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5 Ways to Combine AI and the
Human Touch for Optimized CX
This article was previously published in CMSWire.
Companies face major challenges when trying to effectively scale customer service. Successfully
responding to customer interactions, across an expanding range of channels, puts even the most
customer-centric organizations to the test.
What do today’s customers want? They want seamless service in the form of fast responses via
their channel of choice (or convenience)—whether that’s chat, phone, website, text, or social
media. Providing answers in a cost-effective way while still delivering an exceptional customer
experience is not easy, which is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. AI can make an
immediate and impactful difference in the short-term for companies looking to streamline the
relationship with consumers.
That said, a 2014 report by Forrester shows understanding customer emotion and empathy are
critical components of a successful customer experience. Clearly the human touch is still needed
at the heart of customer service.
How can organizations create customer experiences that deliver efficient service and actually help
build empathy, at the same time? By deploying self-learning, automated AI helps customers better
serve themselves at a low cost.
Customer Desire for Speed and Convenience Fueling Self-Service
Customers are increasingly knowledgeable and tech-savvy. But despite that growing preference
for self-service, there are still times when customers prefer human interaction.
Businesses ultimately help themselves when they offer customers the best approach— whatever
format that takes— to get the right answer fast. Not only do they improve customer satisfaction,
they reduce the effort and cost to provide that satisfaction. The net result is a higher likelihood
that the customer will repeat purchase and become a loyal promoter, sharing their great
experience by word-of-mouth and social media.
Blend Human and Robot Interactions for Better Customer
Recent technological breakthroughs combine the best of personal and automated services to
create a new model of customer engagement.
The core of AI in customer service is self-learning powered by analytics. Self-learning allows
computers and automated systems to monitor human agents’ reactions and responses to
questions and process inquiries. They can teach themselves how to complete basic tasks and
respond to simple questions without having to escalate to a live agent.
The core of AI in
customer service is
to monitor human
agents’ reactions and
responses to questions
and process inquiries.
And, they learn from what happens if a problem is escalated to a live agent. As a result, over time fewer and fewer inquiries require the
These automated systems don’t require a major upheaval of IT, and companies won’t have to ditch expensive legacy systems. Most
importantly, AI in customer service can actually drive revenue over time with improved customer satisfaction and repeat purchases,
eventually paying for itself.
Where to Start
What does that mean for you, as you look to build a more efficient and empathetic customer service model that marries human and
artificial intelligence? Keep focused on these five elements.
friction points in the
sales or service cycle
and plan proactive
online popups to guide
customers toward a
Use big data and
analytic tools to help
you determine the
channels for problem
resolution based on
the complexity of the
issue, availability of
support, and lifetime
value of the customer
Understand your customers and
personalize their interactions
based on what you know
of their demographic and
preferences. Think about a
dynamic website experience
that automatically customizes
to past consumer purchase
behaviour or a chat interaction
incorporating previous text
or web interactions so the
consumer doesn’t need to
particularly FAQs, is
dynamic but consistent
across all channels.
anticipate, learn, and
Pick a single queue,
product, brand, etc. to
start and launch digital
projects that can be
stood up in 60–90 days,
allowing you to quickly
gain value and learn.
It’s All About Balance
Artificial intelligence represents a huge
step forward in delivering a better
experience for customers. However, if
it is to succeed, technology needs to be
combined with traditional human skills
in order to deliver a seamless customer
journey that balances self-service with
empathy, ultimately providing a tailored
experience for every individual’s needs.
HGS is a leader in optimizing the customer experience and helping our clients to become more competitive.
HGS provides a full suite of business process management (BPM) services from traditional voice contact center
services and transformational DigiCX services that are unifying customer engagement to platform-based, backoffice services and digital marketing solutions. By applying analytics, automation, and interaction expertise to
deliver innovation and thought leadership, HGS increases revenue, improves operating efficiency, and helps
retain valuable customers. HGS expertise spans the telecommunications and media, healthcare, insurance,
banking, consumer electronics and technology, retail, and consumer packaged goods industries, as well as the
public sector. HGS operates on a global landscape with 40,000 employees in 66 worldwide locations delivering
localized solutions. For the year ended 31st March 2016, HGS had revenues of US$ 507 million. HGS, part of
the multi-billion dollar Hinduja Group, has more than four decades of experience working with some of the
world’s most recognized brands.