I welcome you to the future, but in the modern digital world, robots will do most of the welcome. Just look at the numbers: Enterprise AI spending in 2017 is estimated to exceed $12.5 billion. One of the biggest investments in this huge sum is automating customer service agents. According to a 2016 Oracle report, more than 80% of sales and marketing leaders are using or planning to use chatbots in the near future. It's a natural evolution for an industry already so heavily reliant on technology. A 2017 survey of 35 AI executives further confirmed this trend, marking consumer-facing virtual agents and conversational chatbots as the No. 1 area of AI growth over the next five years. but why? Mainly money. A 2017 Salesforce press release predicts that artificial intelligence (AI)-driven CRM activity will add more than $1.10 to the global economy by 2021, while adding 800,000 new jobs. But there's also a lot of practicality behind the dollar, backed by cold logic to move to AI-based customer service. Explore some of the key benefits of using AI-powered customer service: AI Improves Your Current Customer Service Levels Like any other technology, AI augments our capabilities, making us smarter and faster, while making our jobs easier. Simple AI customer service increases productivity by freeing employees from simple or mundane tasks to focus on creative and complex decision-making that AI cannot yet accomplish.
For example, an automated phone system is now able to figure out who you are, what you want and where to send you before you speak to a live person. AI triage and routing of support requests via instant messaging and phone calls is commonplace today and more stealthy than ever. When deploying this sync service via instant messaging, you may not even realize that you are being deftly passed on to a field rep for complex issues or a chatbot for simple issues. HubSpot Messages is a new platform that provides such support. Not only can AI work alongside your human customer service team, it can more easily handle complex requests that still need to be supported by real people. Conversational AI can listen for clues in the conversation and provide customer service agents with the most likely and relevant answers before they start searching. By providing your team with the industry mailing list content right away, businesses can significantly reduce their overall customer service response and handling times. AI speeds up your sales cycle Buyers don’t wake up in the morning wanting to buy something for no reason. This is a process that takes time. As a sales professional, you want to help make the process as fast and straightforward as possible. After all, in this case, time is money. In the beginning, AI accelerated the sales cycle by using simple information and contextual cues to identify and target prospects based on their habits, preferences, location, and just about any factor you can think of.
Digital advertising and social media make this AI-based targeting simple. Just tell the platform who you are looking for. Are Idaho moms who recently bought an SUV and love to walk for charity? simple. What would normally take a market research company a lifetime to track, AI can do in an instant. By simply looking at what we casually post and share online, from photos to comments to location tracking, AI can draw conclusions faster than humans. One of the coolest aspects of technology is the use of image recognition to identify products and brands in our photos. When used with social media and search engines, similar technologies reveal our connections to the people and places we know best, and even the types of communications we enjoy. Once you've targeted your prospects, you can qualify and convert them by using AI to personalize the website content they see and your digital marketing. Just use these leads to create individual buyer personas and create content based on each persona's unique pain points. Now you can feed that content to contextual marketing or intelligent content AI and deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Time-based and intent-based marketing automation are two ways to use AI to automate content, such as emails, to your prospects. The former uses a schedule to send each part of a marketing campaign, while the latter relies on customer actions to trigger their actions, such as pushing an email related to a recently purchased product or a set of web pages you recently visited. Once your leads are nurtured enough to become customers, conversational AI can perfectly mimic a live sales rep on your website. It will answer your questions, schedule meetings and even close deals 24 hours a day. You'll look like the hardest-working company on the block when you and your entire team live a real life after 5pm marvelous.
AI uses data to make smarter decisions At large (read: gigantic, massive) scales, AI can make sense of data faster, engineering insights from huge datasets that people can easily miss. This information can be used to support countless intelligent, data-driven business decisions. SEOs have been leveraging data to improve customer experience for years. Data is observed and weighed to build paths for potential customers and keep them on the right page. So why not? Why rely on intuition when math is so easy to understand? AI can identify and track patterns, such as the number of customer inquiries for a particular product or service, increased call volume, and social media buzz. All of these features alert the right people to an issue before it escalates. AI creates happier customers AI in customer service isn’t about saving money by eliminating the need for humans. It’s about spending and earning smarter by using AI to better deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Every company expects real-time responses 24 hours a day and seamless communication from website to sales. But this level of customer service comes with a hefty price tag. A cost-effective alternative is an AI platform, a conversational program that can be integrated with a company's existing website to complement its existing customer service. Drift is a conversational AI platform that we use at Impulse Creative. We are a small team located on the East Coast serving clients across the country. Visitors to our site can schedule a meeting with any of us in minutes, when it's most convenient for them and when they're ready to talk. In this way, Drift makes time zone and location irrelevant, while serving us leads on a digital platter.
As a customer support tool, a conversational AI platform helps create a seamless customer experience. Whether you end up working with a bot or an agent, all information from your previous inquiries and orders is automatically retrieved in real-time for important context, saving time and reducing confusion. (Honestly, it's always good to not have to repeat more than 20 digits of tracking numbers.) Internally, Drift allows us to save and share sales conversations with the entire team, with important contextual notes. This helps us respond quickly and consistently to sales inquiries, no matter how busy our current workload is. Quality control is another easy win for AI assistants and chatbots, driving a consistent, efficient customer experience without emotion. No matter how angry your customers are, your AI customer service will stay calm and unaffected by the situation.