Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

How will AI change the role of the customer advisor?

Blog
20th October 2017

Much has been written about the evolution of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and how these technologies will impact the customer experience, particularly in retailers where in-store and online customer advice is so important. Opinions vary from those who believe that the technology is advanced enough to replace human sales advisors to those who believe that the human touch cannot ever be replaced.

I believe the truth lies somewhere in between. To start with the most natural way to interact with a customer service advisor is by a voice call or personal interaction in-store. Other channels, such as social networks, are becoming important, but voice is still the dominant customer service channel and commercially available voice recognition systems are not yet completely reliable.

Tools such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Siri are showing what is possible when we talk directly to computers, but none of these systems offer the completely natural speech a customer can use when talking to a person.

It’s possibly just a matter of time for this to improve, but even when customers can interact directly with an AI system by talking to it, there will still be a value in having human advisors that can read the situation and customer requirements – empathy and understanding remain very human values. This is why I think the main area of focus for these technologies is how they can support and boost the capabilities of the humans interacting with customers.

The computers may not be very good at reading individual situations, but they are good at storing information and matching patterns and trends. Take a look at how Atom Bank is using Machine Learning to remember every question, every customer has ever asked the customer service team – with the solution. For basic queries the AI system can detect what the customer needs and can offer the most likely solution. For more complex enquiries, where a human advisor is involved, the system helps the customer service advisor by suggesting solutions based on this collective experience of helping other customers. It means that the advisor will almost always have the right answer to a customer question.

Companies such as banks and retailers that need to offer advice both online and in-store to customers can create an immediate advantage by exploring these technologies. They are not taking over the customer service process, but they also cannot be ignored. These tools can ensure that your advisors always have the right answer immediately, even if it is a question they have never faced before.

What do you think of the potential of AI in customer service? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Webhelp Payment Services
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
Meet our Advisors – Jennifer from Germany (ep.2)

An emotional elderly customer called our Helpdesk/ Customer Support. The recent passing of his wife and the lack of visitors due to the lockdown had him feeling very lonely. So, he tried to scan and print his old slides to create a photo album of all his happy memories to feel a little closer to his family. He had technical troubles and called up rather upset. First, I comforted him and...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Press Release: Jean-Baptiste Decaix appointed Chief Client Officer of the Webhelp Group, member of the Executive Committee.

Paris, June 22th 2020. With the appointment of Jean-Baptiste Decaix as Group Chief Client Officer, Webhelp reinforces its international senior management and reaffirms its ambition to become a top 3 worldwide leader. A graduate of CentraleSupélec and an executive MBA from ESSEC-Mannheim,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Jean-Baptiste Decaix appointed Chief Client Officer of the Webhelp Group, member of the Executive Committee.

Paris, June 22th 2020. With the appointment of Jean-Baptiste Decaix as Group Chief Client Officer, Webhelp reinforces its international senior management and reaffirms its ambition to become a top 3 worldwide leader. A graduate of CentraleSupélec and an executive MBA from ESSEC-Mannheim,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Whitepaper
The Summer of B2B Marketplaces

Following our last two studies “2017 - The spring of B2B Marketplaces” and “2018 - B2B marketplaces are blossoming”, we once again joined forces with the strategy consulting firm Roland Berger and with Mirakl to take stock of this new year of development for B2B marketplaces. This...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook