McKay Borbon | Content Marketing Manager
Artificial intelligence may seem futuristic, but it is already impacting major industries. Customer service is at the forefront of the AI movement and is the number one application of AI being deployed today. But this is just the beginning; the use of artificial intelligence in customer service will only continue to rise. By 2025, 95% of customer service interactions will be supported by AI.
So, why are many companies using AI for customer service? Thankful pulled the data and spoke with CX experts from leading e-commerce brands to bring you answers.
These are 5 of the main reasons why top brands are using AI to improve customer service:
Business growth is a mark of success, but it doesn’t come without new challenges; one of the biggest being customer service. As a customer base expands, so does the volume of support tickets and demand for high-quality service. If a brand is unable to scale while continuing to meet consumers’ expectations for exceptional service, customers will start to churn which will ultimately put the business at risk.
To combat growing pains, top brands are leveraging conversational AI for customer service. Capable of handling high volumes of tickets with ease, AI increases brands’ ability to support more inbound customer requests without sacrificing the quality of service.
The wildly popular accessories brand, Pura Vida, was no stranger to immense growth and highly engaged customers. But when a very successful campaign coincided with their Friends & Family sale, the burden of their ticket queue increased dramatically. With ticket volumes up 147% and a commensurate increase in wait times, Pura Vida needed a solution to effectively scale.
In less than four weeks - faster than they could hire and train more staff or onboard their existing BPO - Thankful deployed Thankful’s AI Agent for email support. To further alleviate pressure on human agents, Pura Vida also deployed the AI Agent for chat support. This helped Pura Vida reduce wait times by 55% amidst rapid growth!
Whether a brand is experiencing hypergrowth, seasonal spikes, unprecedented influxes, or day-to-day fluctuations, they can count on AI to scale alongside them.
It’s no secret that consumers’ need for speed is greater than ever before. With 89% of customers deeming speed of response and resolution as the most important aspects of service experiences, it’s essential for brands to provide quick support.
Pura Vida is among many brands that have successfully reduced customer wait times through implementing AI. Not only does AI provide responses and resolutions in a matter of minutes, but it also reduces agents’ workload - further decreasing wait times!
Renowned apparel brand, Bombas, needed a solution that resolved high volumes of transactional tickets and reduced customer wait times. With Thankful’s AI Agent onboard, Bombas has seen TTFR decrease by 81% and overall time to resolution decrease by 35%.
By taking on high volumes of repetitive ticket types, AI reduces pressure and repetitive strain on human support staff. It allows them to dedicate more time towards connecting with customers and resolving more particular and satisfying queries. When agents can focus more on what they do best, it not only reduces the risk of burnout but also elevates the quality of service experiences. It’s a win for everyone!
Let’s face it: chatbots for customer service aren’t cutting it. They deflect customers rather than resolve their problems, cannot deeply personalize communication, do not provide support via email (the most popular channel!), and often leave customers feeling frustrated rather than cared for. And don’t forget; even the best chatbots for customer service are incapable of empathy and lack the ability to connect with customers.
To meet customer expectations, brands need to be delivering efficient customer-centric support every time. A high level of service needs to be sustained as companies grow, change policies, and evolve their strategies - so their tech needs to be enabling rather than limiting. That’s why many leading companies are leaving the bot life behind and are seeking out artificial intelligence tools for enhancing customer experiences.
Unlike a chatbot, well-trained AI can actually perform tasks, tailor communication to customers’ individual needs, and fully resolve queries. Thankful’s AI Agent even provides empathetic and human-like service experiences, so customers feel valued and taken care of. With the right partner, brands can align AI with their policies, processes, and brand voice - elevating the entire service experience.
Yeah, you read that right! Now, you may be wondering how using AI for customer experience can boost revenue and not break the bank.
Let’s break it down.👇
The sheer number of tickets AI is capable of quickly, accurately, and consistently resolving helps support teams meet ever-increasing goals with smaller budgets.
Year after year, brands spend a lot of time and money searching for, hiring, onboarding, and training seasonal staff - only to let them go when the holiday rush is over. It’s a huge investment. But with AI’s autoscaling capabilities, seasonal hiring efforts can be minimized.
It saves time and money while also helping brands maintain both the quality of service and their support team culture. This is why Blenders, one of America’s fastest-growing sunglasses brands, sought out a true AI solution. With Thankful’s AI Agent onboard, Blenders’ was able to reduce their 2021 seasonal hiring projections by up to 68%. This enables them to sustain the team culture they have cultivated while continuing to provide high-touch service during peak seasons.
Turnover is costly, especially for the customer service industry which has a churn rate that is more than twice the national average. Implementing AI alleviates the pressure and repetitive strain placed on agents, reducing burnout and ultimately turnover and the expenses that come along with it.
Exceptional service sells. Brands that get it, get it. Brands that don’t, don’t. By 2025 40% of customer service organizations will become profit centers, so it will pay off to be a brand that gets it.
It’s a given; nobody wants a negative service experience. In fact, 67% of customers will actually pay more to ensure they receive great service. And if they have a positive experience rather than a negative one, they will be likely to spend 140% more.
Customer-centric brands are seeing firsthand how delivering good service positively impacts their bottom line. More and more companies are starting to follow suit - prioritizing their support strategies and investing in technology that will elevate CX.
There are a lot of benefits of AI in customer service and each service organization has its own reasons for seeking out a solution. That’s why it is important to work with a partner that can guide you on how to best optimize AI for your brand.
While deploying AI for customer service might not be part of every companies’ game plan, it is important to keep in mind that 82% of CX professionals say it is increasingly necessary for business success. Seeing as the vast majority of CS interactions will be supported by AI within the next few years, there’s no doubt many brands will be joining the machine-learning revolution. To get ahead of the competition start familiarizing yourself with AI and discover what it can do for your brand.
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