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The Benefits and Challenges of Using AI in Customer Service

One of the key obstacles that gets in the way of consistent quality customer service is the chasm between human interaction and digital automation. The reality is, there are some tasks that are more suited to a human than a computer in the business sphere - such as copy editing, networking and building relationships (though the ways this could change we’ll unpack later on). The reverse is also true - digital automation can support processing data, communicating with customers and attending to troubleshooting requests in a CRM system.

Businesses are still grappling with what tasks they can assign to AI platforms, and what is best left as a manual process. What is the most effective way to use AI in your workplace? Will it actually accelerate your task completion rate? How does it impact customer service experiences? Will customers feel like they’re treated too generically? Do applications like ChatGPT by OpenAI always generate reliable statistics and content? Let’s outline the benefits and challenges of using AI in your business. Framing our discussion is the support that Salesforce’s Einstein AI module can provide to the future of AI in customer service.

A 2022 survey by Salesforce underlined the importance of customer service, stating that “Eighty-eight percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services — the highest it’s ever been.” So it’s important to work out how AI can simplify customer service processes for your team, as well as improve the customer journey.

Positive AI Impacts:

  • Reshape case collaboration: Where businesses have previously relied on a combination of platforms or widely scattered resources to respond to case queries, AI streamlines the experience. You will be supported to multitask across cases - AI will use stored context to prompt collaborators on the most appropriate way to proceed with the query.

  • Upskilling your team: AI is the future. Giving your team experience with tools and processes across your AI platform is essential to preparing them for the future. Proper training also saves your team time in the long run as they’ll be more autonomous and secure in their roles and responsibilities.

  • Content creation can be simplified: Getting a solid foundational piece for your blogs, infographic text and even social posts can be instant with AI. Platforms such as ChatGPT can generate content that is authentic and not jarringly robotic. On a case resolution basis, Salesforce has stated that its evolution of Einstein AI, EinsteinGPT, will use automatic data entry to summarise cases into accessible reports.

  • You will be able to generate concise and detailed customer service responses: AI platforms such as EinsteinGPT are developing to include quickfire, “contextual templates” for responding to customer service requests. Integrated into your Salesforce platform, you will be able to share these responses across whatever channels you use - whether that be social media, email interactions or even automated messaging.

Challenging AI Impacts:

  • Avoiding repetitive content/surface level content: This applies more specifically to content creation; platforms such as EinsteinGPT will be able to draw directly from your personal chat messaging, meeting notes and automatically generate in-depth responses. However, it’s undeniable that readability is still an obstacle when it comes to long-form generative content such blogs or posts. Beyond being readable for Google and SEO metrics, your content will still require the intervention of human empathy.

  • Security: If private company information and personally identifying information is handed over to automation and goes entirely unchecked, there could be damaging consequences. Salesforce states that in building its AI modules, it has prioritised creating “guardrails to prevent additional harm (e.g., force publishing code to a sandbox rather than automatically pushing to production).”

  • Reliability of the content: Sometimes AI applications generate fictitious statistics or, in rare cases, skewed or inappropriate results. Creating safety nets for this is still a work in progress for many AI developers, but Salesforce states that their efforts include “conducting bias, explainability, and robustness assessments, and red teaming.” In the workplace, navigating this means that there still needs to be human interaction with generated content to ensure that it meets standards and is appropriate.

So, what’s the overall reading?

AI is going full-steam-ahead. It will definitely improve the amount of work you are able to get done day-to-day and completely revitalises processes that were manual. At the same time, as AI progresses through its developmental stages, we should recognise that it is fallible. How you approach implementation of AI will respond to the majority of the limitations that can crop up. With Salesforce bringing its own offering of EinsteinGPT to the table, users will be able to use AI in tandem with the majority of Salesforce services. Applications like Service Cloud will have automated self-service capabilities and will enhance communication efficiency. Looking forward to Salesforce and the evolution of AI, the possibilities are endless.

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