Chatbots to the rescue: The power of conversational AI in customer service

According to HubSpot, 79% of customer service professionals say AI technology, such as conversational AI chatbots, is a crucial part of their overall customer service strategy. 

But what exactly is conversational AI? And is it the right move for your broadband or telecom business? Below, we go over what conversational AI is, how it works and how you can use it to improve customer service. 

What is conversational AI?

Conversational AI is a type of artificial intelligence designed to simulate speaking with a person. For example, a chatbot can schedule a tech support appointment or provide video tutorials to someone using customer self-service to troubleshoot issues with their smart home device. 

How does conversational AI work?

So, how does conversational AI work? This form of artificial intelligence uses machine learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to respond to customer inquiries. It’s fed large amounts of data to teach it to respond to customer requests in a conversational way. The data used may include text or even recordings of human speech.

Looking to learn more about conversational AI integrations?

Don’t all chatbots use conversational AI?

In short, no. Not all chatbots use conversational AI. Traditional chatbots follow strict rules to respond to specific, pre-defined words or phrases. Conversational AI chatbots use machine learning and natural language processing to better understand user intent without requiring the user to mention particular keywords.

How conversational AI chatbots improve customer service

Conversational AI uses the latest technology to more accurately interpret customer intent and serve up the most accurate answers to their tech support questions.

This powerful AI technology can help your business stand out from competitors in the increasingly crowded broadband and telecom industries. Below are five ways conversational AI can improve your customer service.

Cut business costs through automation

Conversational AI chatbots automate routine tasks, like answering customers' frequently asked questions (for example: where do I pay my bill?) or booking service appointments. And it can do this 24 hours a day, seven days per week. 

This provides your business with significant cost savings. Instead of paying for staff to be on call for customer inquiries day and night, you can outsource the overnight shift to conversational AI, which doesn't require you to pay it overtime.

According to Gartner, conversational AI will reduce agent labor costs by $80 billion by 2026. And a study by IBM found that companies can reduce customer support costs by 30% by implementing solutions such as conversational AI. This means that conversational AI can be a great way to significantly reduce operational expenses. 

Save time

As mentioned previously, conversational AI enables instant responses to customer queries 24/7. This can save time for your business while providing immediate access to support.

Research shows that contact center teams that use AI save more than two hours per day.

This is because AI can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up your agents to focus on other things, like complex tech support inquiries requiring human expertise. 

Conversational AI can also reduce the average customer handling time by ensuring that customers are routed to the right agent the first time. The accuracy of conversational AI can minimize contact center wait times, improving your net promoter score (NPS) and increasing first-call resolution rates. This creates a win-win for both your business and your customers.

Improve contact center agent performance

Conversational AI helps you save time and increase the efficiency of your contact center. However, it’s important to note that AI won’t replace humans completely. Instead, contact centers can use the power of conversational AI to help agents do their jobs better. 

With AI tackling customer FAQs, your agents can take on more complex tasks faster. It can also be a helpful resource for agent training and onboarding.

For example, conversational AI can guide new agents in navigating their first tech support interaction with a customer. It can suggest helpful responses or questions to ask customers during the call or service session. Rather than stumble through, new agents have a helpful coach right at their fingertips. 

Additionally, conversational AI can save agents the trouble of searching around for resources they need to navigate a tech support request. Instead of scrolling around the website or digging through online manuals, AI can instantly suggest the necessary resources or tutorials, helping agents to work more effectively. 

In fact, a study by MIT and Stanford found that conversational AI improved employee performance by 14%. So, while AI won’t eliminate the need for people in your contact center, it can be a powerful asset when onboarding new contact center agents.

Improve customer retention

Did you know it costs up to seven times more to find new customers than to keep the ones you already have? Customer retention is vital to the success of any broadband or telecom business. According to the 2023 National Customer Rage survey, customers cite telecom and broadband services among their top 10 most serious problems. 

This means that by focusing on customer retention, your company can stand out from the crowd. Using conversational AI can be a great way to ensure your business hits its customer retention goals. 

As mentioned earlier, conversational AI can deliver instant support 24/7. This is especially crucial for retaining Gen Z customers, which have a whopping $360 billion in spending power. This generation, defined as those born between 1997 and 2012, grew up in an era of instant streaming and delivery. They want customer service faster than any generation before, and with conversation AI, you can deliver just that. 

Conversational AI also allows your company to create more personalized customer service experiences. With each interaction, AI gathers data about your customers and can use that information to design more customized service sessions and recommendations. This can further differentiate you from competitors since more than three-fourths of customers are frustrated by the lack of personalization in business interactions. 

Increase profits

Using Conversational AI can be a great way to improve your company’s bottom line. As AI learns more about your customers, it can provide them with better product recommendations, giving your company better up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. 

Since AI increases the speed and personalization of customer service, it can increase the likelihood that customers will make another purchase. 89% of customers will make a second purchase from a company if they have a positive customer service experience. 

As AI becomes more widely adopted, it’ll play a larger role in company profits. According to McKinsey, AI can potentially increase company profits by more than four trillion dollars. Companies that use AI effectively can cash in on unique opportunities to drastically increase revenue. 

Use conversational AI to improve your customer service

Conversational AI is rapidly revolutionizing customer service. While it can’t completely replace your contact center agents, your company can use conversational AI to enhance agent performance, increase sales, and improve customer retention. Using this technology effectively can help you stay ahead of competitors in increasingly crowded broadband and telecom markets. 

Want to know more? Download the AI integrations white paper to start enhancing your customer support today.

Are you looking for a customer service solution that can help you scale support while staying under budget? As a leader in omnichannel customer support, Ozmo is trusted by Verizon, TELUS, Google Fi and more. Join the future of tech support today!