Curious about how AI chatbots are transforming the customer experience? Here’s our guide to the perks and pitfalls of this cutting-edge technology in the world of customer service and communication.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing everything, including the customer experience. Platforms like ChatGPT allow people to have conversations with an AI, which can feel like talking to a human being.

Many companies already offer a customer-facing chatbot on their websites. What will happen when super-advanced AI powers these chatbots? Will AI chatbots replace customer service teams? While there are some exciting opportunities here, you must also tread carefully.

how AI chatbots can elevate the customer experience

AI technology can definitely improve customer service while also delivering efficiencies. Benefits include:

always-on customer service

AI chatbots are always available; customers can use them to answer technical questions, learn about products, or manage their accounts. Human beings are less predictable. Even if you offer round-the-clock customer support, you rely on shift workers who may get tired and don’t always bring their A-game to interactions.

powerful analytics

AI chatbots can perform detailed analytics on customer conversations. This makes it easier to track the most common customer issues. Also, AI can perform detailed sentiment analysis, allowing you to measure customer satisfaction without a post-call survey.

more time to focus on high-value tasks

By empowering team members to focus on high-value tasks that contribute to customer satisfaction and leaving routine responsibilities to AI and automation, you can build a more productive and strategically minded workforce. The more you eliminate repetitive tasks from job descriptions, the more likely it is that talented individuals with advanced skill sets will apply for open positions. And when your existing employees are freed from routine tasks, they can focus on upskilling and reskilling in areas that add value to the customer experience, such as developing better communication and empathy capabilities to manage interactions more effectively.

back-end integration

Platforms like HubSpot and Salesforce are adding AI to their services, making automating complex functions easier. For example, a customer might speak to an AI chatbot, triggering a sales funnel. Another AI could send personalized marketing emails, or the client could speak to an AI-powered “salesperson.”

the human touch: why AI chatbots still fall short

Be warned — like any emerging technology, AI has its quirks, risks and downsides. For example:

AI can lie

AI models are trained on vast amounts of data, including widely circulated misconceptions. As a result, a system like ChatGPT can generate fake facts, such as the Great Wall of China being visible from space with the naked eye or Thomas Edison testing spaghetti as a filament material for his lightbulb. If a customer experiences one of these so-called hallucinations, they’ll feel like they’ve been lied to.

AI can be biased

AI training data may include real-world prejudices as well as inaccuracies. That’s why chatbots can display bias — or even say offensive or discriminatory things. While increasingly rare, these incidents can cause reputational damage when they occur, as Microsoft discovered when they released their first AI chatbot.

AI lacks EI

Humans possess emotional intelligence that enables them to empathize with customers, understand their feelings and respond appropriately. AI, on the other hand, may struggle to interpret complex emotions and social cues, potentially leading to misunderstandings and a poor customer experience. Human agents can provide the emotional support and personalized touch that AI chatbots simply cannot match.

building an outstanding customer experience with AI chatbots

AI chatbots will improve your customer service if you use them correctly. Here are some ground rules to bear in mind:

  • Always put the customer experience first — if a customer doesn’t want to talk to a chatbot, that’s a challenge for you, not for them.
  • Test everything before you launch it to the public.
  • Think of AI as a tool for your customer service team — not a replacement.
  • Hire people that can help you get the most from AI.

Need AI experts or customer experience gurus to help plan your strategy? Get in touch with Randstad today to talk about building a team ready for the AI-powered future. And if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, let our chatbot steer you in the right direction!