AI Robot
Industry Insight Series

With dominant companies like Amazon and Apple shaping the experience expectations of customers everywhere, customer service is indeed evolving. Customers now expect immediate answers and support to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Broadband service providers (BSPs), particularly those in competition with larger regional and national carriers, need to adapt and meet these growing customer expectations. One promising technology that can help them achieve these new standards is artificial intelligence (AI).

AI is not new and AI technology tools have been integrated into the customer experience journey for well over a decade. But recent developments with generative AI, the technology behind ChatGPT, have injected tremendous new capabilities for customer service, especially with AI-powered chatbots. While chatbots have been around for quite some time, with mixed results, this new generation of generative AI-enabled chatbots promises to dramatically improve the experience, providing a valuable customer service tool for BSPs.

Here are five ways AI chatbots are revolutionizing the support landscape for both external customers and internal staffs, and how they can be put to work for BSPs:

  1. Saving time and money. Using AI chatbots for support, both external and internal, is cost effective and will save you time and money. Human customer service representatives shouldn’t be replaced by AI chatbots, but virtual assistants can be a good first line of support. Workativ reports that “high-frequency, common questions represent about 80% of the total support volume.” By automating these routine and repetitive tasks, your employees will have more time to focus on complex issues that require problem-solving, empathy, and reasoning that AI can’t handle. Your staff will be happier as more tedious recurring tasks are handled by chatbots, allowing them to focus on more substantive issues. Overall productivity should also improve as a result.
  2. Offering 24/7 support. AI chatbots provide instant, consistent responses around the clock. Imagine your customers visiting your website outside your normal business hours and getting immediate answers to simple support questions. This availability improves your customers’ experience by helping them when you can’t do it in person. AI chatbots can provide different types of support, which Mind and Metrics summarizes well: Scripted chatbots that answer predefined questions, keyword-based AI that scans for known terms to create answers, hybrids of those two approaches, and contextual chatbots that simulate more complex humanlike conversations (similar to ChatGPT). Additionally, chatbots that work in conjunction with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems can provide a natural language interaction with a GenAI powered virtual agent for customers who prefer using voice instead of chat.
  3. Handling volume. AI chatbots don’t get tired or need breaks, so customer chats receive prompt attention and are answered quickly. This is what virtual assistants are best at—handling a high volume of customer inquiries simultaneously. This efficiency increases your operational productivity and, more importantly, enhances the customer experience by ensuring people get timely support. One company, highlighted by Zendesk, implemented chatbots and improved their resolution time by 17%.
  4. Internal support and training. Beyond external customer support, AI chatbots play a pivotal role in addressing internal staff questions and streamlining operations. Some of the most significant internal chatbot functions, according to Inbenta and Evolve, are answering HR and IT support questions, onboarding and training employees, and performing simple office tasks like booking meeting rooms.
  5. Leveraging organizational knowledge. One of the more promising applications for AI chatbots is their ability to easily access and synthesize structured and unstructured organizational knowledge repositories. They offer near real time access to company and product information, policies, and procedures, empowering both customers and employees to find answers to their queries without relying on manual searches or human intervention.

Broadband service providers, their customers, and their employees can benefit tremendously from the versatility and efficiency of AI chatbots. Integrating virtual assistants improves the customer experience by offering faster support, helps position you as a technology leader, frees up your team’s time for more important tasks, and helps you foster a more responsive and agile organizational environment. Indeed, taking a fresh look at AI-powered chatbots could prove to be very beneficial to your operations.

This series features insight into important broadband industry issues from industry leaders.

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