How AI Automation is Beneficial For Your Customer Service Agents
McKay Borbon | Content Marketing Manager
There is a lot of talk about how AI automation enhances service experiences; shorter wait times, increased personalization, and 24/7 support, to name a few. But customers aren’t the only ones benefiting from automation and artificial intelligence. The adoption of AI automation in CX is also transforming service interactions and the overall work experience for support teams. Here’s how. 👇
5 Ways Your Support Team Benefits From AI Automation:
Dealing with customers day-to-day is a challenge in and of itself, but that pressure further intensifies when service query volumes spike. As the ticket queue increases, so do wait times - which is likely to result in more frustrated customers. The last thing a stressed-out agent needs is the wrath of an angry customer.
While agents have a ticket capacity, AI does not. In fact, AI’s performance will strengthen as it collects more data. AI is able to get to tickets within seconds and easily withstand ticket influxes. It is optimal for time-sensitive customer service queries, especially when queues are high and agents are unable to get to them in time. AI’s autoscaling capabilities ensure customers receive quick and high-quality support while simultaneously reducing the pressure your agents are under.
Reduces Repetitive Strain
Repetition in any workplace leads to boredom which leads to distraction and ultimately unproductivity. Not to mention, it can be agonizing doing the same thing over and over again.
Agents spend nearly 90% of their time repeating answers to the same questions, so it probably comes as no surprise that repetitive strain is rampant among support teams. Here’s where AI automation comes in. While it’s draining for humans to tend to the same task over and over again, AI can handle high volumes of routine issues with consistency and ease. Thankful’s AI Agent, for example, can fully resolve 50+ of the most common ticket types such as “return order” and “exchange item”.
Frees agents to focus on what they do best
Using AI automation for redundant tasks not only alleviates repetitive strain, but it allows agents to put their time towards higher-level customer queries. So rather than spending the bulk of their time handling track order and pause subscription requests, support reps can solve more particular customer queries and provide more meaningful experiences.
Higher-value service interactions are more rewarding and 79% of agents say their skills improve from solving these queries. As a result, they are able to deliver even better service. Everyone wins!
More opportunities for growth
With AI taking on large quantities of repetitive and transactional tickets types, agents will have a greater bandwidth to take on projects beyond their day-to-day responsibility of tending to service queries. It is exciting and empowering to reps that are interested in applying their skills and expertise in other areas. It can open up opportunities for growth and advance career trajectories upwards.
Sustains Team Culture
How an employee feels about their job goes beyond the work itself. Healthy team culture is imperative; in fact, cultural fit is important to 97% of employees.
Building and maintaining a strong team culture requires effort and commitment no matter the industry, but it can be particularly challenging in customer service. Between a turnover rate that’s over twice the national average and the challenges that come with recurrent seasonal hiring, a solid support team culture is hard to establish.
With great leadership and a talented team, Blenders, one of America’s fastest-growing sunglasses brands, was able to cultivate a standout team culture. But it became difficult to uphold the agents’ high standard of team morale while hiring and training seasonal staff for hypergrowth and peak seasons. To minimize seasonal hiring efforts while maintaining both the quality of service and their support team culture, Blenders sought out a true AI solution.
After deploying Thankful’s AI Agent, Blenders’ was able to reduce their 2021 seasonal hiring projections by up to 68% and year-round hiring effort by 51%. This enables them to sustain their strong team culture while continuing to provide high-touch service during peak seasons and hypergrowth.
By leveraging AI automation tools, service organizations have a greater ability to scale. This allows brands to allocate less time and effort to hiring, onboarding, and training new and temporary staff. The focus can be shifted to cultivating a strong team culture and retaining top talent.
AI Automation and The Future of Work
In customer service, there is a common misconception that the impact of AI on jobs is negative and that it will replace human agents. However, this is not the case - nor should it be the goal.
A good AI solution should augment human agents. When they work in tandem, it's a dream team. By removing repetitive and transactional tasks, AI automation frees agents to work on highly complex or consultative tickets as well as help with larger-scale projects. They will be less susceptible to burnout. Instead, they'll have more opportunities to contribute their skills and vast knowledge to the company - adding even more value.
The future of AI automation in customer service is bright for agents; it can change their role and the state of CX for the better.