From data
To meaning

Nowadays more than in the past, customers are more likely to use new technologies to connect with companies from which they buy products and services. It is also true that customers have high expectations about what an excellent customer experience is – and have less patience towards companies who fail in executing it.

 

High(er) expectations

When a customer or a user relies on a company’s product or service, both parts will be judged directly and so the solution’s effectiveness will be valued, together with customer service quality. Customer’s experience has become one of the most critical aspects through which users and customers will value the quality of a product or a service.
Salesforce’s report of 2018 “State of the connected customer” confirms that 56% of the customers is more willing to buy from companies that constantly keep up with technology. Moreover, 67% of those interviewed say that they’re willing to pay more to get a better service.

In this scenario, companies have to offer advanced technologies to their customers, but also take care about customer assistance in an excellent way. An aid comes from Artificial Intelligence.
It is also true that customers theirselves have higher and higher expectation towards the meaning of an excellent customer experience and less patience towards companies who fail in executing it.

 

AI and self-service in customer service

What are the options of self-service? They provide customers with the necessary instruments to solve problems autonomously, without involving any human operator from the company. In this way, customers don’t feel neglected and they find easy support without having to spend too much time on the phone or talking to many offices. Here are some common examples:

  • Search engines on website with the possibility of access to a big knowledge base;
  • Tutorials and guides;
  • Frequent questions;
  • Chatbots;
  • Vocal search through smart speakers (Alexa or Google Home).

Customers are looking for answers with minimal friction. Giving them the instruments and the resources to solve problems in an autonomous way, customers will feel in a situation of bigger control towards the products and the services they bought. This doesn’t mean that the operators of contact centre are unnecessary, but self-service is an innovative and efficient way to revolutionize the experience of the customer in the assistance.

The aspect on which CELI focuses on is communication in natural language – which is often neglected. Often, to build system of self-care users adapt themselves and limit their communication in natural language to let the machine understand their request or command. How many times did you try to give a command to your car’s navigation system without obtaining anything relevant?

Luckily, thanks to Artificial Intelligence and, in particular, to Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, things are changing and it is finally possible to achieve more flexible systems and in which users are free to communicate in the way they prefer. An example? In the automotive world, “Hey Mercedes” is an innovative vocal assistant that let the user talk with his car in current language.
Talking about customer service, companies are equipping themselves with innovative tech instruments, even if in Italy we haven’t reached a maturity such as the one the automotive field has yet.

Many of the companies we work with are increasingly requiring “smart” instruments able to communicate in some form with customers.

 

Search engines “Google-style”

Why creating a search engine of information on a website if it doesn’t allow search like those on Google, but only a search by keywords? Users are used to search in natural language and ask “How do I terminate my mobile phone contract?” instead of typing “termination”, or spending hours on the website trying to find the information they need.
Sophia Search is our semantic search engine that integrates components of language analysis and of semantic search, allowing search in natural language, the traditional facets or categories navigation and the “Search as you type” function.

 

Conversational chatbots

The same applies to the interactions through chatbots: the user is in front of an assistant who is able to answer to his questions rapidly and efficiently and, if needed, to involve a contact centre operator.
There are a lot of chatbots and, without any doubt, many of them didn’t satisfy the fundamental condition for the user – the one we wrote about in the beginning of this post: make his experience better.
Some chatbots are frustrating, they don’t understand, they only work using some words or sentences, but in the other cases the answer is always the same “I don’t understand”.
CELI designs chatbots with strong semantic and linguistic components. What do we mean? We mean that they understand the Italian language (and other languages) in all their nuances and they are capable to cover the whole semantic spectrum of a certain intent.
The advantages are clear: on one hand, the customer isn’t frustrated anymore and succeeds to find what he’s looking for; on the other hand, the company has less emails and calls to care about and has the chance to make the operators focus on more important and profitable activities.

Customer service is definitely changing. While technology keeps on growing, companies will be forced to innovate with new ideas to offer the best experience to the customers. Our advice to all those companies who are thinking about adopting new technologies to better manage self-care assistance management is to start from a specific area, and then to extend to other areas.
Do you need help to implement self-service systems for customer care? Contact us!