Three ways AI and self-service are improving customer experience

Artificial intelligence (AI) has many uses in customer service, from automating tasks to providing insightful analytics. How can businesses leverage AI-powered self-service content to improve customer experience?

Today’s customers want to feel empowered on their journey to purchase. For many customers, this means finding the answers they need when they need them. This is where self-service content comes in, as it provides a rich knowledge base about products or services that users can access while on the go.

AI plays a key role in the development and improvement of self-service content. And self-service content plays another important role in the customer journey. Together, AI and self-service content options aim to improve customer experience (CX) by reducing friction, simplifying common questions and empowering users to find solutions.

But beyond the customer journey, self-service content also allows agents to do their best work. It reduces the number of touch points needed in customer service interactions. As customers increasingly expect seamlessness in their preferred channels, customer service organizations that use insights and AI tools to make their jobs easier are on their way to success.

Here, we’ll explore three ways AI and self-service content are converging to help customers and agents at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and how self-service content creates a winning example of how people and technology can work together.

3 ways artificial intelligence and self-service content are helping customers and empowering agents

In recent years, AI technologies have grown in popularity for customer service organizations. Perhaps the most significant addition is the customer service chatbot. This virtual assistant can communicate with customers on the company’s website or through a messaging app and asks questions to discover the customer’s problem and solve it.

In many cases, a chatbot can direct the customer to self-service content sources that will quickly and easily solve their problem. According to Zendesk, 69% of customers try to resolve their customer service issues on their own before contacting a representative. However, only a third of companies offer self-service options. This discretion identifies a valuable opportunity for customer service organizations to expand their self-service capabilities — and that journey often starts with artificial intelligence.

There are many ways that AI and self-service content work in harmony. We’ve identified three main differences that make adopting self-service content cost-effective — for the organization, for the agent and, above all, for the customer.

When equipped with AI technologies, such as user experience analytics, customer service organizations can easily identify who their customers are, the problems they face, and how the company can reduce customer effort in the future. These analytics may include repeat contacts, customer satisfaction ratings, and patterns in service interactions that contain opportunities for improvement.

1. Identifies common problems among customers

Once AI technologies identify and capture common problems, companies can develop self-service content that addresses those problems. If, for example, a company has a large number of questions about setting up a product, the company can create a how-to guide that new users can access through the company’s website or knowledge base.

Zendesk also notes that 67% of customers prefer to use self-service portals rather than call a representative. This indicates the need for quick resolution on demand. When Q&A guides, how-to videos, and other self-service content resources are available from the start, users eliminate the need to wait on hold and gain time in their busy schedules. This creates a seamless CX, where customers’ time is valued and multiple forms of support are available to them throughout the journey, depending on their preferences.

2. Provides agents with information to assist with customer service calls

Sometimes the customer’s question is more complex and cannot be resolved self-service content. That’s when agents can step in to help — and engagement data provided by self-service content is there to support their conversation. When the customer calls, the agent can confirm that they have already used the self-service options. If they are not, then the agent can recommend the right resource to help.

Chatbots and digital agents can also help customers navigate self-service portals. They can be implemented on a knowledge base or a question and answer page. A chatbot can ask targeted questions to discover what a customer is looking for and direct them to the most valuable resource for their specific problem. From there, the bot can ask additional questions to confirm whether the customer’s query has been resolved and can connect the customer with an agent if necessary.

3. Indicates opportunities for training and development

With a robust set of self-service content resources in place, customer service organizations have a valuable opportunity to track customer engagement with each piece of content. Analytics can provide insight into trends, including clicks, downloads, bounce rates, and more. This allows service organizations to pinpoint how to improve their content strategies.

Between self-service content data and analytics provided by tools like chatbots, companies can develop training and strategies to address common issues and pain points discovered throughout the customer journey. If a particular problem is recognized over time, companies can invest in additional self-service content to address it. Agents can then be trained to use resources appropriately in their interactions with customers.

The future of artificial intelligence and customer service

Generative artificial intelligence will greatly facilitate the creation of self-service content and help increase agent productivity.

In the era of multiexperience, to have defined multi-channel strategy it is crucial for user satisfaction. The more options a brand has available to create a more seamless experience, the better. AI technologies will continue to play an important role in creating the ideal CX and in helping and empowering customer service agents to deliver that experience through their daily interactions.

With ready-made tools like self-service content, brands give customers the power to find solutions quickly and efficiently. When equipped with self-service guides, videos and more, agents can automate certain tasks. This frees up valuable time to help customers with more complex customer service issues.

But of course, this is just the beginning. Generative AI is developing rapidly and will offer even more opportunities for effective self-service. To help you successfully integrate it into your business, we created “Ultimate Checklist: Increase CX Effectiveness with Generative Artificial Intelligence in the Contact Center.

Curious? Just fill out the form below and you’ll get a checklist delivered to your inbox!

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