29 Mar 2017

Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service – It’s the Next Big Thing

By: John Baker

Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service – It’s the Next Big Thing

Last year, Oracle found that eight in 10 businesses are either using artificial intelligence currently, or plan to start using it within three years or better. The task? Customer service. There are two main approaches to using AI in this area: in the first, front-end bots chat with customers with no human reps required. In the second, human reps leverage AI tools to do better at what they do.

According to Adelyn Zhou at Forbes, the advantages are not in question: chatbots speed handle time, increase first-contact resolution rates, save money by reducing escalation to higher-cost support, and capture some serious efficiencies. What's not so straightforward is the transition from bot, to rep, and back again.

Multiple request types? Difficult transitions

"Even the best bots still struggle when faced with complex user queries," Zhou said. "Without a proper escalation protocol, bots may cause user frustration instead of solving their problems. Furthermore, many enterprises also have a wide range of service requests that fall under different resolution categories, often requiring human agents to evaluate and identify properly."

Insurers field a wide range of service requests, from new customer inquiries to claims submissions. If AI is to be leveraged effectively here, the question of AI protocols must be addressed at the core.

Still, the advantages are unequivocal. The Forbes Agency Council identified seven ways in which AI can make a significant difference for organizations attempting to connect with customers, ranging from exciting developments in adaptive marketing to the ability to generate feelings of engagement.

Case in point: meet Lemonade

According to Alison Moodie at the Guardian, AI could go so far as to make insurance trustworthy again. "In a recent global survey from accounting firm EY, consumers ranked insurance below banks, car manufacturers, online shopping sites and supermarkets for trustworthiness," Moodie said.

Meanwhile in NYC, however, the insurance startup Lemonade is putting AI to work smoothing the process for customer signup and claims approval. Thanks in part to artificial intelligence, the company replaced "endless paperwork" (in one customer's words) with speed and transparency (to borrow from UC Berkeley lecturer David Charron).

"Lemonade is able to screen applicants or claims quickly because its software can quickly pull data and cross-reference information about a particular home or neighborhood from a variety of sources," Moodie said. They use algorithms to decide whether a claim should be handled by a chatbot or a human. So far, the experiment is paying off.

AI is the next big thing in customer service and Silvervine insurance software is ready to help you deploy. We’ve partnered with Elafris so that you can go one step beyond mobile policyholder services with AI powered customer service.  

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