At the beginning of this year Forrester, a global research and consulting firm, provided a report on the 3 broad trends for customer service in 2018. Although this report was published in February 2018, its always great to review and see whether the analysis stays true with regards to artificial intelligence (AI).

The good news is that machine learning and AI is far more “democratised’ since the beginning of the year. The main competitors (in no particular order) Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and IBM are all offering machine learning “ease of use” as fundamental components of their Cloud hosting solutions.

So let’s re-visit the 3 broad customer service trends.

Customer Demand

Customer demand fast service anywhere, anytime. This is more relevant as we start to near the end of 2018. All major hosting providers are delivering even faster capabilities to ensure self-service interactions for customer service are overtaking all other channels. The use of chatbots, with open source chatbots readily available, will ensure more business use AI to deliver fast service.

Automation and AI quells headcount increases.

The hard numbers state that the volume of customer service interactions is growing exponentially and the use of AI to automate these customers engagement has to be enacted. The benefit in AI lies in its ability to “learn” from prior interactions which naturally fits with automation.

Customer service operations must look to become more human.

The concept that AI delivers customer service automation but also leads to dis-engage with customer service teams is intuitive. The focus on adding the human element to Customer Service will come from better practice in handling the more critical customer interactions.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are no longer futuristic opportunities for business automation and intelligence. AI is here now and far more easily delivered than most business leaders would suspect. The question is not whether business should implement AI, but rather how they should implement AI.

Black Belt Digital works with business to help detail and deliver on their technology needs. We work within the business providing a detailed technology roadmap based on use-case driven requirements. We engage with stakeholders and senior management to ensure the technology meets business objectives and can offer interim and short-term resources, together with technology planning expertise.