. Even if you can replicate a human voice, you can’t duplicate a human’s high level of creative thinking just yet. That’s why customers like the human touch, people can feel it, even through an email. Therefore, you should definitely think about hiring an outstanding support team, one that doesn’t copy and paste templates.
Even with the current costs, implementing a good AI will still be quite an expense. It usually starts with a large initial investment of several thousand dollars along with monthly costs. However, there are cheaper options, with basic AI automated customer service, which will use a “knowledge base”, in other words a large template and FAQ on steroids, which can cost only a few hundred dollars. Now, the cheapest option is hooking up one of the widely available robot chatting apps, where you create specific responses for very basic questions.
If you are looking for some of the great benefits, we can start with the fact that AI works around the clock and handles requests quickly and efficiently, making your customer service robot available at any time of the day. This advantage is absolutely unquestionable. Now, even though I stated that using robots to automate your customer service may become quite costly, there are still a few situations where you would be saving money. If you want quick response times, but having sporadic inquiries at random times of the day, an AI agent that uses a knowledge base can help. But, it will be cost-effective only if you are charged on a per ticket basis, rather than an expensive monthly plan. AI can scale up and down fairly quickly, won’t ask for time off, don’t argue and are quite content with the task at hand.
So, should you get an artificial intelligence customer support to help you out or outsource to a Customer Support Agency? In most situations, a mix would fit nicely. You receive the quick response times, filtering out repetitive and basic questions, while also receiving a human touch on cases requiring the high-level thinking power of humans.