Article of the week 51 – 2023

Obstacles to the introduction of AI in Customer Service at medium-sized companies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more entrenched in our lives than ever before and will continue to play a key role, especially in customer service. Innovative AI solutions, such as chatbots, have proven indispensable, and their progressive integration promises significant benefits for companies of all sizes, especially SMEs. However, this development also brings a certain complexity and various challenges. With my 25 years of experience as a Senior Consultant in customer service, I observe that many companies often fail to create the necessary foundations for successfully implementing AI technologies.

Practical Challenges

Many medium-sized companies face the issue that they lack essential components to successfully use artificial intelligence in customer service or in general. A major problem is often the absence of a place where all kinds of company data can be collected and preserved in their original form – this is known as a Data Lake. This „data lake“ should assimilate information from various sources. However, if there is no regular verification to ensure the data is correct and consistent, and if there are no clear rules for managing this data, the useful “data lake” can quickly become an unclear, useless „data swamp.“

Furthermore, a Business Intelligence (BI) department is crucial, which specializes in processing these data. This department should be able to extract valuable insights from the deluge of information, recognize patterns, and make predictions for future trends. A lack in this area often leads to strategic decisions being made more on intuition than on solid data analysis.

Business Analysts also play a critical role. They act as the interface between IT and business sides, translating complex data into actionable insights and clear strategies. Without these experts, companies cannot fully realize the benefits of AI, as the understanding of data utilization for optimizing customer service processes is missing.

In summary: The lack of a Data Lake, a functional BI department, and skilled Business Analysts constitutes a significant barrier to the effective use of AI in customer service and prevents companies from fully exploiting their potential.

Financial Challenges

The implementation of AI technologies in customer service is not only a technological challenge but also a financial one. Establishing the necessary foundations often requires significant investments in technology, staff development, and process adjustments. These investments are crucial to effectively harness the benefits of AI technologies and secure long-term competitive advantages.

Advantages of using AI in customer service

The use of artificial intelligence in customer service offers numerous benefits, from increased efficiency to improved customer interactions. Here are some key benefits detailed:

Real-time insights: By providing insights into active conversations and proactive recommendations in real time, agents can work more efficiently. This increases responsiveness and the accuracy of customer care.

Case management: Modern software enables agents to quickly identify and solve customer problems by offering a comprehensive view of the customer contact history. This leads to faster and more effective problem resolution.

Collaboration with collaboration tools: Networking experts to solve complex cases through embedded collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Trello, etc., and intelligent inquiry swarming facilitate collaboration and accelerate problem solving.

Intelligent routing: Modern AI systems in customer service can perform in-depth analyses to optimally support customer service teams. This includes:

  • Customer Satisfaction Scores: AI can identify patterns in customer satisfaction scores and tailor interactions to individual customer segments.
  • First Contact Resolution Rate: Effective AI systems assess the ability of service agents to resolve customer inquiries at first contact, thereby improving the customer experience.
  • Communication Skills: AI can analyze the communication styles of agents and ensure that they match customer interactions that require specific communicative nuances.
  • Expert Knowledge: AI can recognize the expertise of agents in specific subject areas and assign them the corresponding customer inquiries accordingly.
  • Emotional intelligence: AI tools can assess the emotional intelligence of agents to deploy them in particularly sensitive customer situations.

The introduction of AI in customer service for medium-sized enterprises is more than a technological innovation; it is a complex process that requires strategic thinking, careful planning, and significant financial resources. We at junokai have the necessary expertise to accompany you and your company on this path. We help you to consider the introduction of AI realistically and to create the necessary foundations to derive real, measurable value from this technology. Our focus is on developing an integrated CRM strategy that enhances the customer experience through targeted use of AI, while we also manage financial and organizational challenges.

Michael Jurisch – Senior Consultant


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