How to Use AI Customer Support: 8 Strategies

June 11, 2024
AI in customer service

Providing customer support is like running a crisis command centre. 

The problems are always unexpected and too many, the resources too few, and every demand needs to be dealt with urgently.

You want to provide the best-in-class service to your customers.

But cross-channel integration, efficiency bottlenecks, and a vast customer base make it difficult to meet demands.

It’s why over 90% of team leaders report that customer expectations are at an all-time high - and they're struggling to keep up.

AI offers a solution in the form of intelligent automated service and efficiency gains.

In this guide, we explore how you can merge AI with human customer support, plus the benefits of doing so. We’ll cover:

  • What is AI customer support?
  • 8 ways AI can improve customer service and customer satisfaction
  • Getting started with customer service AI


8 ways to use and optimise AI in customer service...

  1. Boost Efficiency in Customer Support Teams: Leverage tools like AI-powered chatbots to automate interactions, tasks, and data processing, freeing agents to focus on complex issues.
  2. Answer Customer Queries 24/7: Offer 24/7 support through customer service AI, meeting modern consumer expectations for immediate responses and reducing costs.
  3. Tailor Support with Customer Data: Utilise AI customer data collection to personalise support, enhancing the customer experience and driving purchase decisions.
  4. Gain Deeper Insights into Customer Satisfaction: Leverage AI analytics and reporting, helping you to refine processes and products to better meet customer needs.
  5. Break Language Barriers: Harness real-time translation capabilities powered by AI to make customer support accessible for a diverse audience, improving communication and inclusivity.
  6. Simplify Complex Support Workflows: Streamline and automate workflows with AI, saving time and reducing agent workloads.
  7. Ease the Learning Curve for New Agents: Automate training with AI simulations to help new support agents practice and improve their skills through virtual customer interactions.
  8. Collect Feedback: Gather customer and agent feedback on AI systems, helping you refine support strategies and address issues promptly.
AI robot hand reaching to human hand

What is AI in Customer Support? 

AI customer support refers to the use of artificial intelligence to automate and enhance customer service.

It’s typically powered by various AI technologies such as conversational AI, natural language processing (NLP), generative AI, and machine learning. 

For example: Remember clunky chatbots that trapped customers in roundabout conversations?

AI technologies have advanced these tools massively, bringing algorithms that can process and generate natural language.

This means they can engage in more fluid and human-like conversations with customers.

In addition to automating interactions, AI chatbots have proven themselves useful for a range of tasks, including:

  • Data collection
  • Feedback collection
  • Routing
  • Processing orders and other requests (e.g. booking appointments)
  • Troubleshooting

Chatbots are just one example of how customer service AI can be incorporated to improve support and operational efficiency.

AI solutions can also be used to assist agents during customer interactions, automate analytics reporting, and more.

We’ll explore this in more detail below.

AI chatbot benefits

8 ways AI customer service can improve support

To every business that’s teetering on the steep cliff of competitive pricing…

Customers might come for the prices, but they stay for the service.

As businesses grow, it becomes increasingly harder to maintain the level of support and care that keeps consumers coming back.

AI-powered customer service can help with this in the following ways.

1. Boost efficiency in customer service teams

One key advantage of implementing AI customer service is the impact on efficiency. 

AI technology can save the day for bootstrapped support teams trying to balance quality and customer expectations. 

Agents can easily speed up tasks and customer interactions with the help of AI tools. 

Talkative’s AI Agent Copilot Suite, for instance, has an internal-facing chatbot called Navi.

Navi assists agents by answering their questions and providing real-time information during interactions.

As well as Navi, the Talkative Copilot Suite also offers AI features that can autocomplete messages and generate response suggestions for support agents.

These response suggestions are based on the customer’s message, the interaction context, and information from your knowledge base datasets.

Customer service AI can also automate data processing, reducing the need for manual data entry.

These solutions can take over simple yet crucial tasks like noting customer details, capturing lead data points, and populating the results in a sheet. 

You can even integrate the data collection process with email verification to validate contact information directly from your spreadsheet

That way, when your team reaches out to a customer via email, they’ll have pre-validated contact information and avoid wasting time on defunct addresses. 

AI agent copilot

2. Answer customer queries 24/7  

Unlike human agents, AI tools like chatbots don’t adhere to regular working hours.

These systems can be online 24/7, ready to answer customer queries at any time.

One of the key benefits of this is that it caters to the expectations of modern consumers.

These expectations demand shorter waiting times, faster responses, and prompt resolutions.

Case in point, 83% of customers expect an immediate response on reaching out.

Plus, 32% are willing to switch companies after a single negative customer experience. 

Obvious operational advantages aside, 24/7 chatbots cost a fraction of what it would take to run round-the-clock human support teams. 

In fact, AI-powered chatbots can decrease customer support costs by as much as 30%.

They can also integrate with your knowledge base, effectively becoming intelligent virtual assistants for your customers.

With Talkative’s GenAI Chatbot, for example, you can import web pages and file-based content into your own AI knowledge bases.

The bot then learns from your knowledge base datasets and can answer countless questions about your business, products, and services.

This significantly reduces the amount of customer queries requiring human intervention.

conversational AI chatbot virtual assistant

3. Tailor support with customer data

In a cut-throat environment, the only effective way to insulate yourself from competitors with nearly identical offerings, is through exceptional customer experiences.

And that can only be created when your customers feel valued and special. 

AI tools can help with this by collecting and recalling customer data.

Information like names, locations, preferred languages, account or subscription types, website activity, purchase history, and previous communication, can be processed by customer service AI.

These details can be leveraged to not only add personalisation but also warmth and familiarity to conversations.

This can be useful for creating a tailored customer experience that'll help you nudge leads towards purchase decisions.

You can also expand this personalisation across channels by sending SMS texts, WhatsApp messages, or emails recommending products to customers.

happy ecommerce customer making purchase on laptop

4. Gain deeper insights into customer satisfaction

The only surefire way to run a successful, sustainable business is by knowing your customers.

Over the course of their collective buyer journey, your customers provide masses of cues telling you exactly what they want and what will send them running for the hills. 

AI systems can mine and process this data from interactions, purchase history, browsing activity, etc.

They can also summarise and highlight key points from customer-agent interactions.

Take Talkative’s AI Interaction Summaries as an example. 

Powered by OpenAI's GPT models, this AI analytics tool works by generating automatic summaries of every live chat, web call, and video chat interaction. 

These concise summaries allow you to assess the content and outcome of any interaction at a glance.

Armed with this information, you can…

  • Better understand customer queries and behaviour
  • Identify bottlenecks and customer pain points 
  • Refine processes and products to meet customer expectations

These improvements to your customer service can help you achieve better Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) or Net Promoter scores.

AI interaction summaries

5. Break language barriers

For brands serving a global or diverse customer base, providing multilingual support is crucial. 

AI enables you to achieve this with real-time translation during customer interactions.

If a customer uses a different language than your agents, AI translation technology can detect this immediately.  

The AI will then identify the language used and translate all messages automatically (including responses back to the customer).

With this capability, you can make customer support accessible for all your customers - no matter where they're from or what language they prefer.

Being spoken to in their preferred language instantly sets customers at ease and reduces the possibility of miscommunication.

This not only strengthens customer relationships but also creates an inclusive and seamless customer experience.

It’s why Talkative offers automatic, real-time translation into over a hundred languages - for both live chat and chatbot interactions.

6. Simplify complex support workflows

AI solutions like chatbots are a great way to save time for your support team, reducing their workloads and streamlining workflows.

Chatbots can answer queries and offer self-service until a human rep is able to take over.

They can also assume responsibility for repetitive tasks and queries, freeing up time for them to deal with more complex issues.

You can expand and optimise your chatbot’s ability to automate workflows with the help of Talkative’s AI Knowledge Gap Report.

This feature works by generating a full list of all the questions customers have raised with your chatbot within a specified time period.

It also indicates whether or not the bot was able to answer each question successfully using its training data.

Armed with this information, you’ll be able to identify more queries that could be automated by your chatbot with improvements to its training dataset.

Upon making these improvements, the accuracy and performance of your chatbot will improve over time - allowing you to increasingly simply agent workflows.

AI virtual agent helping human agent

7. Ease the learning curve for new agents 

You can use the power of AI to improve the training and onboarding process for new agents.

With Talkative, for instance, you can utilise an AI Agent Training Simulator

This tool works by allowing agents to engage in virtual simulations of customer service interactions.

Once set up, the AI acts and responds as a customer might in a specified scenario.

In turn, your agents can interact with the AI as they would in a real-life live chat conversation.

The AI can also offer automated suggestions on how to deal with customers during the simulation. 

AI-enhanced training not only eases the learning curve for new agents but also helps existing agents to upskill or improve their performance.

Additionally, the simulations can be self-paced, which results in faster learning curves without expending limited human resources.

8. Collect employee and customer feedback

The true test of your AI customer support model is how well it services customer and agent expectations.

It’s why you should ask for customer feedback after an AI-enhanced interaction ends. 

To gather more qualitative feedback, Talkative offers customisable feedback forms that don't limit you to ratings or scores. 

You can ask multiple-choice questions or include answer fields to get detailed insights into customer preferences.

It’s also important to extend the same regard for your agents’ opinions. 

For newly implemented AI solutions, seek employee feedback regularly.

This helps you to identify and address potential bottlenecks before they escalate into a complete breakdown.

For example, if a lot of customers expressed dissatisfaction at billing queries being routed to a chatbot, you could consider switching the function back to human support. 

feedback emojis

The takeaway

AI for customer support makes the trifecta of efficiency, personalisation, and satisfaction possible.

It’s especially valuable for growing businesses that want to focus on product development without compromising customer experiences.

As the abilities and prevalence of AI solutions continue to expand, businesses must be willing to adapt - or risk falling behind.

Luckily, Talkative can help you get started.

Our customer service platform offers a variety of AI solutions - from advanced chatbots to AI agent copilot, sentiment analysis, AI reporting/analytics, real-time translation, and much more.

In addition to AI tools, we offer a suite of customer contact channels and capabilities - including live chat, web calling, video chat, cobrowse, and messaging.

It means you can deliver an AI-enhanced customer service experience - without breaking the bank or completely stripping away the human touch.

Want to learn more? Book a demo with Talkative today, and check out our interactive product tour.

About the author: Antonio Gabrić 

Antonio is an outreach manager at Hunter. For the last three years, he’s been helping SaaS companies grow their organic traffic and revenue through link building. At Hunter, Antonio is leading a link-building and outreach team to build backlinks that move the needle and connect with industry leaders. To get in touch and follow his experiments, say hi on LinkedIn.

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