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Meet machine learning, your new favorite colleague

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What if you had a colleague who would take care of all the dull, routine tasks without complaining? A colleague who lets you do interesting and challenging tasks, helps you solve them, then happily lets you take all the credit. A colleague who stays after office hours doing prep work for you so that you will have a good start next morning?

Meet Machine Learning, your new favorite colleague, who will dramatically change customer service both for customers and for customer service personnel.

Machine learning boosts customer service

Think about insurance companies. It’s estimated that 70-80% of insurance claims are pretty straightforward, so this is an area where machine learning algorithms can find the right solution. For humans, it is hard to stay motivated if you have to repeatedly work through tons of claims for stolen bikes or broken mobile phones. But if you have machine learning as a colleague, you can let it solve the simple cases, so you can focus on the more challenging ones – and you will actually have more time to carefully address each one since you don’t need to worry about the bikes and phones.

Or think about contact centers. For customer service agents, it is difficult to answer similar, repeated questions over and over again. What if you let machine learning field the routine questions and you take the more inspiring cases where customers want to speak with a live agent? A great example of this is Finland Post, who created a Christmas Bot to help handle the pre-Christmas peaks in customer service. Customers could chat with the bot to get answers to the easy, but frequent questions like, “What is the last day to send my packet to France,” which freed a lot of human resources to help customers with more complex queries.

Add more time to your day with machine learning

Machine Learning is a colleague who can make you look smarter and help you perform better in your work. It has been estimated that about 25% of contact center agent’s time is spent searching for information from different systems. That’s one-fourth of the workday! It is a total waste of time, and shifts your attention away from the customer interaction.

What if you had a chatbot who digs the needed information from all the data sources and conveniently provides it to you in a matter of seconds? You could fully concentrate on listening and understanding the customer, thereby providing first-class customer service.

Machine learning is a colleague we will all know in the near future. It will help us get quicker and smarter – and it will help us transform our business in ways we can’t even imagine right now. But the key is to start imaging and experimenting now.

Technology is evolving and in the future almost anything is possible, but we need to start envisioning how our customer service will look in the era of intelligent machines. There are no ready answers yet, as we are all creating the future together.

For inspiration, this is a great, short video on vision, future, and machine learning.

Kirsi Tarvainen
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March 12, 2018
Kirsi Tarvainen

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