E-commerce companies are increasingly turning to AI to boost customer support and drive growth. In online shopping, more and more businesses are using AI. About 69% of leaders in customer support want to spend more on AI. Big companies like Amazon and Carrefour are already using AI chatbots to make their customers happier.
Customers should never perceive AI-enhanced services as intrusive
However, e-commerce firms encounter challenges in implementing AI solutions. A significant concern is the perception of intrusive AI services by customers, with 77% of consumers in the UAE worried about unethical AI use by businesses. Additionally, 85% of customers prefer to know when they are interacting with AI technology rather than a human.
Three key insights into AI implementation in customer support are as follows:
Effective products handle most queries. A diagnostic study by an AI chatbot company revealed that a majority of customer inquiries go beyond basic questions and require a human touch. Well-designed user interfaces and user experiences can reduce the need for customer support for common queries. Support teams collaborate with the product team to identify bugs and propose user-friendly changes.
UI/UX Reduces Common Queries: A thoughtfully crafted UI/UX efficiently addresses basic and routine user inquiries about the service, reducing the overall volume of queries. More complex tasks such as managing complaints, resolving disputes, or handling emergencies are handled by human agents. This dual role of support agents benefits both customers and system improvements.
Balancing Costs and Value
AI chatbots can make big customer support jobs work better, but they might not be the best choice for every company. It depends on things like how big the company is, how much it costs, and what resources are available.
When dealing with a substantial volume of user inquiries, such as 10,000 orders per day, and maintaining a staff of 50-100 operators, two possible approaches can be considered. The first approach, as mentioned earlier, involves customizing the product to address user queries. If this approach is not feasible for your business, then embracing AI is a worthwhile option.
Think about big companies like Amazon. Even if only 1 out of every 100 customers has questions, that still means 16,000 questions for every 1.6 million orders they get every day. In these situations, AI chatbots, along with automatic systems and people watching over, can really help reduce the work for the customer support team.
However, implementing an AI-powered chatbot comes with costs. For instance, 23 percent of surveyed customer service professionals find AI to be prohibitively expensive. To make AI work well, you need a special team. This team should have experts who can teach the AI, create its rules, and make it work with other systems. For AI to be really good, it needs to connect smoothly with other tools people use, and if you add new things, you have to teach the AI again.
You can use an AI system from another company, like ChatGPT, to help the bot learn faster. This way, the bot can talk to users about more than just your product. However, it’s very important to figure out how much it will cost before you decide. And remember, you’ll still have to teach the bot how to work with your product.
Striking a Balance Between Humans and AI
Around 44% of people who help customers and don’t use AI worry that customers might not be as happy with AI as they are with human help. They fear that AI may not match the empathy and understanding provided by human agents.
A recent survey by Intercom underscores the evolving role of humans in customer support. Over three-quarters of support leaders anticipate that AI will reshape customer support careers in the next five years, creating new roles and opportunities.
According to a McKinsey survey, 75 percent of respondents from the GCC retail sector state that their companies have incorporated AI into at least one business function. Rather than displacing human roles, AI and humans are establishing a symbiotic partnership in the future of customer service.
Take Netflix, for example, their support agents are encouraged to inject a personal, human touch into their interactions with customers.
When AI and automation are used well, support teams can avoid doing everyday jobs. In the end, they can focus on being kind to customers and coming up with clever solutions.