The customer service industry is ever-evolving, and 2024 will be no different. Today’s customers expect immediate and seamless customer service and are more willing than ever to invest in exceptional experiences. Customer service is no longer an afterthought, as more and more businesses recognize its strategic value. Next year, CX leaders can expect to see the rise of personalized experiences, increased reliance on chatbots and virtual assistants, and a growing emphasis on omnichannel solutions. Luckily, as customer expectations evolve, technology is evolving at lightning speed to meet these rising expectations.
Generative AI is set to be transformational in 2024, and harnessing its power will be a game-changing strategy for businesses looking to succeed in 2024. As brands navigate this uncharted territory, the key lies not in succumbing to the hype but in recognising what sets generative AI apart from artificial intelligence and developing a robust understanding of how to use it effectively.
Generative AI: Separating Fact from Fiction
Unlike traditional AI, which relies on predefined rules to solve specific tasks, generative AI learns from existing knowledge and context to generate new content. While traditional AI offers automation and efficiency, generative AI goes further, delving into the creative realm. Less than a year after it hit the mainstream, 99% of business leaders plan to invest in the technology, with one-third of business leaders reporting that their organisation is already using it regularly. For brands looking to optimise their customer service in 2024, generative AI can increase employee productivity by reducing average handle times, improving the quality and accuracy of interactions, and boosting self-service containment rates.
Generative AI is not a golden key to fixing every problem facing the industry, but when used properly it can revolutionise the customer experience, making it more personal, easy and cost-efficient.
By automating mundane queries, generative AI will also allow agents to focus on more meaningful and rewarding tasks, boosting job satisfaction. There are a range of solutions on the market for brands, from out-of-the-box solutions to custom models. Brands looking to unlock the full potential of generative AI should look to adopt a solution that integrates with their existing platforms and infrastructure. These models, when implemented correctly, can act like a second brain, analysing vast datasets and drawing on existing business intelligence to streamline processes such as ticket labeling, call summaries, and routing.
Chatbots: From Frustrating to Functional
Generative AI is transformative in many areas, but its impact can perhaps be seen most clearly in chatbots. While chatbots have advanced in recent years, they still get a bad rep in our industry, and for understandable reasons. Despite advances, such as the development of contextual chatbots, they rely on rigid scripts, often leaving customers growing increasingly frustrated in repetitive conversations. However, generative AI can now be used to create intelligent chatbots at the click of a button, allowing brands to break free from linear scripts and deliver intuitive personalised interactions around the clock.
In 2024, we’ll see chatbots continue to evolve and become even more human-like and empathetic. Using natural language processing, chatbots can now be programmed to understand intent and identify emotional cues.
Unlike traditional chatbots, chatbots built on conversational AI models can respond with empathy and understanding, which helps de-escalate situations, build rapport, and, crucially, minimise churn. By analysing customer sentiment, chatbots can adopt a suitable tone and take the appropriate action - for example, if a customer is frustrated, they can be transferred to a human agent. When granted access to your live database, chatbots can even answer dynamic questions, such as ‘When will my parcel arrive?’, or ‘can you explain the charges on my recent bill?’. This frees up your agents to focus on the complex tasks that need a human touch, reducing the cost burden of contact centers.
CX-Driven Value: A Strategic Shift
Ultimately, today’s customers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for an exceptional customer experience. Brands can capitalise on this shift by recognising that customer service today is an investment, not an expense. Businesses that prioritise frictionless and rewarding experiences next year will attract and retain loyal customers, driving higher average order values and customer lifetime value.
The good news for brands is that generative AI is on hand to help meet these growing expectations. Leaders have a myriad of user-friendly technology solutions at their fingertips, accessible for the first time to those with no coding expertise or data background. There’s no question that generative AI will become a linchpin of customer service in 2024 - it’s just a question of how you choose to fit it into your strategy.
Importantly, as businesses continue to face external pressures to cut costs and maintain a high level of customer service, these advancing technologies deliver a high standard of customer service at a reduced cost per inquiry. Ultimately transforming customer service from an expense to an opportunity for businesses.
As the current CEO of CommBox, one of the leading AI-based customer service and engagement solutions in our market, Dvir has over two decades of experience in technology innovation and product strategy, specifically in a competitive market of customer service, support, and engagement. Dvir has pioneered several innovations in the realm of CX technologies, guiding them from their inception and transforming them into award-winning global CX and AI enterprise solutions. His unwavering passion lies in bringing together cutting-edge technologies and people, catalyzing a revolution in the customer experience domain.