Avatar Customer Service: Revolutionizing Customer Support in the Age of AI and AR

Avatar Customer Service: Revolutionizing Customer Support in the Age of AI and AR

AI and AR technologies are advancing and developing rapidly and businesses across the globe are taking advantage of the technologies in various forms – from virtual fitting rooms to avatar customer service.
AI, or artificial intelligence, and AR, or augmented reality aren’t new technologies, but their acceptance and progression in e-commerce is changing how businesses approach customer service. In today’s fast-paced world companies are continuously seeking innovative ways to approach customer service. One of the most revolutionary ways companies are approaching this change is through the utilization of avatar customer service. Avatar customer service involves using computer-generated virtual representatives to interact with customers, replacing or augmenting human agents. These avatars can be in the form of lifelike human-like characters or even fictional figures, tailored to align with a company’s branding and voice.

Avatar customer service offers several benefits. It allows customer service agents to be available at all times, including overnight and on holidays. It is a cost effective solution that significantly reduces labor cost, or even company overhead from providing office space for employees. The service provided from an avatar customer service agent is also likely to be more consistent with fewer errors than a human, and is likely to stay in branded tone of voice, offering the potential to increase brand loyalty.

Avatar customer service also allows companies to provide quality service to a more diverse set of customers as it has the ability to provide multilingual customer service. Additionally, as a company’s customer interaction needs increase, it reduces the need for hiring and can help a company scale it’s customer service abilities rapidly. Additionally, a customer service avatar allows for enhanced personalization, since the chatbot can adapt to each customer’s need since it will not be multitasking among several customers. It also offers the opportunity to collect additional data about customer pain points and frequently asked questions in order to offer better, more efficient customer service in the long run. Avatars can also be designed to interact with customers with disabilities, providing an equitable experience for all.

Companies using avatar customer service range widely from high-end luxury retailers, to banking companies to big box retailers. For example, IBM utilizes Sarah to navigate workplaces. She knows the ins and outs of the building, including how many rooms there are, where they are, and whether they’re in use. She can help both employees and customers. She can find available meeting rooms based on size and availability and book meetings for employers, all with the purpose of increasing operational efficiency for workers who would otherwise be doing those tasks. Ikea and Bank of America both utilize customer service chatbots, to assist customers in the apps, or assist customers with installation or money management questions.

There are some drawbacks to avatar customer service, however. For instance, sometimes avatar can get tripped up on more complex issues. Additionally, since the avatars are AI driven they can lack human empathy for those complex problems. Despite those drawbacks, the added cost savings and efficiencies found by companies investing in avatar customer service far outweigh the drawbacks.

Avatar customer service is an exciting frontier that promises to revolutionize how companies interact with their customers. The benefits of round-the-clock availability, cost-effectiveness, and consistent responses make it an appealing option for businesses seeking to enhance their customer support systems. Companies like IKEA and Bank of America have already embraced this technology with successful outcomes. However, it’s crucial for organizations to recognize that avatars have limitations in providing the emotional connection and complex problem-solving skills that human agents offer. Striking a balance between virtual and human support will be vital to deliver exceptional customer experiences in the future.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of customer service, avatar technology has emerged as a powerful tool to revolutionize how businesses interact with their customers. The benefits of round-the-clock availability, cost-effectiveness, and consistent responses have enticed companies across various industries to embrace this innovative approach. However, as with any technology, there are challenges to overcome.

To harness the full potential of avatar customer service in a budget-friendly way, organizations must adopt a strategic and balanced approach. Here are some key considerations to help achieve this:

  1. Start with a Clear Strategy: Before implementing avatar customer service, businesses should define their goals and objectives. Understanding the specific needs and pain points of customers will enable the creation of avatars that provide tailored, efficient, and empathetic support.
  2. Invest in Quality AI: While cost-effectiveness is a primary advantage of avatar customer service, investing in high-quality AI is essential. Advanced AI technologies can handle complex queries more effectively, reducing the likelihood of avatars getting tripped up on difficult issues.
  3. Integrate Human Touchpoints: While avatars can handle routine and straightforward inquiries, they may lack the emotional connection and empathy that human agents offer. By strategically integrating human touchpoints, businesses can provide a more holistic and personalized customer experience when necessary.
  4. Continuous Learning and Improvement: Avatar customer service should not be a one-time implementation. It is crucial to continuously monitor and analyze customer interactions to identify areas of improvement. Updating avatars with new information, refining responses, and addressing pain points will lead to better customer experiences over time.
  5. Multilingual and Inclusive Avatars: To cater to a diverse customer base, avatars should be programmed to offer multilingual support and interact with customers with disabilities. This approach fosters inclusivity and equity in customer interactions.
  6. Avatars as Complementary, Not Replacing: Instead of entirely replacing human agents, avatars should be seen as complementary tools to enhance customer support capabilities. By striking the right balance between virtual and human support, businesses can deliver exceptional experiences that cater to various customer needs.