Automated Customer Service Solutions: A Guide to Successful AI Project Management
Artificial intelligence creates tangible business value. According to Gartner, companies can expect value growth of 2.9 trillion dollars based on AI innovations alone by 2021. In particular, the use of AI in customer service e.g. to support decision-making and increase productivity, constitutes one of the greatest economic levers.
However, successfully using AI technology in customer service requires a good deal of preparation. For your customer department to reap the benefits of intelligent automation, you’ll need more than just the right software. Process management, the technical infrastructure and last but not least the employees should also be prepared for the new tool. In the following, we explain how to make your AI project a success from the very outset.
In this blog post you will learn:
- What you can use artificial intelligence for in customer service.
- Why your company needs a tailor-made AI strategy.
- Which five steps are necessary in order to use AI successfully in customer service.
Clear Expectations: The Right Mindset for Using AI in Customer Service
Using new technologies that work with artificial intelligence? The reactions of managers are often very different. Some still consider intelligent automation to be a distant reality and find it difficult to imagine investing in AI. By contrast, others envision unrealistic ways of using the technology and set their goals a little too high. This makes it all the more important that you approach your AI project with the right expectations.
1. AI does not replace employees.
There is widespread concern that AI technologies could replace human beings. This assumption oversimplifies the effectiveness and potential uses of AI. At present, most AI solutions try to imitate human-like decision-making processes and thus facilitate workflows for employees. In other words, their aim is not to replace them.
AI can process a lot of information very quickly, which in many cases allows it to make faster and better decisions than a service agent. When used correctly, your employees really do benefit from artificial intelligence as it means they can bid farewell to cumbersome repetitive tasks and can dedicate themselves more fully to complex tasks.
2. AI solutions do not work according to a one-size-fits-all model.
Behind the term “artificial intelligence” lies a multitude of different solutions for various use cases. Within one area of application, such as customer service, there are similar cases in which AI could be used, such as to answer customer inquiries. However, the requirements of each company are unique.
You need a tailor-made strategy to get the most out of each AI tool. Companies and AI experts should liaise with each other to ensure that the software is integrated in the customer department in a targeted manner.
3. AI does not work autonomously from the beginning.
Technologies that work with artificial intelligence are not simple software programs that are installed once and then work independently. Using AI is a more drawn-out process consisting of preparation, training phases and continuous optimization.
AI software can independently perform repetitive tasks and make independent decisions based on previous situations. However, before it can do this, it must be trained using historical data.
Guide: How to Lead Your AI Project to Success
In order to make an AI project successful and to provide your company with long-lasting benefits, you should develop a long-term strategy on how to use AI. The best thing to do is to contact an AI expert before you start with the practical implementation. This way, they can advise you while you explore the topic of artificial intelligence.
1. Determine use cases
At the moment, companies benefit most from AI where employees perform regularly recurring tasks. With the help of the software, processes can be significantly optimized, which helps to free up a large proportion of human resources. To do this, however, it is necessary to be familiar with your own structures and workflows
- Which processes are actually suitable for using intelligent automation?
- How do employees currently process a use case, e.g. in chat or email communication in customer service?
- Which resources do employees use for the individual work steps?
Depending on the use case, companies should analyze which criteria employees use to make their decisions. It is only then that they can determine how the process can be improved and simplified by an AI solution.
2. Set goals
Intelligent automation is a promising, innovative solution that is often hailed as a magic cure. However, you should not be tempted to think that AI will solve all your business problems. Instead, think of AI as a tool that can make employees more productive and enhance the customer experience.
Nevertheless, you can only determine how successfully your AI system is supporting you if you define what “successful” means. You should therefore set concrete goals that you want to achieve with AI (e.g. reductions in the amount of time it takes to process an email inquiry).
3. Select a suitable technology
Once the appropriate use case has been identified and the goals set, the next step is to choose the right technology. We recommend a holistic AI solution that you can use across multiple channels.
Arrange a demo session to test the software and find out about the necessary technical requirements. You can also learn about the practical uses of AI with case studies and customer references from the provider.
4. Check availability of data and prepare data records
This step is still underestimated by many users. Usable data records form the basis of intelligent automation. This is because AI “learns” based on data and can therefore use it to optimize processes.
Check both the type and amount of data available in the company, how well prepared it is and the areas of application in which it can be used. For example, if the AI solution is to be used to answer customer inquiries by email, you should ensure that a sufficient number of emails is available.
5. Implement together with experts
The AI project is by no means finished once you’ve purchased the technology; this is when the training phase begins. Based on the data records, AI now learns how decisions are made in the respective use case.
To this end, the way the AI software works is continuously optimized through “supervised learning”. This entails AI receiving human feedback on when a decision was “good” or “bad”, which it can then use to improve its results.
How quickly you can expect tangible results strongly depends on the complexity of the planned automation process. One thing that is certain, however, is that the better you prepare your AI project, the faster you will reap the benefits of your AI solution.
Would you like to find out how artificial intelligence can support you in your business? Get in touch now! Alternatively, you can get to know the parlamind omnichannel solution for your service team directly.
parlamind is a Berlin-based start-up for Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service. The parlamind AI understands incoming messages from customers on a semantic level and thus determining intents, specific content and the mood of the customer in the message. Equipped with these skills, the AI engages in customer dialogue independently and quickly carries out the associated processes. Latest research results from the fields of computational linguistics and machine learning form the basis for the continuous further development of parlamind AI technology. parlamind has been part of the 4TechnologyGroup since July 2018. The 4TechnologyGroup is an association of technology companies from the communications and AI sector. Today companies worldwide in the industries of e-commerce, information and communication technology, energy management, logistics and financial services use parlamind’s AI solutions. More than 20 employees work continuously on the further development and marketing of this unique technology “Made in Germany”.
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