This year, it’s safe to say that AI has gone from alluring buzzword to outright game-changer.
ChatGPT has led the charge and is currently disrupting entire industries and ways of working. We’re just beginning to understand its time-saving and productivity-boosting applications, advancements that were once only available to those with a certain level of technical know-how but are now open to the general public.
Despite all the positives, there is still some trepidation, especially when it comes to ChatGPT potentially replacing customer service jobs – we even held our most popular webinar ever on this (check out the on-demand version here).
Though this hesitancy is totally understandable, the reality is, there’s no need to worry. Human agents are more necessary than ever, with AI applications simply automating some of the most tedious aspects of an agent’s day-to-day and giving them more time to focus on important tasks that require a human touch. This has the potential to improve both employees’ lives, with better, more interesting tasks and your company’s bottom line.
An ideal customer service team consists of employees whose skills complement each other. AI chatbots are not exempt from this. When you introduce AI into your team, it should complement the skills your employees already possesses. So, let’s get into why your service team is about to fall in love with customer service chatbots.
3 reasons your customer service team will love chatbots
1. Better & more meaningful work
Data entry is for machines, not for people! Chatbots are great for this very reason: they can take over repetitive, manual tasks on a scale that saves your team a ton of time every week.
Customer service teams enjoy an unfortunate tradition of low levels of engagement at work which goes hand-in-hand with high employee turnover. This is expensive and bad for the customer experience.
But providing opportunities for meaningful work can directly counteract this. According to a Gallup report, “the workforce of today is motivated by opportunities to develop and possess a sense of purpose with regard to their work.” Unfortunately, customer service representatives spend a substantial number of hours on manual, repetitive work that doesn’t contribute to a sense of purpose.
Introducing chatbots to your service channel mix doesn’t mean replacing employees with technology, but rather applying tools to make their work more engaging, less repetitive, and fundamentally more valuable. The tools are already here; you can use AI to get agents up-to-speed on a customer issue, to draft responses for agents, to respond to a customer’s query via self-serve, and more.
Algorithms can be far more powerful than humans in big-data analysis or pattern recognition, and chatbots are much more adept at quickly and accurately collecting contact tracking information. When applied to customer service, they can help identify underlying issues in the customer journey, and improve the customer experience as a result.
2. Improved working conditions
Customer service runs on empathy, but at the same time, it’s not exactly known for being an easy gig with great hours. Virtually no one contacts customer service because they’re happy with something. Working in customer service inherently means dealing with unhappy customers who need help solving an issue. Keeping your team’s tank running on empathy and not on empty is vital.
It’s well known in the industry that stress, pressure, and angry customers can have a toll on the well-being and mental health of employees. This is where customer service chatbots can step in and take some of the heat; they can be used as gatekeepers, fielding incoming requests and helping to lighten the overall workload and lower the stress levels of your agents.
Great customer service representatives are, by definition, very empathetic people – but even if their “empathy reserves” are larger than average, they are still using a mental resource with limitations. Repetitive requests and angry customers can cause “compassion fatigue,” which lowers service quality.
But it’s not only about repetition of tasks or angry customers. Many customer service departments have tough shift limitations and demanding weekend work, which can impact employee morale in the long run. Many organizations also apply “vacation blackouts” during peak seasons.
For employees who pursue a career in customer service, it gets harder and harder to balance a demanding work schedule with friends, family, or even personal time. Ultimately, this stress can cause your best and most senior employees to leave their jobs.
AI-powered chatbots can help out with this, too. Available around the clock, they can reduce the need for weekend work or night shifts and can help mitigate the sky-high demands of the peak season.
Looking after the well-being of your customer service employees is not only about treating your team with compassion (though, this is the most important thing!), but it’s also a wise business decision long-term. Reducing employee turnover will have a significant impact on onboarding, training, and overall hiring costs, not to mention overall customer satisfaction and service quality.
3. Automation makes people happy and more satisfied
An interesting thing about automation is that it actually makes your staff happier: 92% of companies have seen an increase in their overall employee satisfaction after introducing automation.
This is because people inherently want to feel like their time and work has value. Employees don’t want to feel like they’re wasting their time – they want to do valuable work that’s good for the business.
So from an employer’s standpoint, AI chatbots are actually a big opportunity: rarely does saving costs in the service department also make staff happy. Automation and AI can be an affordable and efficient way to increase employee satisfaction on the service floor and retain that top talent that defines the service quality and ensures your customers keep coming back for more.
Help your team help you
Great customer service agents genuinely love helping people and taking this trait for granted is a big mistake. By applying the right kind of technologies in your service organization, you can help your team shine and do what they do best. Download our eBook, Beginner’s Guide to Customer Service Chatbots to get started today.