Call centres play a fundamental role for firms active in the mobile industry, but they can deliver a less than satisfying experience. In fact, a study by Lithium Technologies suggested that communication firms were the most frustrating to deal with, ahead even of financial services and utility firms.
However, things are changing, with increasing numbers of customer-facing enterprises waking up to the possibilities that artificial intelligence (AI) can offer in terms of revolutionising the customer service experience. Paul Shepherd, Founder and CEO, We Build Bots explores five areas in which AI wins employee of the month.
1. Customer service, at a time that suits the customer
Today’s customers want their queries and issues resolved swiftly and at a time that suits them but that doesn’t always match up with traditional working hours. That’s where smart use of AI comes in. Chatbots can offer a way for businesses to engage and communicate with their customers 24/7/365, without the need for a member of staff to be ‘on hand’ day and night.
The benefits stretch far beyond simply delivering an ‘out of hours’ customer service option too. With AI able to take over the handling of more simple queries, it frees up the rest of your customer service team to spend more time working on more complex matters that require a human touch.
It isn’t about replacing your customer service team, but more a rebalancing of resources to help your existing team to deliver a more satisfying experience.
2. Customer retention
Winning new business is wonderful but all successful companies, no matter the industry, prize keeping hold of their existing customers. And that round-the-clock customer service approach will be a big help in retaining clients.
AI can take things further though; a simple set of questions can allow a chatbot to get a rounded insight into the individual customer and their preferences, and from that build offers specifically designed to appeal to them and keep them on board.
By showing that you value the customer as an individual, and tailoring your proposition to best meet their needs, you have the opportunity to significantly boost customer retention. And it’s the AI that can do the heavy lifting,
3. Sales and marketing
Just as AI can play a huge role in tailoring your products to customers, the technology can also play a big part in sales and marketing, winning that new business.
Those simple questions that help you to establish a picture of the customer can also help you match clients old and new with products and services that you know will appeal to them. There’s no need to rely on a human member of staff being able to immediately pair up a customer with the right handset or tariff for example, when the AI can handle it in a fraction of the time – and the cost.
4. Reducing debt
All businesses within the mobile industry want to have a detailed understanding of their customers, an insight into precisely how those customers use their products and services. But they also need to understand their financial position, recognising the warning signs when a customer might be struggling to keep up with their bills and risk falling into arrears.
That’s a labour-intensive task if you are relying on your regular staff, but it’s another area where some simple AI can take on the burden and provide you with an early warning when things aren’t right, giving you the opportunity to step in before those issues turn into bad debts.
5. Consumption insights
When this technology is used correctly, it does far more than free up the rest of your customer service staff to spend their time more productively, it also gives you a far greater insight into just who your customers are and what they are looking for.
That data is invaluable, not just in helping to pair customers with the right products or tailoring your proposition to ensure you retain them as clients, but also in informing your business plans going forward. It can play a fundamental role in how you design your products, the key messages to communicate about those products, as well as highlighting the underlying trends that might otherwise be missed.
By embracing this smart technology, you not only improve the customer experience in the here and now, but you put in place the building blocks for how your business will operate in the years to come.
Paul Shepherd, Founder and CEO, We Build Bots