Interacting with customers was never a professional affair. Even if it was business, it was expected to be personal and curated. In fact, all of my best experiences have been personal and helpful. What I realized that, in each of those instances, the brand executive always understood my problems and met me halfway. The key component was empathy.
As Michael Scott said in The Office, “People will never go out of business.” If you take care of your people aka customers, you will find yourself growing exponentially. In a fast paced world, it is very difficult to empathize and take care of each customer. It is a costly and tedious job. However, technology has evolved enough to facilitate these advantages.
To incorporate empathy and care into your company mindset, you have to start with your frontline workers i.e. contact center agents. Your agents are your foot soldiers who are interacting with your customers relentlessly. Starting from that base, you can positively impact your customers and turn them into lifelong revenue streams.
Becoming a customer-centric business means, to build around empathy. In other words, you need to focus on technology that will enable this process. Your customer experience will become more intelligent, exclusive and intimate. All these are only possible when you rely on superior intelligence that is AI. From sentiment analysis to extracting hundreds of feedbacks, an AI can map the customer’s behavior. This knowledge will help you deliver whatever your customer needs and woo them for a lifetime.
To Know Your Customer
How AI Can Help Build Empathy?
Companies have always wanted to know their customers better. They took different protocols such as collecting feedback, measuring CSAT score or NPS, generating email surveys and what not. The survey collected satisfaction rates, advocacy rate and even recommendations. But they failed to evaluate the emotional quotient of these interactions. In fact, you can score the brand poorly and leave them without telling why. If an agent follows up as well, chances are you still wouldn’t spare your precious time to explain what went wrong. This is where brands end up losing customers without proper investigation into why there is a leakage.
If one looks past these protocols, one can notice that the customer was honest about their feelings throughout. In your omnichannel strategy, your touchpoints must be integrated to give a cohesive customer profile. You can analyze through all the data such as customer comments, customer past tickets, customer lifetime value and other relevant information. These will reveal a better picture than just a rating on a scale of 0-10.
With so much data already being available, why do companies still lose customer? It is because they do not have the man-power or the infrastructure to compute through such heaps of data. While small companies can afford to focus on a few VIP clients, big businesses need something more responsible and independent to run the show. This is where an AI-driven strategy can allow your business to analyze, adapt and overcome all the issues that are present in your process.
Analyzing heaps of customer information, feedback data, various interactions and agent feedback is a tedious job. It is laborious and time intensive. But AI-driven tools can go through data in a few seconds. The primary task is to scouting for the primary emotion the customer feels when communicating with your brand. To unfold this information, you can run sentiment analysis.
As fancy as it sounds, sentiment analysis is similar to keyword mapping. Imagine you run an airline service. Now, there are certain words a customer must use to explain their frustration or issues with the company. Some of these keywords maybe like “bad airline food”, “over expensive “, “poor staff”, “flight delays”, “struggling”, “baggage lost”, and more. Now, let’s take an example: I had a poor experience on my trip and I wrote to the customer service, “Hey, I boarded flight number XXXXX on Tuesday and the flight was delayed with no notification to the passengers waiting. It was confusing and none of your staff could give the accurate timing for the flight”
The AI-driven tool will detect words like flight number, “delayed”, “passengers waiting” and “poor experience.” It can detect more words or extract intent as per its training to reveal a complete picture on what the customer felt. The AI model can conclude that this customer had a poor experience due to miscommunication and is disappointed. A manager who is accessing this information, can ask any agent to follow up with the customer with an apology and gift voucher. In the meantime, the manager can also inform the relevant teams to improve on customer communications and so on. This is how you build on empathy using AI.
This example is a singular instance. Leveraging such tools across all touchpoints is the way to build empathy. Solutions like AI-driven chatbots, voicebots, predictive tools and data analytics tools will help you access information that is not obvious. Through these, you can capture customer sentiments in the real time. Managers can interfere at any time and prevent the customer from leaving.
Let me offer another example of how empathy is powered by AI. This is related to collection bot – a voice bot which does debt collection call. As we all know that debt collection is not only tedious but also have low success rate and companies felt that its better done by human agents. However, Voicebot is doing this with a dash of empathy and does it significantly better than its human peer. With the power of AI, the “voice” of the voice bot can be of your Brand Ambassador – a Sports Star or a Film Star. Now, this is not recorded voice but AI model can be trained with your brand ambassador voice. The empathy of voicebot is designed in a way that the treatment with a first time defaulter is not the same as with multi time defaulter. Based on the response of the customer, the response and the tone of the voicebot changes and provides the necessary empathy to achieve better success rate.
Overall, customers expect to be understood. Through AI-tools you can anticipate customer behaviour over the time and take precautionary measures. You can use this information to train your agents and prepare them for various situations. In fact, you can no longer imagine your customer experience without artificial intelligence. Your team needs to be proactive to prevent customer churn. You can no longer afford to make changes after losing your customer. To enable intelligent experience, you must adopt a smart module integrated with AI-tools. Integrating, these tools across all your social channels and physical channels as well, will enhance your customer support quality.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.