We live in a time when customers are particularly sensitive and demanding about the speed, convenience and quality of service. They expect to be served when and how they want.
In customer service, chatbots, which companies use to solve at least standard queries, no longer surprise anyone. This technology was originally met with considerable scepticism, but it is rapidly improving. Not only is integration done with corporate CRM systems and data warehouses – but solutions are also being sought to combine bot service with live customer service specialist consultation. Even an algorithm for identifying customer sentiments is being implemented to make bot service as similar as possible to the service of a live specialist.
In addition to chatbots, query prioritisation mechanisms are often used, when the most complex queries are assigned to the most experienced specialists, and beginners are given the easiest, repetitive ones so that specialist resources are used as efficiently as possible.
Artificial intelligence is used not only to systematise and update knowledge bases but also to connect all of the channels so that a customer who does not receive information quickly through one channel is directed to another where there is no query queue. Robot solutions are even being implemented through customer service call channels, and bots are already able to answer simple questions.
If you were to ask people born after 1995 whether bots will replace humans in customer service and make companies more efficient, the answer would unequivocally be “yes”. However, recent trends show that in providing customer service to corporate clients, there will inevitably be a transformation to hyper-personalisation, where artificial intelligence will play a supporting role.
In B2B customer service, one of the most important aspects is a personalised relationship with a competent specialist. Empathy and a human connection are valued here more than the speed and convenience of the response, and an in-depth analysis of the specific situation followed by a solution and advice adapted to it are already expected during the first contact.
Corporate clients are reluctant to accommodate events frequently changing specialists who need to be told everything from the beginning. Let alone interacting with a bot.
The human factor is especially difficult to replace when the company’s products are complex, and the answer requires analysis and in-depth examination. In cases like these, the customer expects a real person to not only provide information but also to talk, discuss and make decisions together.
This is why B2B customer service requires more experienced and better-skilled professionals than B2C. If the company is not one of the most well-known and not as attractive to the employees as the big telecommunications, IT and fintech companies, this can be a challenge. Specialists who know how to establish a personalised relationship with each customer, ensure long-term cooperation and maintain a good customer experience even if problems come up, are thus becoming almost priceless.
This will encourage businesses to take advantage of artificial intelligence more quickly so that within the next decade, standard queries will no longer require a human to process. But first, we will have to change our approach to handling non-standard queries and transform the current customer service centres into customer experience centres.
Hyper-personalised customer service will not (only) solve the problems that come up – it will also start the customer experience from the very first steps through the synergy of proactive personal attention and tools that process past data to get to know the customer. This will require exceptional skills and experience on the part of employees as well as the implementation of new technologies and processes and will use artificial intelligence to do what it does best.