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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
Why Employee Recognition Means So Much

At Webhelp we are passionate about our people and their contribution to the company. Recognising our teams and ensuring they know just how valued they are is a core value of Webhelp. There are many companies that talk about employee recognition because it sounds great on their website, but I believe that in this organisation we really do walk the walk when it comes to all of our values! I...

News
Webhelp and SKY make it a hat trick of awards

London, UK, 30/11/2018 Global customer experience expert, Webhelp, and leading telecommunications provider, Sky, were celebrating again after taking home the award for Best Outsourced Contact Centre at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards, which took place in London on 27th...

News
WEBHELP AND VODAFONE UK WIN ‘EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS OUTSOURCING COLLABORATION’ AWARD AT 2018 CCA AWARDS

London, UK, 29/11/2018 Global customer experience expert, Webhelp, and leading telecommunication company, Vodafone UK, scooped up the award for Excellence in Business Outsourcing Collaboration at the CCA Excellence Awards, held at the Hilton in Glasgow, Nov 15th. Having successfully worked...

Whitepaper
B2B Marketplaces are blossoming

Following our publication last year of " The Spring of B2B Marketplaces ": it is time to look back and to answer these questions: has there been some movement in the market? Have B2B players evolved in their marketplace business models? Is launching a new market observatory worthwhile? The answers...

Case Studies
Webhelp People Analytics

...

×

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