Providing an outstanding customer service experience becomes more difficult every year. 55% of consumers expect service to improve year on year and they won’t accept excuses. In the fight for survival, the winners will be those firms that provide excellent support.
How they deliver that service, however, remains to be seen. With AI-based software increasingly able to handle complex tasks, we see more effective automated support options. The cost-saving opportunity is appealing, but how well do these options measure up?
Are we hurtling into a future of chatbots and voice bots that’ll redefine service? Should we tread on the brakes a little? In this article, we’ll examine the question of whether IT live support is better than AI-based support or vice versa.
IT Live Support
Live support, delivered by contact centres, chat, social media, or email, is a conventional customer service approach. Services such as supportyourapp.com assist clients with IT-related queries via any of these channels.
The service centre team consists of highly-trained, pleasant consultants that walk clients through the issues they’re experiencing.
IT Live Support: Call Centers
Call centres consist of several knowledgeable specialists. The firm employs such consultants for their attitude toward customer service. Product knowledge is easy to learn, but dealing with clients is tricky.
Consultants must watch everything from the language that they use to the tone of voice they adopt.
IT Support: Live Chat
IT support live chat is slightly easier because it’s conducted through text messages. Still, it’s crucial to convey the correct tone and use positive language throughout.
The Benefit of Live Support
Whichever form live support takes, it’s an essential element of the customer experience. 77% of people prefer to deal with a person, whichever channel they use.
In an increasingly digitized environment, we crave the support of our fellow human beings. Machines are learning to mimic social interaction, but they lack emotion. They don’t have empathy and must perform tasks based on a logical sequence of events.
Client speaking to a human consultant often find it quicker to get their queries solved. An agent will get the details and know from experience the most likely cause of the fault. They’re better able to read the situation and the client’s understanding of the basic concepts.
AI can process the same data but would have to run through several scenarios to find the right solution. It delivers information along a predefined path. While it may explain something in different ways, it can’t read whether or not the client understands.
Machines will eventually develop emotional intelligence, but not for some time. In the interim, live consultants have a distinct advantage because of their understanding of emotions.
Their emotional intelligence also stands them in good stead in an increasingly important area – client success.
What is Customer Success?
Client success refers to helping the customer get the best use out of your product. The goal is to anticipate problems the consumer may experience and reach out to the client with proactive solutions.
It starts with matching the consumer to the best solution for them. It evolves into educating the client about the features and how to use the product. Finally, it morphs into helping them decide on complementary or replacement products.
Firms today train their support staff to improve customer success. Reading the situation during client interactions is an integral part of getting this right. It’s a skill that AI can’t match yet.
Empathetic or not, AI-based support is here to stay. Worth $40.9 million in 2018, market forecasts see this sector’s value increase to $454.8 million by 2027.
AI-based support has several proponents, and it’s not difficult to understand why. The technology improves daily and provides a cost-effective way to deal with tedious tasks.
A chatbot, for example, is a once-off expense. Firms must perform some maintenance, but once it’s installed, it pretty much runs itself. You’ve got a representative ready to answer questions accurately within seconds 24/7.
It’ll provide consistent answers to repetitive questions without showing a hint of irritation. Even the most well-trained human consultant is bound to get bored answering the same thing hundreds of times over.
The speed of responses is also positive. There’s no need for clients to wait for someone to answer their call. Chatbots may handle several queries at once without lags.
Live or AI-Based Support: Which Wins Out?
There’s no substitute for the human touch. Until machines catch up in the emotional stakes, there’s not even much of a contest. People want to deal with other human beings. Until chatbots and the like can replicate each aspect of human interaction, that won’t change.
What will change in the interim, however, is the way we use the technology. Chatbots aren’t ready to take centre stage just yet, but they’re prepared to handle some of the load and speed up query resolution.
Companies using a smart combination of live and AI-based support will be able to maintain their competitive edge going forward.