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Artificial Intelligence: How Can Testing Automated Customer Service Add Value

By Author: Michael
Total Articles: 79

The advent of Artificial Intelligence or AI in sectors like ecommerce, big data, cloud or IoT brings extreme reactions in its wake. The reactions are mainly related to the immense possibilities of AI in transforming the digital landscape combined with anxiety and numerous apprehensions. The anxiety is around Artificial Intelligence replacing humans as it goes about automating and augmenting the systems that are at present managed by humans.

Notwithstanding the exaggerated fears that AI could bring, there is no denying of its benefits as far as enabling digital transformation is concerned. In ecommerce for example, AI has the potential to drastically alter the shopping experience on the lines of a brick and mortar store. The way a salesperson assists in finding the right merchandise in a brick and mortar store, AI too can be the unspoken ‘shop assistant’ in an online store.

What is Artificial Intelligence and how does it help?

It is the capability of a system, be it in the form of an OS platform, a tool or an application, to respond to a customer input without being actually instructed to do so. To explain it further, a computer system works on the basis of programs where the codes (as part of the programs) process the input and generate an output. AI, on the other hand, does not require any explicit code or program to respond to an input. The response of an AI is mainly based on specific algorithms, past usage of datasets, and other observations. Its increased implementation can drastically alter the user experience for the better.

At present, customers are mostly at the mercy of the human interface at the other end of the system. The situation is most stark in institutions/organizations that handle customers in a big way such as banks, railways or airline enquiries, etc. If AI can replace the human factor in such cases and provide specific and timely information, there can be no looking back for the customers.

The best use of AI in ecommerce or a website can be cited in the form of a chatbot. A chatbot or virtual assistant generates an automated output based on a specific customer input (keywords) without any human interface. In doing so, the chatbot, though in its infancy, responds to customer queries without the need for a human to be present. Thus, irrespective of the time (and frequency) of a customer input, the chatbot is ever ready to dish out a response. This feature leads to a better user experience as the customer feels his or her query is attended to in right earnest. In the highly competitive digital landscape, the use of AI can mean the difference between a poor and good UX (User Experience). No wonder businesses have started using AI to ensure a robust system-customer interface such as chatbot. Examples can be cited as that of the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and others.

With IoT, cloud computing and data analytics preparing the way for Artificial Intelligence to come in a big way, humans will become even more dependent on AI. The role of automation testing services in checking the functioning AI through chatbots will continue to grow. Let us find out how the testing of an automated customer service through software test automation can lead to value addition.

Improving the quality of service: Virtual assistants have facilitated customer service in a big way. By dipping into a database for known keywords or phrases, these programs take inputs in the form of text or voice commands. Thereafter, by using predictive customer analytics or speech recognition the answer to the query is chosen from the database. Not only that, should the virtual assistant find a query beyond its scope, it can arrange for a human interface as well.

Now, unless these automated customer services are tested before their actual deployment, the glitches present therein can create issues. These issues can mar the customer experience by dishing out wrong or misleading information. So, testers should undertake an automation testing approach to identify and eliminate the glitches.

Reduce costs: By ensuring the seamless performance of a virtual assistant an organization can reduce the overhead costs. The cost savings can be on account of not hiring of an employee and associated costs thereof like medical leave, insurance, taxes, provident fund etc. Hence, to ensure the seamless performance of an automated customer service, automation testing services should be undertaken.

Work round the clock: The automated customer service can work round the clock, that is, even beyond the business hours. There is no need to hire employees for the purpose as the virtual assistant can provide the required customer service 24 x 7. To ensure it does so without any hitch, automation testing services should be used for validation.

Focus on other jobs: The automated customer service takes the load off employees from attending to routine customer queries. The employees can be trained to focus on other jobs or deployed in functions or processes where there is a greater need for trained resources. The employees can thus add value to the organization by increasing productivity. To enable these, the quality of virtual assistants should be maintained. This necessitates the use of an automation testing approach.

Improves efficiency: The speed at which an automated customer service can deliver a response is simply unmatched. The better the quality of such an assistant, the better will be the customer experience. Hence, software test automation is needed to validate the quality of a virtual assistant.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence in the form of an automated customer service can add value to an organisation by enhancing the whole customer experience. This requires the use of software test automation services to validate the quality.

Michael works for Cigniti Technologies, which is one of the Independent Software Testing company in the world to be appraised at CMMI-SVC Level 5, and an ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 27001:2013 certified organization.

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