By 2020 it’s predicted that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. The challenge for many leaders however, is that customer expectations are on the rise. 

SwissCognitiveAccording to customers themselves in a study by CMO Council, the most important attribute of good customer service is a fast response time, so reacting quickly to queries means companies are meeting many expectations.

Advancements in cloud technology and AI are responsible for this seismic shift in customer behaviour. The omnichannel customer of today has a huge range of digital and AI enabled customer service options available to them in which to engage with a brand – from virtual call centre agents to live chat, to social media. The way that businesses interact with these customers can impact on their success, reputation and growth but cloud has unlocked the potential for speed, innovation and global capabilities; delivering intelligent customer service which has become the new competitive battleground for businesses.

And businesses are getting on board, Gartner reported that 55% of established companies either have started making investments in the potential of artificial intelligence or are planning to do so by 2020.

The intelligent customer experience

AI enabled customer service technology such as Google’s new AI enabled contact centre solutions, in partnership with Mitel, is taking customer service to a whole new dimension – transforming the way businesses can engage with their customers. Harnessing a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, Google has taken the Virtual Agent (VA) to another level, to accelerate and automate enquiries while helping customers with solutions and options for the information they need, at speed.

By using natural language processing (a branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language) the VA understands what customers are saying, chatting or texting without requiring specific phrasing, and responds in real-time. In addition, services such as Agent Assist (which provide insight, content and assistance to the live, ‘human’ agent) helps the agent to be more accurate, informed and responsive, thereby delivering a cognisant response and superior customer experience.

This huge industry advancement is also a welcome one for a company’s customer service professionals. By leveraging AI enabled solutions into their business models, businesses will observe immediate ROI – increased employee productivity – as agents are freed up to manage more challenging and comprehensive tasks, and exceed customer expectation with a better, ‘intelligent’ and more efficient service. […]

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