Rashid Khan
Apr 23, 2024

How Gen AI is changing customer support through email

Traditional ticketing systems are falling short of modern expectations. Businesses need to harness AI to refine their email strategies and deliver a seamless customer experience, writes Yellow.ai's Rashid Khan.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

"Thank you for reaching out. We aim to respond promptly within 24 hours.”

Sound familiar? Despite the promise of a swift reply, it's all too common for responses to arrive only after a nudge from the customer—and sadly, they often miss the mark. Every customer has encountered their share of frustrating experiences with multiple rounds of conversations with customer support teams or, even worse, unanswered emails.

As a result, it's no surprise that many customers lose their brand loyalty after encountering poor service. In fact, 46% of Singapore retailers report a decline in customer loyalty over the past year alone. For businesses, these instances of subpar customer service can erode the meticulous efforts put into building their brand, especially evident through the deluge of customer complaints flooding social media platforms.

Brands are actively exploring technology solutions to address this challenge. Among the pivotal components of an effective customer service automation strategy stands out: email automation capable of delivering personalised and natural conversations.

Optimising email support for seamless customer service is crucial

Email is often overlooked in the age of instant messaging. However, despite its emergence as a communications tool over 50 years ago, the humble email remains a fundamental pillar of business communications and customer interaction. In Singapore, a society with strong internet connectivity and near-universal smartphone usage, email communication still thrives.

However, due to the volume of messages received by customer service agents, customers can face delays and inadequate service. Many businesses today still employ antiquated ticketing systems that fail to meet Singaporeans’ expectations for a seamless and swift experience. Furthermore, if contact service representatives cannot respond to emails within a sufficient period, how can they deliver on the most important facet of any customer experience: personalisation?

The challenge, therefore, lies not in the email medium itself but in how businesses manage the influx of emails. Fortunately, generative AI-powered email automation is revolutionising customer support by enabling swift and personalised support, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Leveraging Gen AI for personalised customer interactions on email

According to a McKinsey study, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, and 76% become frustrated when this doesn't happen. Nothing sours a customer's perception of a brand quicker than a one-size-fits-all, robotic email response devoid of personalization and natural flow. The significance of conversational language and personalization in ensuring customer satisfaction cannot be overstated.

Recent advancements in large language models (LLMs) and generative AI have revolutionized customer interactions by enabling authentic human-like conversations at scale. Unlike previous attempts at automated email responses, modern email automation solutions can deliver an elevated customer experience. They excel at deciphering intricate, unstructured emails written in natural human language, accurately discerning the essence, sentiment, and urgency of each communication.

With email automation driven by Gen AI, personalisation goes beyond mere keyword recognition to understanding multiple intents in complex emails. It extends to understanding the unique characteristics of the user behind the email. By leveraging user insights, organisations can craft contextual responses that resonate with individual recipients.

Consider a scenario where a customer emails a clothing retailer with a product complaint. Traditional automation might offer a standard apology and return option. However, modern email automation solutions go further. They automatically execute workflows, refer to knowledge bases and CRM systems, and delve into the user's profile to understand their purchasing patterns and preferences. Armed with this insight, the system crafts a personalised response acknowledging the customer's frustration, offering a refund, and even providing a future discount (if company policy allows). The tone of the response adapts to the customer's sentiment, adding empathetic and contextual responses.

Furthermore, Gen AI enables email automation to mimic the natural flow of human conversations. By analysing previous interactions and employing advanced LLMs and natural language processing algorithms, the system generates responses that feel genuine and human-like. This capability enhances the overall customer service, where customers receive real-time responses and personalised interactions that help them feel heard and valued as individuals.

Brands invest significant resources in shaping their reputation within a competitive market. Yet, persistent low customer satisfaction scores indicate a gap in the customer experience journey. While email automation tools aren't an instant solution for poor experiences, they play a pivotal role in delivering top-tier customer service. By transcending the robotic, cookie-cutter responses commonly seen in email interactions, businesses can elevate their service quality—an essential customer-centric goal at the heart of sustainable business growth.


Rashid Khan is the chief product officer and co-founder of Yellow.ai.
 
Yellow.ai adds low code AI agents to its marketplace to enhance faster time  to value - Enterprise Channels MEA

 

Source:
Campaign Asia

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