Dispelling the Top 5 Myths Around AI-Powered Customer Service

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December 9, 2022
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 min read
Austin Fontanella

Remember your first chatbot experience? Initially, chatbots were just a novelty; and when it came to customer support, it likely felt like an extra step in ultimately getting you to a live agent. 

But that was decades ago. Today, chatbots are now one of the most effective ways to deliver high-quality customer support at scale. Leading brands rely on them for 24/7 global support that delights customers with a flair for speed, accuracy, and personalization. Their development is the poster child for how AI-powered customer service has grown by leaps and bounds. 

When we refer to AI-powered customer service, we’re talking about technology that helps to intuitively automate customer service interactions. This can be in regards to the customer (typically in the form of self-service), or the agent – helping them deliver a better overall customer experience. 

79% of businesses say offering live chat had a positive effect on sales, revenue, & customer loyalty
*According to Kayako

Chatbots are one of the most common ways companies can leverage AI-powered customer service. Not only can they provide instant, intuitive automation, but they also allow brands to leverage the use of live chat. Combined, it’s how companies are keeping up with rising customer demands among an increasingly phone-phobic customer base.

The problem is that despite these advancements, there’s still a lot of misinformation out there, and it’s responsible for much of the apprehension surrounding chatbots. This article will dispel the top myths concerning AI-powered customer service and make it crystal clear why automation is a perfect match for today’s leading ecommerce brands.

Top 5 myths (and facts!) around AI-powered customer service

1. MYTH: AI isn’t effective

Let’s address this one right off the bat. For many, understanding that customer service automation actually works is likely the first doubt that comes to mind. We concede that the chatbots of the past weren’t able to get the job done. But today’s top AI-powered customer service platforms are far more sophisticated.

That’s because most older tools were keyword-based chatbots. They didn’t actually run based on artificial intelligence. They could only answer questions if users typed the exact keyword as it appeared in a company’s response knowledge base or FAQs. These legacy bots remain in use, and their impact on the customer service experience is unsurprisingly detrimental.  

Today’s top chatbots, however, use conversational AI to recognize questions and present answers. Better still, they’re able to improve over time. A prominent feature of leading AI customer service tools is that they come with built-in natural language processing (NLP) so they can comprehend what a customer needs. Through machine learning, virtual assistants learn from past customer interactions and constantly improve. Early chatbots were unable to do this. 

FACT: AI is now essential for any modern business looking to stay ahead of the curve.

2. MYTH: AI will replace human agents

Today’s AI-powered customer service is designed to be an extension of your team, not replace it. It starts with the concept  that recognizing what not to automate is just as important as knowing what to automate. 

Repetitive product-related inquires? Sure, those should be automated – and leading solutions can help you automate 70% of all incoming questions. But a unique query that requires a detailed response? Today’s best tools know to leave that to the experts, meaning your specialized customer support agents. Again, automation can help by collecting relevant customer info before sending the individual off to the right agent for the case. 

With AI-powered customer service, you’re not removing agents but rather enhancing the experience for those on your staff. 

Because agents aren’t bogged down answering the same questions over and over again, they’re free to focus on more urgent matters—and have more time to dedicate to them. In fact, AI technology can return 2 hours of free tie per agent each day. 

FACT: AI can complement your existing live agents.

3. MYTH: AI hurts the customer experience

Just like the agent experience, AI-powered customer service is a boon for the customer experience as well.

Conventional wisdom held that bots could never do what trained humans could—deliver personalized care with empathy and understanding.

And while we’ve all interacted with technology that felt impersonal and stale, customer service leaders know this doesn’t describe all of the currently available software.

Brands can utilize chatbots so that their brand voice shines through. It’s easy to set up greetings and responses with natural language, so customers often feel they’re chatting with a person. 

They can also take advantage of a number of personalization features to make conversations truly engaging. Omnichannel automation tools can now tailor their responses based on a shopper’s name, age, location, previous chat,purchase history – you name it. When two customers ask an identical question, the automated responses they receive by no means have to be the same.

These personalization features make chats lively, fun, and delightful. Adding automation often boosts customer satisfaction and reduces churn, highlighting how much of a boost chatbots can bring to the customer experience.

FACT: AI can enhance the customer experience

4. MYTH: AI is complicated

Many opponents of automation point out that implementing and maintaining a chatbot can be a heavy lift. They claim it’ll take time, require IT assistance, and be a headache to use.

The thing is, adding AI-powered customer service to your team isn’t reinventing the wheel. 

Today’s top tools aren’t just effective—they’re incredibly user-friendly. They’re no-code solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into your existing platform. Best of all, they don’t require months to get set up. Leading solutions can be on your site, providing intuitive automations, on day one.

And it doesn’t stop with easy implementation. Customer service automation software is also a snap to maintain. It no longer requires hours of tedious work that eats up your support team’s precious time. Keeping your automation platform up to date can require as little time as 30 minutes a month.   

And this hassle-free upkeep is vital to optimizing your company’s return on investment. Industry-leading AI-powered support solutions analyze your customers' incoming questions and constantly suggest additional automations to improve performance. Rather than predicting what might be helpful, you can accept personalized  suggestions with the click of a button and watch your automation rate rise over time. 

FACT: AI can be simple.

Zowie comes pre-trained to answer the top 100 questions in ecommerce, letting brands start automating instantly with a single click. See how else Zowie can cut your backlog here. 

5. MYTH: AI is expensive

For many bootstrapped companies, one misconception surrounding automation looms largest—it’s a money pit. However, effective automation is the most cost-effective way to deliver 24/7 support around the globe. But it doesn’t stop there. 

It has everything to do with the outdated notion that customer support is strictly a cost center.

Cutting-edge solutions are redefining what customer support is capable of –  transforming customer service teams from cost centers into profit centers. They’re capable of doing so thanks to a number of revolutionary features.

For instance, AI-powered customer service platforms with built-in purchase intent detection can identify which of your customers are closest to converting. By putting these shoppers in touch with the right specialists, they help move these orders to the finish line and minimize the chances of cart abandonment.

In addition, automation tools can spot customers with high lifetime value as soon as they visit your online shop, letting your team deliver rapid VIP treatment that increases average order value and conversion rates. 

In short, the best available tools can turn every customer interaction into a chance to sell.

FACT: AI can generate revenue.

Move forward confidently with AI-powered customer service

Don’t buy into the doubts of yesterday. AI should be front and center in any innovative customer support team, and those unwilling to embrace it are only shooting themselves in the foot.

AI-powered support platforms like Zowie are redefining excellent service.