In previous Creatives and AI blog posts, we looked at how AI is changing the game for artists, marketers, and creative leaders. What's happening in the world of customer success, where teams are managing massive user communities, customer health, and speed of service while maintaining real human-to-human relationships?
I recently spoke with Tim Thomas, Sr. Director of Customer Success at Genesys, about how customer service teams are using AI to build trust with their customers by providing more touchpoints and immediate service.
Customer Success Teams are Marketers, Too
Customer Success Managers (CSMs) and marketers share some similarities in their roles, as both are focused on customer engagement and driving long-term value for the business.
Additionally, both of these responsibilities include creating supporting content to ensure that customers have everything they need to be successful.
Customer success teams and marketers have their eyes on some of the same targets, including:
Developing customer-centric content
Building long-lasting, symbiotic relationships
Communicating the right messages to the right people at the right time
Analyzing data to measure success and identify areas of opportunity
Customer success teams can leverage AI in many of the same ways marketers do. Whether it be to help generate training material or find the best way to communicate to their customers, AI can help to position and frame key communications and give time back to CSMs so they can focus on building better relationships.
“The best marketers do well in customer success," said Tim. "In the SaaS world, customer success is responsible for a lot of revenue. Growth within accounts is what companies are leaning toward."
“I always tell the CSMs on my team to make their customer engagements memorable. Don’t schedule a meeting without something important to talk about. If I can ask AI, ‘hey, how do I write an email to say no to a customer?’ I could make my CSMs jobs easier by impacting the engagement we have with customers.”
"If I can ask AI, ‘hey, how do I write an email to say no to a customer?’ I could make my CSMs jobs easier by impacting the engagement we have with customers.”
Using a ‘Tech Touch’ Approach to Engage Customers
According to Zendesk’s recent CX Trends Report, 59% of customers expect businesses to use the data they collect to personalize their experiences.
AI can help harvest that data to create a more meaningful connection with accounts that would otherwise not receive the white-glove treatment.
“Interactions with higher revenue-generating customers get white glove engagement,” explains Tim. “A lot of lower rev customers often get ignored.
“Instead of neglecting these customers, you can implement a ‘tech touch’ approach: bring your customers together in a community and provide content, webinars, and virtual office hours. AI can play a huge part in this customer journey by generating content and sending it to customers based on what their need is.”
"Instead of neglecting these customers, you can implement a ‘tech touch’ approach: bring your customers together in a community and provide content, webinars, and virtual office hours."
AI can leverage customer data to deliver personalized support in many ways:
Aiding customers based on previous behaviors or inquiries
Keeping customers updated about new products and services based on purchase history
Sharing discounts based on what items are saved in a customer’s cart
Serving customers in their preferred language
For example, AI can automate a message on your customer’s birthday or work anniversary and share a friendly greeting paired with a relevant discount based on their previous behaviors.
Empowering People in the People Business
“Can you ever replace a CSM for a white-glove enterprise customer with AI? Probably not,” said Tim.
“Other jobs that are repeatable and don’t involve a lot of human touch are things AI can replace. If you strip away process and technology, we're in the people business. AI can't replace that or build confidence in relationships. What AI can do is increase efficiency.”
"If you strip away process and technology, we're in the people business."
AI can be trained to identify a customer who isn’t engaging with your outreach as they used to or other lagging indicators to highlight areas of opportunity for your customer service teams.
“When you think about operational goals, customer health, and churn, a lot of the monitoring processes are done in a very manual way,” said Tim.
“If you're using a CRM, there’s a lot of manual work you're doing to maintain it. A lot of human errors can be introduced. AI can automate repeatable tasks so that you can make faster decisions to help improve customer relationships.”
AI can also be an effective tool to prevent customers from abandoning their shopping carts. Customers may have additional questions about a product, encounter issues with shipping costs, or not fully understand the checkout process.
AI can automate workflows to help close sales with chatbots that offer discounts, send reminders to the customer to complete the purchase, or proactively reach out to see if they have any questions.
Embracing the Possibilities
“An evolution is coming where AI will soon touch every aspect of our lives,” said Tim. “Adopting something you don’t know is always scary. It’s the human condition. But today, AI is truly making it easier to focus on the human element of customer service and cut out the noise of mundane tasks.”
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