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Artificial intelligence in customer service can be an opportunity, but it is also received with a lot of skepticism. However, intelligent voice solutions can greatly improve your customer experience because humans and AI complement each other perfectly.

Artificial intelligence in the service industry – an assessment of the current situation

Have you also been wondering lately how AI – artificial intelligence – will affect your work environment in the future? No wonder, because this topic is currently on everyone’s lips and there is much discussion about what changes the use of AI will bring to the service industry. Opinions and views on the subject differ, as Matias Musmacher points out in his blog post “Intelligent Self Service – An Attempt to Determine the Current Status”a vivid demonstration.

Like any new topic confronting humanity, artificial intelligence triggers a certain amount of skepticism, but it also offers exciting opportunities for positive change.

Despite all reservations, the question of artificial intelligence has long since reached our everyday lives and has already fundamentally changed them with Google, Facebook and Amazon. More than 10 million Amazon Alexa app downloads prove it: voice assistants entered German households a long time ago and – we are convinced – they will also fundamentally change the service industry in the long term. Modern assistance systems, intelligent algorithms and learning speech computers can improve the customer experience as well as the interaction between customer and company and bridge the gap between service and everyday life.

Artificial intelligence in service – innovators meet skeptics

Matias Musmacher has captured the current mood in the service industry in a nutshell and summarized the most common arguments. A statement heard over and over again, according to the author: “Our customers want to be served by people, otherwise they will migrate.” This is a point that must be taken seriously, but we believe that it must be viewed in a nuanced way. Because if you want to provide good customer service, you need more than just friendly and “human” service agents. In our experience, customers primarily want competent service and above all quick responses! A combination of machine-generated “on demand” answers and competent, in-depth advice from trained personnel on the customer phone can meet this requirement. But what might this look like in practice?

The author of the blog post writes: “Sending FAQs […] automatically in e-mails or having them read out by chatbots is not yet intelligent self service for me“. We fully agree with this! Hence virtualQ tackles this issue with its Voice solution significantly further. We combined the best of voice and machine learning technologies to create an intelligent, learning voice solution. Queries formulated in varying ways are recognized and suitable answers are generated from a broad database – with a voice that sounds eerily similar to the human one. The “knowledge” of the intelligent voice assistant is becoming broader and more comprehensive and far exceeds the simple reeling off of the top 10 FAQs.

A well-rounded service experience – thanks to voice automation!

How can such an AI solution be integrated into existing service structures? Musmacher cites the following as an option “Butler Lsolutions“, that ” take over simple interactions and, in the case of complex requests, forward them to service employees” – we call it Voice Automation, the principle is the same. The author asks for depictable solutions, which we are happy to provide here!

With virtualQ Voice Automation, well-known companies are already taking advantage of AI’s ability to pre-qualify callers, provide automated responses immediately for simple recurring requests, and thus reduce the burden on their agents. Calls that cannot be fully answered via AI are routed to the next available agent. In the event of waiting times, the proven virtualQ Queueing Technologywhich relieves callers from waiting on the service phone and informs them when it is their turn. This cohesive service experience optimizes service levels, ensures a positive customer experience, and eliminates low quality calls.

Humans or AI – who will dominate service in the future?

Skepticism about AI is often accompanied by concerns that employees will be replaced by machines, resulting in an increasing number of job losses. However, from our point of view, this fear is unfounded. After all, intelligent voice assistants will not replace service agents, but complement them. The described voice solution reduces the number of simple requests to be answered by service agents. The job profile of the service employee is changing. Agents act as competent points of contact for complex, in-depth questions and can finally concentrate on what is really important: good customer service! The interaction of AI and humans in turn leads to a positive overall experience on the customer and employee side. Because AI not only improves the satisfaction of your callers, but in turn reduces the stress level within the service center. The result is a drop in fluctuation rates in the hotly contested market for well-trained service staff. Ultimately, contrary to all fears, AI is bringing the human factor back into focus.

In summary, the following can be said: Even the last skeptic should be aware that AI will bring many exciting changes to the service center industry. Those who recognize the possibilities of the technologies already available to them at an early stage and do not ignore them out of fear have an opportunity to position themselves as innovation drivers in the industry and to win over customers. Be brave!

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