The Face Behind the Chat Box

November 25, 2019 Alyssa Hankins

Artificial Intelligence is accomplishing incredible feats for the world. Heck, it's the basis of a lot of software! In the spotlight at the moment, however, is AI's role in customer support: Are you chatting with a human or a robot?

According to Salesforce 2019 State of Service Report, there’s almost a 25% chance, it’s a robot:

  • 24% of service organizations use chat bots AND
  • 34% plan to in the next 18 months

Under certain circumstances, this could be a positive advancement for companies, allowing customer service agents to focus on more complex support tasks; 64% of agents with chatbots are able to spend most of their time solving complex problems, versus 50% of agents without AI chatbots (Salesforce 2019 State of Service Report).

However, when not incorporated correctly and without the support of human agents, AI can leave customers frustrated and unsatisfied. 

According to the CSG's annual Global Consumer Customer Service report, only about half of all respondents said that they would turn to a chatbot for a quick customer service need. 
Customers are essentially everything to a business, and aside from the quality and value of the product, customer support may be the second most important factor for satisfaction. 
For software and service companies, this is especially true. Understanding how to use the product and mold it to customer needs is essential for delivering the full value of the product.

Let’s take Cision for example. 

There are plenty of questions that get asked frequently enough in chat support, that AI could certainly be applied to chat inquiries:

  • How is x metric measured?
  • Can you add x article to x search?

Incorporating AI is helpful- especially since its nature is to learn over time (just like the humans who built it!)- but you lose the specificity of human knowledge and connection that's inherent in human interaction. 

So as a client, how do you optimize product value at the hands of human support?

  1. Ask Why, Ask How
    Our customer support team can tell you how a metric is measured and why it's measured that way. If we suggest best practice methods, ask why. Extreme detail is a perk of human customer support. 
  2. Ask for screenshots, a video, or even set up a phone call 
    If you are trying to learn to perform a build within the platform yourself- whether it be searches, dashboards, reports, or alerts- ask for specialized guidance. Any customer support associate can send screenshots, screen video footage, or set up a training call or video conference!
  3. Personalize your questions 
    "Based on my company and my competitors, with these (x) goals, what would you recommend for this search or dashboard? For other companies in this industry, what analytics do you recommend?" Support has a history of building and completing all sorts of client requests in a number of industries. Pick their brains and they will ensure you are getting the full value from your product features. 

Not only are our support specialists trained in our products, but they are really smart, really great people. Take Rajagokul Stalin, better known as Raja, for instance.

“The love that I had with English helped me discover my passion for Customer Service!” —Rajagokul Stalin

#BEHINDTHESCREEN

Raja has a mechanical engineering degree from India. He said learning English was even more difficult than his studies, but diving head first into his practice, he is now fluent. Zealous for customer service, he says the greatest gift English has given him is the ability to be in a customer support role. 

There is no question that AI is helping to advance the realm of customer support, but I'm certainly happy that the art of human connection hasn't yet been lost and professionals like Raja get the opportunity to exercise their passion!

So next time you're on chat, remember that a real person is talking back to you. 

About the Author

Alyssa Hankins

Alyssa is an Account Architect at Cision in the Austin, TX office. Although her formal education is in Molecular Biology, she has since held multiple roles in technology including in biotechnology consulting and her current role in digital PR. Outside of work, she is a hot yoga fanatic and avid painter!

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