Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Disruptive Innovation Meets Customer Service

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Very few organizations provide consistently stellar customer service. Customers expect organizations to tend to their needs, and if the organization fails to do so, there is a chance that the customer will chose to instead spend money on a competing or substitute product. Some organizations have attempted to implement artificial intelligence in call centers as a way to reduce labor costs and streamline customer service processes. However, as many of us are far too familiar with, artificial intelligence in customer service hasn’t lived up to the hype. The first example that comes to my mind is Amtrak’s “Julie,” who fields all of Amtrak’s calls to get basic information before transferring customers over to an agent. There has not been a time where I haven’t had to read my six-character booking number to Julie at least five times before she finally understood all of the characters. I’m upset before the system even has the chance to transfer me to an agent. Amtrak’s Julie represents a traditionally reactive customer service model, where the customer reaches out to the company with an inquiry, and a support agent reacts to the inquiry. Salesforce & Cisco flipped the traditional customer service model upside-down, and recently partnered to help organizations use data to become more proactive when it comes to customer service. The two technology conglomerates bring together Salesforce’s Service Cloud and Cisco’s Contact Center to create a single agent desktop, where the agent is empowered to quickly handle every customer interaction with personalization and data-driven insights. All customer inquiries come through the Contact Center platform, where Service Cloud intelligence automatically classifies the case based on user history and trends. Contact Center then routes the call to the agent best equipped to tackle the case, along with recommended responses and rich details on the customer from all departments within the company. The more the agent uses the system, the smarter and more predictive it becomes, all benefiting the customer in the end of the day. By merging two major platforms in to a single desktop solution, Salesforce and Cisco bring new-market disruption to customer service. Has anybody experienced stellar customer service that somehow incorporated artificial intelligence? How else do you think artificial intelligence or tomorrow’s high tech could impact the future of customer service?

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One Response to Disruptive Innovation Meets Customer Service

  • I have never had a pleasant experience with AI customer service. I find that actual call center employees rarely have the authority to make the accommodations you need, nevermind any kind of bot. I think that companies need to be careful when considering replacing their current customer service call centers with AI technology. In fact, Discover has taken the opposite approach. A key marketing campaign of theirs was centered around customer support being human after the first ring. Clearly, real human interactive is still extremely important to consumers, especially when dealing with issues.

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