Since the dawn of civilization, people have built businesses. And those businesses had customers. And those customers had questions. So for thousands of years, businesses had to deliver good customer service to keep their customers happy. Never has this been more import than it is today.
Unlike thousands of years ago, businesses today can be reached physically, by phone, email, text, social media, or their website, which opens a lot more channels for customers to ask questions. Customer service has become one of the defining characteristics of businesses that succeed, and so a whole new arena of competition has opened up: who has the best customer service?
Fortunately we live in the information age, with tremendously advanced technology, which allows us to do things our ancestors only dreamed of just a few decades ago.
One of the most exciting and promising areas of advancement is the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and all the potential uses it has in our world. Customer Service is just one field ready to be transformed by AI, but it sure is a big one! The future of AI in customer service is wild, and we've only just started to see what we can do with such amazing technology. So let's take a look at what we can expect to happen to customer service in the present and near future.1) Chatbots
Currently, AI is relegated to a fairly small role in customer service, mainly chatbots. As we highlighted in other blog posts, these chatbots are usually more artificial than intelligent
, and this is a problem we at Sidekick have been working on. Recently we've launched our Sidekick platform for customer service, and our customers and their customers have been loving it. But we're just getting started, and in the coming months we'll be shipping some big changes to our system to make our Sidekicks smarter and more humanlike. 2) Customer Analysis
The next big area AI will play a role in is customer analytics. In fact, it already does to some extent, though this is fairly limited. It's common today to see past chat conversations analyzed by an AI system to rate the sentiment of the customer and sort the conversations so that humans can identify what problems the customer is having. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and AI analytics will soon be able to identify exactly what went wrong in past conversations, find common themes across conversations, and alert the humans of what problems need to be fixed urgently. Sidekick already has a behind-the-scenes analysis of every conversation running to teach our agents how to improve, and this year we're planning on making it available for our customers!3) Voice AI
Possibly the most ambitious and exciting role AI will play is in the area of voice, where an AI can answer calls and handle the entire conversation without any human interjection. There have been some
examples of this full automation, but most of those examples relied heavily on scripted responses and human help, and so they haven't panned out. Building on our groundbreaking dialogue technology built for our Sidekick chat agents, we're in the early stages of building a Sidekick Voice platform to provide natural and robust phone conversation. Stay tuned for updates!
At Sidekick AI, we're constantly innovating towards these goals, and we'd love it if you gave us a try!
Every area of development mentioned in this post is currently being worked on by our engineers, so we expect to have some exciting updates soon. In the meantime, come talk to one of our demo Sidekicks
and let us know if you run into any hiccups.