The Impact of Generative AI on Customer Service
We here at Simplr believe that within a decade, 90% of today’s customer service inquiries will either be automated or proactively prevented. Forrester has taken this one step further and predicted that 70% will be automated by the end of this year.
We may not know the exact date but, clearly, a monumental transformation is afoot. And no other department will be as profoundly impacted as Customer Experience (CX), a business function that depends on high volumes of human labor in order to be successful.
Advancements in chatbot quality, as seen with ChatGPT, will put an increased C-Suite emphasis on technology adoption and cost-cutting initiatives. Few companies want to be part of the “late majority” on the AI chatbot adoption curve because the cost savings are too great to pass up.
Reframing the Narrative About AI in Customer Service
For CX, the impending “AI Era” is less about replacing people/processes and more about reimagining the way CX organizations use large language models (LLMs) to operate and care for their customers.
Ironically, it’s important not to think about generative AI in binary terms. 90% of automated inquiries doesn’t necessarily mean a 90% reduction in workforce. Specific ticket types won’t be either (1) automated or (2) not automated – some may be proactively prevented and some may be entirely eliminated!
4 Impacts of Generative AI on Customer Experience
I would like to explore a few of the broader impacts of ChatGPT that will help business leaders get in the right mindset around generative AI in customer service.
Let’s get started!
1 – Consumer behavior will be fundamentally changed by Generative AI
Once Google leans fully into Generative AI (hello, Bard!), conversational search will become the new standard for consumer behavior. Potentially, we could see the entire online shopping experience flipped on its head… rather than brands putting products in front of customers, what if customers come to a brand and dictated the entire experience on a conversational basis?
For example, rather than sifting through a brand’s entire selection of bathing suits, or a bank’s suite of accounts, a customer could tell the brand what they’re looking for or that they just simply want to see something new.
Obviously, this is happening right now with personalized online shopping experiences, but that is just a perk that some companies are offering. I think this will not be a nice-to-have, but the default way that consumers will approach online shopping.
Of course, chat will be a driving channel in this case. So without further ado…
2 – Chat will be the dominant customer service channel.
Conversational customer service interactions cannot be accomplished without a steadfast commitment to live chat. I believe that chat should be the #1 focus of every C-Suite and CX leader at ecommerce companies. Here are some brands that are already doing this particularly well:
3 – The roles and responsibilities of the CX department will be restructured
Right now, CX organizations include, roughly, teams of: internal support agents, experienced managers, executives, and outsourced agents (through an onshore or offshore Business Process Outsourcer). Here are some ways that I think the CX team structure could be affected by Generative AI:
- CX teams will include data scientists and conversational designers who are responsible for managing automation and creating exceptional online customer experiences.
- Tighter collaboration between Marketing and CX. Marketing will be tasked with getting the brand into other conversations (instead of SEO?), which will include engaging with potential customers.
- Little to no BPO involvement. At Simplr, we don’t believe that traditional BPOs are equipped ot handle the AI transformation coming its way.
4 – Proactive prevention will be a big part of CX
Historically, technology and automation have helped reduce customer service ticket volume. Generative AI will do it on a whole other level.
The data that will be flowing through an AI-first CX organization will help businesses not only better understand their customers, but help them before they even reach out. The level of information empowers organisations to be more proactive than ever.
Is Your Business Ready For the Next Era of AI?
CX organizations will be greatly impacted by Generative AI. The key to success is to understand what the future state of customer support will look like and how best to serve customers. If you’d like to be a part of this conversation, join me and Amit Sood, Simplr’s Head of Product, on April 18 for a fireside chat on this topic.
About Simplr’s AI Capabilities
Simplr’s AI/ML is CX-centric and our data set is focused on customer service. By partnering with Simplr, companies can feel confident that they have a team of data scientists who will make sure that all LLMs, including ChatGPT’s models, are leveraged to continuously deliver the best agent and customer experience. Additionally, Simplr is committed to increasing overall efficiency, providing a higher quality digital customer experience, at a lower cost. Learn more here.