Customer service is a core part of any business organization. Every customer likes to be heard, and feel respected when their orders, suggestions, compliments, or complaints are treated with utmost importance and given urgent attention.
Statistics have shown that firms with poor customer service operations are likely to lose about 60% of their customers.
Thus, business organizations throw a lot of resources and manpower into their customers’ services department.
They create a department in the organization, dedicated to this sole responsibility; a listening ear to customers’ complaints, a mouthpiece for the firm, and a helping hand in remotely resolving customers’ challenges with products and services.
The traditional method is the use of individuals employed to answer voice calls, and send and receive text messages and emails while interacting with customers.
Customers Services: Functions
The functions of the customer services may range from and are not limited to the following :
- Taking customers’ orders
- Resolving customers’ complaints
- Product marketing and publicity
- Provision of on the desk information concerning products and services for customers’ inquiries
- Collection of data based on customers’ queries, as feedback for firm, for assessing customers’ satisfaction, assessment of the quality of services and determination of areas to make adjustments.
The Benefits: the benefits of providing good customer services include
- Building trust and customers’ confidence in the firm: Taking and resolving complaints help put customers at rest, and build trust in products and services, which in turn secures continuous patronage and long-term relationship with customers.
- Positive image projection of firm: good customer service gives an image of credibility to a firm in the customers’ perspective. This image is what the customer portrays to potential customers who seek their opinion on who to transact with
- Realisation of sales of products and services through the resolution of customers’ queries: In a modern world of logistics, customers need not come to the doorstep of a firm for goods and services. Thus, a firm that can take business to the customers’ doorsteps stands a higher chance than its counterparts. One of the latest functions of customer services in such firms is to take orders and ensure that such are relayed to the appropriate sections where they are attended to.
- Provides channel for feedback on products and services: since the customer services are the ears of the firm, they get customers’ opinion and body language on products and services. This is what the firm takes to the drawing board
- Provides means for product promotion and marketing: while resolving customers complaints, the agents can market new products and services to customers
The Challenges: like every other service and department of any organization, customer service can be challenging. The challenges include The following
- Requires lots of resources: as the firm grows, and its customer base enlarges, more resources and manpower are needed to take queries from a large number of customers, individually. This can be overwhelming.
- Data management: with an increase in customer base, collation, sorting, processing and storage of customer queries/data is strenuous.
- Resource control: customers’ services in some cases, is not a profit-making venture. As much as firms want to satisfy customers, they want to keep the cost of customers services low. There is then the problem of knowing the right amount of manpower and resources that won’t be on the high side and yet efficient enough to do the job.
AI Speech: the future of customer services
Artificial intelligence came to the rescue and saved the day. Thanks to this technology, we can now use computers and machines programmed to carry out intellectual tasks like humans.
Thus, using suitable algorithms, AI has brought to the forefront the following to efficiently manage multiple queries in short time with limited manpower.
- Generation of hyperpersonal texts and emails to resolve customer queries: using Predictive analytics, AI utilizes expressed interests, FAQs, customers preferences, and similar queries to predict customers’ issues and generate emails or text proffering solutions in that regard.
- AI automated customer services: this is the use of AI to take orders, via phone apps and websites. It allows user-friendly interactions, using a natural language understanding(NLU) and natural language generation (NLG) to intuitively take customer’s orders.
- AI Driven Speech: this includes Voice assistant and Conversational Interactive Voice Response. With the use of NLG, NLU and Text-To-speech (TTS), AI converses with customers like humans, talking out loud in a dynamic way. Thus, customers requests or complaints are translated, and a response is generated.
Thus, putting an AI system in place, machines are enabled to perform the tasks of customers service agents with little or no monitoring.
An interesting part is the fact that they won’t get tired and can efficiently manage, sort, process and send Customers’ data to appropriate sections to effect necessary procedures.
In a world where everyone wants to go digital, at a time when entrepreneurs desire efficient and low-cost technology to maximize the production of goods and services, what does the future hold for customer services? Will AI Driven Speech replace customer services? Only time can tell.
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild.africa weekly digest for updates