Forget robots taking over and stealing jobs! 2024 is about augmenting us, the human heroes, with the superpowers of conversational and generative AI. So, contact center leaders and tech support gurus, listen up!

by Josh Streets
Date Published January 19, 2024 - Last Updated 9 Days, 19 Hours, 12 Minutes ago

There’s a lot of focus or buzz on choosing one solution for a small amount of GenAI or conversational AI use cases right now. What we should be focused on is how to transform our entire organization holistically, via the right augmentation and phased strategy. For external customers and internal customers, people-, process-, and technology-focused AI transformation creates dependency for many other decisions.

Here are ten reasons why AI augmentation strategy is the key to unlocking your contact center or service desk success in 2024:

Internal Customers

  • Automated Resolutions at Warp Speed: Repetitive tasks like password resets and software updates are AI's playground. Conversational AI can guide customers through automated workflows, resolving simple issues in minutes and freeing up your human agents to tackle more complex problems. It's like having a tireless digital assistant tackling the mundane, leaving your team free to focus on the intricate, tier 2 or 3 issues. This can also be leveraged 24/7, saving potential cost for overnights.
  • Knowledge Base on Autopilot: Maintaining a comprehensive knowledge base can be a full-time job. Generative AI can take the reins, automatically updating and expanding your knowledge base with new solutions, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides. It's like having a self-learning encyclopedia available to your employees and possibly even your customers.
  • Predictive Maintenance Before the Meltdown: Imagine preventing IT disasters before they even happen. AIOps can analyze system data to identify potential issues and predict equipment failures. This proactive approach lets your team schedule preventative maintenance, avoiding downtime and keeping customers happy.
  • Multilingual Mastery: Breaking down language barriers just got easier. Conversational AI can translate languages in real-time, ensuring seamless support for your global customer base. No more fumbling with translation apps or hiring multilingual agents – AI makes the world your service desk.
  • Data-Driven Insights for Strategic Decisions: AI isn't just about the here and now; it's about the future. By analyzing past performance and predicting future trends, AI can provide valuable insights to help your teams make strategic decisions. Asking AI to analyze data and use predictive analytics to help humans improve performance or to suggest specific recommendations is something that we can all benefit from.

External Customers

  • Hyper-Personalization via AI: Imagine remembering every customer's preferred cheese on their burger, their dog's birthday, or their aversion to wool products. AI can analyze mountains of data to personalize interactions in real-time, making each customer feel like the VIP they are. Conversational AI chatbots can engage in friendly banter, while generative AI crafts specific product recommendations. It's like having a familiar concierge available for your customers. If they’re giving up their data or personal information, they expect to get something in return.
  • Empathy Amplified: We humans are great at empathy, but sometimes life (and spreadsheets) get in the way. AI can pick up the slack, analyzing customer sentiment and predicting needs before they're even voiced. Imagine an AI assistant flagging a frustrated customer email and suggesting a personalized offer to win them back. That's customer service with a sixth sense.
  • Efficiency Unleashed: We all have 24 hours in a day, but wouldn't it be nice if some tasks could magically disappear? AI handles the mundane (think scheduling appointments, answering FAQs, resolving basic issues) while humans focus on the strategic and the human touch.
  • Sales Supercharged: Forget cold calls and canned pitches. AI can be your ultimate sales development buddy. Conversational AI chatbots can qualify leads, schedule demos, and even answer basic product questions 24/7, warming up the audience for your human sales superstars. Generative AI can craft personalized sales proposals and objection-deflecting scripts, tailoring each interaction to the customer's specific needs and pain points. Imagine having a tireless AI assistant whispering winning strategies in your ear before every call.
  • 24/7 Service via AI: Customers don't care about time zones or office hours. They want help when they need it, even at 3 am. AI, the tireless champion, can take over after-hours support, handling simple queries and escalating complex issues. This frees up your human team to focus on high-value interactions during the day, leaving everyone happy and well-rested.

Augmenting humans with AI isn't about replacement; it's about amplification. It's about unleashing the best of both worlds to create experiences that are not just good, but personalized and easy to work with. It's about humans and AI teaming up to clear the experience path to make it easy for others to climb.

But this is just base camp. There's a whole world of AI-powered Everests waiting to be explored.

Remember, AI transformation isn't a one-time project or simple hike; it's a journey of continuous learning and improvement. By working together, humans and AI can create a future where contact centers and service desks are not just reactive, but proactive, personalized, and ultimately, delightful for everyone. Those companies who align CX Leaders with IT leaders to cocreate an AI augmentation vision with or for the entire company are the ones who will win in 2024 and beyond. Many times, these leaders came from either the contact center or service desk or are still there and can lead an AI effort for the entire organization.

Tag(s): supportworld, artificial intelligence, ITSM, service management, ITIL, business value, future of support

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