Generative AI in Retail Customer Service

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Filed under - Industry Insights,

Talkdesk’s Génesis Longo looks at unified commerce and generative AI and how to strike gold in retail customer service.

Learn how to combine generative AI and unified commerce to break down retail silos and turn contact centres into gold mines of valuable data.

  • Generative AI and unified commerce are two trends transforming retail customer service. Leveraged together, they complete the job of breaking down retail silos, automating mundane tasks, and turning the contact centre into a value driver with a gold mine of insights to improve overall performance.
  • Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT help free specialized human customer service agents from mundane tasks. This allows agents to focus on more complex responsibilities that require empathy—saving time and money, increasing satisfaction, and boosting engagement and retention
  • Unified commerce is an evolution of omnichannel which bridges the gap between back-end systems and customer-facing channels to connect both data and experiences. Combined with generative AI, it offers the opportunity to enhance and streamline the entire customer and product journey.

Two of the hottest topics on the mind of retail and customer experience (CX) leaders today are generative AI and unified commerce.

Many among us have had our curiosity peaked by the breathless media coverage of new AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing Chat.

Maybe you’ve even typed in a prompt—something at work, or in your personal life—and been amazed by the result. As if sprinkled with gold dust, a complex query or task is immediately simplified.

But when retailers combine the power of generative AI with a unified commerce strategy, it’s more like hitting a gold mine. The technology not only saves agents minutes in every interaction, it also positively impacts customer satisfaction with faster and more efficient service.

Meanwhile, unified commerce connects back-end systems with customer-facing channels, allowing data to travel across organizations in real time and turning the contact centre into a treasure trove of valuable insights that can impact every aspect of the business.

We hosted a webinar titled “The Art of the Doable” to discuss how these two trends are transforming customer service and how retailers can use them to strike gold.

The Gold Standard: What is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a technology that can produce various types of content, including text, audio, code, images, and video.

Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are one version of this tool that generates text in natural-sounding language. A human feeds instructions—called prompts—into the AI and the technology provides a response.

Because language and communication are at the core of what contact centres do, this technology represents a significant advancement in retail customer service. Many brands already use AI to save time and money and enhance and streamline their CX interactions.

Importantly, humans remain an essential part of these systems. People must first craft and refine the right prompts to ensure the AI’s responses are relevant and useful.

They also edit the output and add their personal “magic dust” on top before publishing or sharing with customers. Ultimately, the system is only as good as what you put into it.

LLMs are fantastic for tasks like:

  • Knowledge base articles: Creating step-by-step agent guides and FAQs, writing and repurposing articles, and developing email templates.
  • Scripts and responses: Writing scripts for agents and chatbots, improving conversational design, and creating sentiment-based responses.
  • Surveys and customer feedback: Generating and improving survey questions, incorporating feedback into product descriptions, and responding to customer feedback.
  • CX pain points: Identifying problem areas and suggesting improvements.
  • Outbound proactive communications: Sending abandoned shopping cart reminders.

These tools can synthesize information and then share it with the relevant teams who need to be informed. Data is wasted if you don’t put it into action, so it’s about making space for the technology within your organization and knowing how to best leverage it.

Panning for Gold: Improving CX Performance

AI at the core of solutions includes AI apps that automate customer self-service, empower agents, mitigate fraud, and enable a hybrid workforce in the contact centre.

And we recently launched our first LLM-powered features that automatically summarize the key points of customer interactions and suggest call disposition and follow-up actions.

Retailers can significantly improve contact center performance by automating tedious tasks, allowing agents to focus on more critical work that requires human intervention.

These types of automated workflows make talent and operations more efficient, effective, and productive—which in turn boosts engagement and overall job performance. They also turn contact centres into value drivers with specialized agents who are skilled at handling the most complex interactions with empathy and compassion.

AI can often be perceived as cold or robotic. But these tools provide valuable insights that enable you to listen to your customers, make them feel more connected, and drive retention.

In the meantime, they collect troves of valuable data that can have a real impact across an entire organization. In other words, retailers that use AI in their contact centres are sitting on a gold mine.

Striking Gold: The Unified Commerce Revolution

Just as contact centers have evolved from switchboards to generative AI, commerce has undergone a revolution from single-channel retail to unified commerce.

One stop along the way was omnichannel, which did the work of linking the disconnected retail silos everyone’s so familiar with.

But unified commerce goes a step further. It combines all back-end systems with customer-facing channels, truly connecting both the data and the experiences.

And the secret to making this strategy work is using the contact centre as a gold mine of insights across all the channels you’re working in.

With this mindset, retailers can use the data derived from their contact centre AI programs to gain a better understanding of why customers are reaching out, the top reasons for returns, and the gaps in their existing products or services.

Unified commerce represents a shift away from the omnichannel perception of the contact centre as a service provider.

It now becomes a hub for capturing information and distributing it across all retail silos, as they continue to break down. These insights drive transformational change across all aspects of the business.

Understanding what the customer wants in terms of product and experience also helps retailers create the right product at the right time, accelerate speed-to-market, and align with shifting trends.

This contributes toward eliminating overdevelopment and optimizing the use of materials, a very important step in reducing carbon footprint and environmental impact.

The better tools you have and the more insights and feedback you’re gathering, the better you’re going to be able to make your product and satisfy your customers. And that’s what retail is ultimately about. It simply requires learning how to mine that gold that’s right under our feet.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Talkdesk – View the Original Article

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About Talkdesk

Talkdesk Talkdesk is a global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies. Our contact center solution provides a better way for businesses and customers to engage with one another.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Talkdesk

Published On: 25th May 2023
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