AI-powered chatbots and their role in customer service and support.
15 years ago
Over fifteen years ago, the only way of resolving queries about a product or a service is get on a call with the customer service department of the entity. There used to be a huge queue of callers and used to take a good 15 minutes to get your turn. Beside, because humans from different geographies are involved, there used to be lot of miscommunication in place which used to result in longer conversations.
5 years ago
Fast forward a decade, it was an era of chatbots! Every company used to have chatbots which used to respond autonomously from simple queries to mid range equerries. Lot of chatbot tools emerged in a very short span where you could build the flows, connect external databases/APIs so that the conversations are contextual.
Most of the chatbots used to use some sort of learning modals, and major focus was on NLPs. This resulted in efficient customer service in general from both customer point of view - the queries were resolved in lesser time with higher detail, and from companies point of view - they could achieve significant reduction in the support TATs.
This impacted the customer service department in a positive way in fact. The major segment of the queries are low hanging fruits where a chotbot could answer. All the other complex quires were transferred the humans so that it is less stressed on the service team and could get the better results for the company.
Present - Emergence of generative AI
The current gen AI is far more advanced the previous gen AI technology. The AI solutions we have now, for example OpenAI, opened up there APIs for the public. There are tons of tools evolved, where you don't have to teach the modal, or build the flow per se, in fact, with just few button clicks, they could understand your entire business, terms, complicated policies, etc. One such tool is - https://sitegpt.ai
The generative AI, unlike the previous gen AI, is far superior in understanding the context of the conversations, they are almost close to humans in understanding different types languages. You can even connect the AI to your data stores, no matter in what shape it is, could answer the queries far better comparatively.
I feel, it is still very early stage of the disruption of the AI in real world usage but an area like, customer service, is an easy place to get penetrated first. It still takes time for companies to adapt the new technology. On top of this, it is still not clear how the privacy of the data that is shared to the AI is maintained. All these teething issues will be sorted soon.
I guess, AI will be everywhere across the industries. Humans will be interacting with AI almost all the time. Specifically, an area like customer service, where things are predefined, even if not, the future AI is going to be smart enough to answer all sorts of questions. Humans will be solving other interesting problems instead :)