The Future of Customer Service

The rise of the Internet has brought many changes to how companies operate. Because companies can offer their services online worldwide, the size of the pie that they can get has increased dramatically. However, each market has turned to be more of a winner-takes-all market, where the leader can take the whole pie because it can sell anywhere with virtually no additional cost. This translates to having more competition and being at more risk of becoming a commodity.

In order to subsist, or ideally win the market, companies need to be great at everything they do. And one of the parts where they need to be great at is customer service. In a world where users are, if anything, more demanding and more lazy, companies know that they need to provide excellent customer service, otherwise customers will leave to another competitor.

Now, with increasing numbers of customer queries there is a challenge to scale customer support teams responsibly while reducing response times and keeping the costs reasonable.

One of the biggest, more frustrating, problems that we have seen customer support teams have is one of having to reply to repetitive, generic queries that they have already replied to many times in the past. Very often, these queries could be found with a simple look up on their FAQ or Help Center, but most customers don’t bother doing that. And what is worse, these queries usually account for 50%, sometimes even more, of the total amount of queries they receive.

At Assist, we have set ourselves with the goal of helping agents not having to write the same answer twice. There is a lot of content produced in every single answer that is never reused, and we think this is a shame. Imagine if there was a system 10x better than macros, that brought up the most suitable answers based on the context of the query. Not only for the top 50 queries, but to every single question that’s already been answered in the past. Wouldn’t that be powerful? Then, agents would be able to focus more on solving unseen and more interesting issues and customers would be more satisfied because their needs would be addressed in less time.

The way we see the future of Customer Service is that AI will help agents be more productive and focus on what matters most. Customers won’t need to read through manuals, help centers and long FAQs as AI systems will be able to answer simple, Tier 1 like questions. This will also let agents focus on solving more interesting problems, especially the ones that require further actions and investigation. At the end, that’s the fun part of doing customer service, isn’t it?

All in all, Customer service has become more important than ever. Want to help your team get some of their time back? Drop us a line at hello@assist.ai, we’d love to help out.

I originally published this in our blog. Reposting here because I still think this is very true, and relevant today.

 
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