Why Conversational Self-service is Essential NOW

The importance of serving your customers promptly

Competitive pressures and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the landscape of customer service, raising customer expectations in terms of answering their questions and resolving their issues. Today’s customers expect a higher level of service and the best way to earn and retain their loyalty is with quick resolution of problems with as little effort as possible on their part.

To drive customer loyalty, “Instead of exceeding customer expectations in the hope to mitigate customer loyalty loss, organizations must reduce the effort customers need to put in to solve their problems quickly and easily”[1]  Gartner®

Traditionally, organizations have used customer service agents to provide solutions for customers. However, this approach is costly to provide at scale and leads to lengthy wait times during peaks in contact volume, and especially now in a post-COVID world due to staff shortages.

Customers prefer self-service

Self-service improves the overall customer experience because it enables customers to be served how they want and when they want. In fact, 65% of customers surveyed prefer self-service channels for simple, low-complexity matters,[2] proving that having an effective self-service option is imperative. Legacy solutions like IVR and menu-driven chatbots are ineffective and can frustrate customers. Organizations need AI-powered conversational self-service (CSS) solutions that understand customers and provide intelligent answers to their questions.

Why NOW?

It’s important to implement CSS quickly for several reasons.  First, CSS gives organizations the ability to systematically learn what their customers are asking for in their own words.  This gives them a virtual “ear to the ground” and lays valuable groundwork for increasing business agility and responsiveness.

“AI Project Failure Rates Near 50%, But It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way” Wall Street Journal

In addition, many conversational AI projects fail to move from proof-of-concept to production and often because enterprises attempt to move into advanced use cases without understanding the complexity. Slow CSS implementations can lead to a loss of organizational support that can jeopardize the business outcomes that CSS is meant to achieve. 

Finally, CSS saves money. Customer service through live agents costs an average of $8.00 per contact while the cost per contact for conversational self-service can be less than $0.10 per contact. The dramatic decrease in cost per contact delivers substantial return-on-investment (ROI) that builds the internal credibility needed to support long term conversational AI transformation in organizations.

This first post in a 3-part series on conversational self-service focused on Why CSS is essential NOW.  The next post will focus on How to implement CSS quickly and successfully with Customer Self Service for Contact Center Intelligence (CSS 4 CCI) from XAPP AI.

To learn more about CSS 4 CCI and its architecture on AWS, please read Conversational Self-Service with Amazon Kendra, Amazon Lex, and XAPP AI on the AWS Partner Network Blog

[1] Gartner, “4 Actions to Improve Customer Loyalty by Reducing Customer Effort”, Customer Experience Research Team, 19 January 2021. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission

[2] Salesforce, State of Service, Fourth Edition2020