According to American Express the most irritating message a consumer can hear is “your call is vital to us, our agents are busy at the moment please hold while we connect you”. In the same survey, 78% of consumers have not completed a purchase, despite keen interest, due to poor support and services.

Through our experience working with different partners, whether they are a business in financial services, retail, energy or any other sector: the challenges won customer support are always the same and the pain points extracted are expressed by both the customer and the support agent. For these organisations, it’s essential to understand what the customer wants and to exceed his expectations with something extra. This ensures customer loyalty, which is a significant and unique selling point within the industry.

Maintaining a positive brand image is a key element of any organisation. Avoiding the wrath of unsatisfied buyers and angry consumers is essential, especially in a digital age, where customers have the ability to take the case to social media. The other challenge for these organisation is controlling the operation cost associated with support functions, which suffer from bottleneck and poor load management at peak time. Furthermore, when new products are launched or a crisis occurs, a lack of knowledge from agents can result in lengthy waiting times – leading to further customer frustration.

Improving customer support should begin with a change in mind-set and promoting the right culture within the organisation. It can also be improved with technology: omni-channel interaction points such as website for commerce’s, voice, messaging and email. When firms begin digitising and automating customer support, this creates a more intelligent, efficient solution.

Deploying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities helps these organisations provide: dynamic and scalable customer & operational support capabilities, the deployment chatbots (over text and voice), and the utilisation of sentiment analysis to coincide with the emotions of the customer improved satisfaction rates. The use of Machine Learning and other AI functions, such as intelligence search and predictive capabilities, helped the business align with changing demand and provided flexible models to support federation. The knowledge acquired by these chatbots and analysis though Machine Learning improved the quality of the service provided – not only by chatbots – but also by human support agents operating at a delegation level or in other segments that have not been automated yet.

The results were outstanding: reduction in operation costs (savings of £13,500 a month for 5000 customer inquiries), increase in sales revenues, a higher customer acquisition and retention rate, a higher conversion rate, and satisfied customers and employees.

Conversational support is no longer a thing of the future: it’s a reality today. It is a current trend for businesses who are evolving through innovation. Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are revolutionising the business. Conversation commerce, sales support, transactional chatbots and the prediction of conversion of sale, are essential features to increase revenue and reduce operational costs. Is your business already in the Artificial Intelligence Era?