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The Road to AI — Evolving and Learning With Industry Leaders

  

As AI and automation become more essential to customer service and support teams, brands that learn to adopt and integrate these technologies effectively will have a substantial advantage in the fight for customer loyalty.

We spoke with experts in customer service from Victoria Beckham Beauty, Caraway Home, and Birdies about their experiences with AI so that brands like yours can apply their knowledge to accelerate your own AI strategy.

Testing AI Experiments with Victoria Beckham Beauty

After 10 years of using AI in customer service, Leanna N., Director of CX at Victoria Beckham Beauty, said she’s seen the technology evolve from being used for simple administrative tasks to far more powerful applications.

“Today, I think about AI differently,” Leanna said. “I am already thinking about how amazing it would be to utilize AI enhancements to improve customer interactions.”

Although Victoria Beckham Beauty has yet to fully integrate AI into the customer service workflow, Leanna and her team are testing the waters with a variety of AI-centered experiments. This process allows Leanna and her team to identify where both agents and customers alike can benefit the most from this evolving technology.

During the holiday season, Leanna’s team tested out the effects of order-specific AI interactions to create a more personalized shopping experience. “We think it would be great to maybe build an order, auto-populate a cart, or allow the customer service team to follow up on AI-recommended items,” she said.

For CX leaders to maximize their success, Leanna believes growing alongside AI is key. Her team has considered creating career opportunities specifically dedicated to AI management. By creating these positions, Leanna’s team can continue to scale alongside AI sustainably and effectively.

Busting AI Myths in Ecommerce

If you're not sure what to believe about AI, discover the truth as Joe Ciuffo, former Director of Product Marketing at Gladly, busts some common misconceptions about AI in ecommerce.

Growing Alongside AI with Caraway Home

Nancy Gurd, Associate Director of Customer Experience at Caraway Home, started off her AI journey on the wrong foot. Due to an underwhelming experience with Amazon’s AI, Nancy witnessed ineffective chatbot tools that created informational loops and prevented customers from getting what they were looking for, leading to further frustration.

Luckily, Nancy experienced a positive change as she began working with Thankful.ai, an AI company that was purchased by and integrated directly into Gladly. Adopting this new AI into their workflow, Nancy and her team at Caraway were able to realize the full potential of chatbots and automation.

To ensure Caraway’s AI tools were working with agents in mind, Nancy involved her team early on in the process with conversations about what did and what didn’t need help from AI. “Just because you can do anything with AI, doesn’t mean you should,” Nancy said, highlighting the importance of agent input. Once ideal processes for automation were identified, Nancy’s team relied on hands-on training to build trust, generate comfort using AI integrations, and create a deep understanding of AI’s transformative role in CX.

They began using this new automation to remedy some of the growing pains they were experiencing, such as agent fatigue. As their customer requests grew in volume, their ability to offer personalized, human-centric support shrunk. By identifying easy-to-answer, frequently asked questions — such as “where is my order?” — Nancy was able to shift repetitive, low-complexity work off of her agents’ plates. Using AI, customers could get quick and effective answers to these questions without involving the support team.

“We want our customer heroes to focus on complex tasks instead of simple ones that can be automated so they can use their time more effectively in their daily work,” Nancy said. “We believe that AI helps balance production.”

Using improv and role play, Nancy trained her team to approach common CX scenarios with empathy, ensuring customers still feel heard even when agents incorporate AI tools into their resolutions.

“We try to avoid language like, ‘This request is crazy.’ Instead, we say ‘This is surprising.’ This changes how we think about people. We make sure they feel like they are worth our time.”

Prioritizing Empathy in AI

As the use of AI in customer service increases, so does the value of a human touch. Check out this lesson from Maddie Friend, Staff Technical Support Manager at Gladly, on the importance of empathy in AI to learn how to adjust your AI strategy.

How Birdies Used Gladly AI to Provide White-Glove Support

Initially skeptical of how AI would impact the personal touch her white-glove support team strives to provide, Excell Brown-Russell, Customer Experience Manager at Birdies, learned the true value of AI as her team continued to grow.

By incorporating Gladly Sidekick and Hero AI into agents’ everyday processes, the Birdies customer service team was able to effectively handle an increasing volume of requests. The technology freed up agents to focus their attention on providing personal service to customers with more complex issues.

While AI only handles about 40% of Birdies outreach, that 40% is key to freeing up agents, positively impacting their mental health and allowing them to produce better results for customers. By finding the right uses for AI in her workflow, Excell can reduce the strain on her team’s mental health — without sacrificing the quality of their work.

“The way I see this going is that I am open to AI doing more so long as we can maintain white-glove interactions with our customer service team. AI has a lot of possibilities. Mental health is really important to us. Bringing AI into the mix helps to address the mental health of our customer service heroes.”

With Gladly Hero AI, Birdies reduced the pressure on their agents by 69%, as their customers chose to use AI-powered self-service solutions over agent-dependent channels. Hero AI also assisted in creating a first-call resolution rate of 88% for customers who used chat to communicate with agents.

Alongside improved customer service results, this reduced strain on agents helps them feel better about the work they’re doing. Agents are given the chance to feel fulfilled in their work, improving team morale and potentially reducing employee turnover rates.

Leverage AI During Busy Seasons

From further insights on AI in customer service to actionable holiday tips, discover more about how Birdies uses AI to prepare for their busy season.

Join In on the AI Journey With Gladly

As the use of AI continues to grow and evolve, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial for your customer service team’s success. Access more insights from experts like these and learn more about the role of AI in CX by checking out the Gladly blog or signing up for Gladly Connect Live 2024.


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