Companies have delved into building bots and other virtual agents that can help support their customers. But at Transform 2019 today, Ryan Lester, senior director of customer experience technologies at LogMeIn, declared that companies must not think about AI from a bot perspective, but from multiple perspectives. The current environment is ripe for better customer service.
“It’s a unique opportunity to not think about AI as a pointed solution, not just chatbot, not just a search tool, not just a better way to understand the customer journey, but rather use it throughout the customer journey,” he said.
Case in point: How thinking first about the context determines the kind of (AI) support a customer needs.
Because when it comes to AI, it’s helpful to think of the virtual agents for customer support in two different use cases, according to Jonathan Rosenberg, CTO and head of AI at Five9. The first is a business segmentation, which is figuring out why the customer called, he said. The second is to provide a self-service.
And some of these requests are low hanging-fruit where a bot can be easily deployed. For example, a customer being unable to login into a website is one of the leading use cases at Hulu, said Matt Kravitz, a director at Hulu. Those encompass many conversations he’s had with customers, and a virtual agent could walk a customer through a procedure to login again.
A context that requires a human touch, on the other hand, might be more serious to your core business — like when a customer is about to cancel a subscription. Perhaps a virtual assistant might determine why the customer is calling, but it’s an actual customer service agent who will help that person.
“So you’re still using the system to segment, but you’re using a human being,” Kravitz explained.
Educational resources company Chegg, meanwhile, which offers services like tutorials and textbooks online, might also deploy an AI-powered business segmentation to make its services most relevant for students. But it must first determine what the user needs, and whether it’s immediate offerings suffice.
“Based on what the intent was, maybe we want to send them and have them call in, to get more complex service. Or maybe we want to send them to an article online. Or maybe we want to have them chat with someone,” Lester of LogMeIn explained. Traditional keyword searches might not work in a Chegg scenario because keywords are often contextual and not personalized to the student’s actual experience.
The advantage of using an AI-powered solution is that Chegg can route the user to the appropriate resource. If it’s an inquiry about what’s in a textbook, for example, maybe it would be best to talk to a bot. But if it’s signing up for a new service — where there may be questions about that service — it might be best to connect that student over the phone.
“But by having this all be powered by AI, we can be more selective in the results we’re given, the context sales results, and how we want to service that customer,” Lester said.