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May I Take Your Order? Keeping Pace With Ai In Customer Service

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By Author: Sharon Harry, Metropolis Corp
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While on a weekend trip with my daughter recently, I pulled up to the drive-thru of a popular fast food restaurant chain. As I approached the ordering screen, I expected to be greeted through the crackling microphone of a headset-wearing teenage employee. Instead, I was greeted by the brightly lit, looming screen of an AI-powered self-service kiosk. The screen used natural language processing to take my order, tallied up my total, and sent me on to the next window.

As someone who works with AI every day, I wasn't sure why I was so taken aback. But experiences like this make it clear - AI-powered customer service will soon be ubiquitous.

Staying current with the latest AI customer service trends and innovations will be crucial for businesses in the coming years. Here's why it's important and how you can stay in the know.

Why Staying Current with AI Matters

First, adopting cutting-edge AI can improve customer satisfaction. Chatbots and virtual assistants provide 24/7 support and give customers quick, efficient service. Conversational AI like the voice tech I encountered at the drive through understands ...
... natural language, delivering seamless interactions. These types of self-service interactions are what customers today expect, and they don't always WANT to speak to a human.

AI also increases efficiency and reduces costs. By automating routine inquiries, AI customer service frees up human agents to handle complex issues or escalated matters. And without human limitations, AI works tirelessly without ever losing patience.

Key Innovations to Watch

Here are some of the top innovations shaping the future of AI customer service:

- Chatbots and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa continue improving through advances in natural language processing. They can understand context and sentiment better than ever, and with the rise of voice-activated speakers, we can get the knowledge that we need without lifting a finger. We don't even need to type, anymore; we can just say what we need and Alexa will answer.

- Recommendation engines utilize data mining to understand customers and suggest relevant products and services. This creates personalized experiences so customers are interacted with on a humanized level, even if it is with a chatbot.

- Robotic process automation handles repetitive back-end tasks like data entry, freeing up employees. Integrating RPA with AI enhances its capabilities, and while, yes, this technology will replace many current jobs in the marketplace, it will also open up the need for new roles as the technology continues to evolve.

- Extended reality allows customers to virtually interact with service agents and products before purchasing. VR and AR improve customer experiences, and while this technology isn't commonplace yet, give it another five to ten years.

- 5G networks will enable ultra-responsive, on-demand AI customer service from any location. Cell towers are everywhere, powering our pocket-sized computers (AKA phones), so we can research and even purchase what we need on-demand from almost anywhere.

Staying in the Loop

The customer service industry has remained the same for almost fifty years, but with AI, that is all changing, and it is changing fast. Even though it isn't possible to implement everything that is available instantly, keeping up to date with that latest technology and understanding what is available will future-proof your decisions so you avoid installing a new technology that isn't likely to be around for long.

- Attend industry conferences and trade shows to see demos of the latest AI tech. Interact with vendors to learn what's coming.

- Follow thought leaders and influencers in AI customer service on social media. Stay on top of insights and innovations. (We recommend finding Paul Davis of Metropolis on LinkedIn. He possesses a wealth of knowledge).

- Read industry publications covering the latest AI tools, applications, and best practices. Subscribe to email newsletters.

- Join online forums and communities discussing AI customer service trends. Exchange ideas and get questions answered.

The fast-changing landscape of AI customer service means businesses must diligently track emerging tech. While AI offers exciting capabilities, integrating the latest innovations as they arise is key to delivering top-notch customer experiences. By staying informed and being proactive, companies can ensure they don't get left behind.

About the Author:

Sharon Harry helps B2B companies grow their brands through organic strategies. With over 15 years of experience, she is passionate about using data and analytics to drive smart marketing decisions that glean results.

Sharon spearheads efforts for Metropolis Corp, a cutting-edge developer of communication analytics and collaboration trending software that helps businesses improve customer service. Positioned at the forefront of the AI revolution, Metropolis Corp is reshaping the landscape of Unified Communications through multi-platform insights.

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