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article imageAI can help boost customer service during COVID-19

By Tim Sandle     Aug 15, 2020 in Business
The impact upon customer-facing businesses can be assisted by a greater use of artificial intelligence during the coronavirus era, according to a new report looking at ways to sharpen the customer service function.
The new survey data comes from the company CallMiner and it looks at the customer experience (CX), drawing on insights from the pandemic. The report went live on August 3, 2020, and it includes an analysis from 2,000 consumers on their preferences and experiences with brands throughout COVID-19.
Customer service is about the interaction between the buyer of a product and the company that sells it. Good customer service is critical to business success, and it also has a longer-term effect in relation to brand reputation.
The report focuses on how brands responded to COVID-19 with a lack of CX technology as well as drawing-out COVID-19’s impact on customer preference and behaviour. This includes how client preferences have shifted and, in turn, how this has further created the need for technology for those supplying customer services.
According to Jeff Gallino, founder and CTO of CallMiner the findings exemplify the need for technology solutions to can address issues to improve the customer experience.
The survey finds that human connection is preferred, especially during times of the pandemic. With this issue, 77 percent of consumers continued to call customer support despite warnings of long wait times and encouragement from brands to use self-service channels.
An unsurprising fact during the height of the pandemic was that brands struggled to meet consumer needs. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said 75-100 percent of their calls mentioned coronavirus, yet 30 percent said agents were only “somewhat” able to answer their coronavirus-related questions or concerns with accuracy and credibility. This represents a large area and it is something that affects customer loyalty.
Also during the COVID-19 height it was found that remote contact centers caused challenges. In fact, 60 percent of consumers encountered issues with at-home agents, including delays to information, noise and disruptions, the inability to process certain requests, and abrupt hang-ups or failed transfers.
In order to drive success forwards, as well as technology, it is apparent that connecting emotionally and empathetically is key. Of the customers that switched providers during the pandemic, nearly 45 percent said they would have stayed if brands delivered a better customer experience or connected with them on a human level.
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