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March 22, 2022 Customer Experience

3 AI analytics to add to your KPIs today

By Guest, Zendesk

Successful companies are constantly asking questions.

  • What makes for the best customer service experience?
  • Does the fastest response time always mean a satisfied customer?

Customer support teams are in a tricky situation—they need to optimize costs and still provide the best agent and customer experience. Many businesses use traditional KPIs like average handle time and first call resolution as key metrics. But support leaders wonder if these metrics are really the best path to improved agent performance and increased customer satisfaction.

That’s where conversation AI analytics comes in.

According to a recent study from Forbes, 87% of CEOs regard data as a strategic asset, proving AI benefits the company as well as the customer.

Conversational AI helps the company understand its customers by mining the rich signals within conversations. In turn, this helps customers feel validated and valued. It also creates a better agent experience, as businesses can provide real-time feedback on how an agent is performing. Finally, the use of such innovative technology has been a key differentiator in transforming top companies into customer-first organizations.

Here are three top KPIs that can help your support organization grow and improve:

1. Customer sentiment

Surveys have long been a go-to for customer insights. Yes, customer surveys can work in certain circumstances, but they don’t always deliver the whole picture. If and when customers respond to a survey, they do so either because they had an extremely positive experience or an extremely negative experience. But how many responses do you actually receive? And what about the customers in-between?

AI helps: Support teams are incorporating it to become inclusive and to get feedback from all customers—not just the small percentage that completes surveys. AI also makes it easier to build relationships with customers by resolving their concerns in real-time. This will result in increased customer satisfaction and reduced churn.

AI plays a crucial role because it has the ability to track every customer interaction. Most businesses are learning that faster is not always better. If the customer is still not happy after the call and the problem is still not solved, it becomes a loss for both the customer and the company. This is what makes measuring customer sentiment using AI so important. It helps put the customer at the front and center of everything you do.

2. Agent communication

Your agents are the ones who have one-on-one interactions with the customers. They represent your company. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure they are well trained and have the right skills. Traditional QA processes, like manually going through interactions and completing a quality checklist, isn’t scalable. With AI, you will be able to analyze all interactions and identify areas where training could cultivate better results.

With the right agent communication training, they will be set up with the tools they need to be successful. And by incorporating AI, you will be able to evaluate interactions in real-time and not spend time and money going through interactions manually, which is almost impossible.

It is not only important for agents to listen to the clients but also to suss out how the customers are feeling. Evaluating how your agents perform provides insights into customers’ overall sentiment and enables you to connect the various pieces of the puzzle. This process can be simplified with AI.

AI also provides rapid feedback to the agent and the QA team, making it easy for them to look up a certain call without having to sort through the data themselves. It is important to analyze good calls and experiences as well as negative ones in order to know which techniques and strategies are successful and which need to be reevaluated.

Your agents are an asset to your company. By providing them with strong skills and training and by using AI to help your quality assurance team analyze what gaps need to be filled, you are setting your company up to have a strong customer service system that consumers can trust.

3. Customer experience analysis

If you think back to a bad experience you had with a brand—either because it did not yield the outcome you were looking for or because of a rude customer representative— chances are you won’t be returning. In fact, you are quite likely to tell your friends about the negative experience. The opposite probably holds true for a positive experience—it will leave a lasting impression, and you may recommend the product or service to your friends.

In 2012, Expedia took time to analyze phone calls and found that customers encountered issues in the reservation process when booking online. Each year, 20 million people would call in after booking online to receive their itinerary because they couldn’t do so online. This cost them $100 million annually.

This is where AI comes into play because it can analyze the interactions in real-time. If Expedia had incorporated AI tools into the business, it would have been simpler to identify the unsatisfied customer, which in turn would have saved them money. AI can easily sort and evaluate the data to see where changes can be made. When companies take a more offensive approach instead of a defensive one, they are getting ahead of the problem and solving it before it starts or before it can escalate.

Your customer experience will likely impact your customer retention. Because you invest so much time, energy, and money into gaining your customers, you want to do everything you can to make sure they stay with your company. With AI being able to capture the customers’ entire journey from start to finish, it will help you build a solid foundation for strong and positive customer experiences, which will lead to higher customer retention.

Companies are choosing to invest in AI and incorporate the tools into their workflows because they see positive results—including growth, innovation, and reduced costs. Many organizations have already uncovered new business optimizations, seen higher levels of efficiency and productivity, and achieved better customer service. Starting with these KPIs, track your customer sentiment and monitor agent performance, and you will see immediate ROI with these AI tools.

This article originally published on the Zendesk blog.

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