Customer Experience, the AI truth is out there (and it’s closer than you think)

It’s been 50 years since mankind stepped onto the moon and changed history forever. Although many of us will not have been around to experience the momentous Apollo 11 mission unfolding in 1969, even today, this event sparks many emotions, whether that of disbelief or a united sense of achievement. Nearly 600 million people watched and waited with bated breath, hoping for success and the safe return of the Apollo 11 crew.

Although Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon, this epic accomplishment would not be possible without some unsung heroes, a team of more than 400,000 men and women here on Earth, each working relentlessly towards achieving this goal, the perfect coalition of human intelligence and technology.
Just like the Moon landing, the rapid adoption of mobile technology and the growth of the internet has created a new world of possibilities seeing customer expectations rocketing to new heights, rapidly diverse to what expectations would have been over 50 years ago.

Space exploration might appeal to those who are fascinated by adventure, hope and the possibilities it holds, however the same can’t be said about AI with many businesses still questioning the implications of implementing AI-driven technologies.

However, like the space race, businesses must prepare for the ever changing CX landscape or face their customers gravitating towards the competition.

Digital support channels are the unsung heroes of CX. Modest AI-powered solutions are making it possible for companies to move predictable, routine queries to automated systems and leverage cutting-edge analytics to make contextual interactions easier, better and more efficient, freeing up human agents to work on high-level, complex interactions on a variety of channels and in several ways – all while taking advantage of the context and analysis AI provides.

Unlike the unknown universe, AI-driven customer support technologies empower businesses, deliver cost savings, increase efficiency and improve customer experience. In fact, AI-powered automation technologies, can help streamline customer service while delivering a more relevant experience, effectively eliminate silos and help deliver a customer-centric business strategy.

One small step towards AI, one giant leap for Customer Experience

Although human language is extremely complex, full of contextual rules and nuances that we take for granted, the advances in Natural Language Processing today means the complex processing of the NLP system’s back-end is effortlessly encased within a user-friendly interface without requiring users to have technical expertise.

NLU is a supreme AI engine particularly when it’s integrated into services such as conversational Virtual Agents (chatbots), dynamic FAQ self-service, Intelligent Web Form and agent assistance in the contact centre through channels such as Live Chat.

NLU is fast, accurate and can have user effort feel seamless, however for businesses, this AI science can be key to deflecting calls, reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. Consequently, market movements are already showing strong signs of businesses within a variety of sectors moving towards this type of AI technology to remain applicable and competitive.

How NLU makes sense in the contact centre

NLU can offer a lot more to the modern-day contact centre. As a toe in water into the world of artificial intelligence, when integrated with unstructured data – such as handwritten documents or notes by contact centre agents, text messages, photos and videos – AI-driven NLU can add considerable gains in workplace efficiency.

A contact centre knowledge-base integrated with AI-driven NLU can automate the processes of searching, modifying, and rating knowledge-articles, which not only saves time not having to manually find information, but significantly increase contact centre productivity.

It enables new or temporary agents to serve customers almost instantly with reduced training times and access to instant, correct and consistent information over the phone, during a live chat or through email. NLU algorithms can often contextualise information to find mentions of subjects even when the relevant keywords are absent.

In 2015, Gartner predicted that by 2018, 30 percent of our interactions with technology would be through ‘conversations’ with smart machines. The truth is they were not far off. Advances in text analysis and natural language processing has grown the list of queries that can be answered, and tasks resolved without human interaction. And since 2016, the popularity of using NLU in the form of chatbots to drive sales, qualify leads or to provide customer support, have had analysts forecast that conversational commerce will automate up to 85% of customer interactions.

Back to Earth

Although we’ve travelled and landed on the moon, it’s clear that we are still fascinated by it. It has come to light that Elon Musk approves of a plan spearheaded by Newt Gingrich to offer a $2 billion reward to the first private company to land and settle on the moon. And Newt Gingrich’s plan specifically mentions not only Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, but Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin as well.

But you don’t have to be an astronaut to broaden your skylines, and to hope and wonder. Although there appears to be an AI-uncertainty among business leaders small steps need to be taken towards implementing AI to not get left behind.

NLU’s adaptability and usability make it an ideal first AI step for businesses of all kinds, generating quick win efficiencies in the short run, and more importantly preparing them for more complex AI solutions in the future.