As enterprise buckles down and starts implementing their 2018 plans, those who explored and educated themselves around AI in 2017 are now left to make future-looking decisions. Cloud banking platform nCino’s Nathan Snell shared a few AI applications that banks and credit unions can’t ignore this year, but the ethos behind them reaches beyond the constraints of financial institutions but one that stands out in particular is expedited customer onboarding with an omnichannel approach.

The crux of any enterprise interacting with their customers at scale is onboarding, as Snell points out, AI can “help create a frictionless and expedited onboarding process by eliminating steps for the customer and the [service provider].”

This truth is universal; the amount of information gleaned through the preliminary onboarding experience with an AI-based customer communication helps an enterprise scale the care they provide for their customers. Machine learning and natural language processing parses out the meaningful parts of customer conversations, and determines if these are inquiries the system can handle itself or need to escalate to a live agent.

This also introduces the option and need for omnichannel support. AI-based customer care is not confined to a single channel on a business’s website and can instead provide support over social, web chat, voice, and smart home devices if an enterprise so chooses. The more avenues customers have to seek and receive the care they want, when and where they choose speeds up these interactions for both parties.

Though voice assistants and smart home devices are not quite ready for primetime in office environments, their popularity at CES 2018 showcases their entrenchment in the public consciousness. As almost every new device and home appliance home continues to include some sort of AI-based virtual assistant, users will come to expect to expect support in the closest channel in their proximity – not the traditional web-based support we expect today like search boxes, FAQs, and Contact Us pages.

Thus, while 2017 was a great year of education on how AI and Machine Learning work and can potentially scale current support channels, enterprise needs to keep in mind that the channels of support are innovating and scaling at the same pace.

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