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IFS releases AI tool to simplify customer service

AI is being widely adopted across businesses to support customers -- and a new tool brings holistic self service for customers.

Video: These AI bots are solving customer problems

AI bots and tools seem to permeate everything we do. From providing automated service to customers, answering simple queries, and detecting how customers are feeling, chatbots -- sometimes with human intervention -- can seem like they are taking over.

How will we cope with the AI Chatbot takeover?

Ordering lunch for a group or office using an AI chatbot, searching for recipes online, or using a virtual assistant to control your home with AI. AI chatbots are becoming indispensable - whether we like it or not.

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Now, a new AI-powered contact center solution aims to make complex customer service queries easier to manage.

Read also: Chatbots: A look inside the technology that powers the AI tool (TechRepublic)

Enterprise applications company IFS has released its customer engagement suite. Its three tools provide an omni-channel experience for customers who want to use self-service options online.

It uses AI-technology to offer a speech-recognition, self-service front-end that helps customers complete simple tasks like rescheduling service appointments or providing an automated mechanism to check appointment times.

Customers can find answers to questions using the website-hosted AI chatbot.

There are two options for deployment: A visual overlay for IFS's Field Service Management (FSM) software and its Planning, Scheduling, and Optimizing tool (PSO).

The aim is to reduce the burden on the contact center and improve customer engagement.

As human validation is critical, human agents using its desktop software can see all customer communications, including calls, emails, chat, messaging, or social media.

Agents can have a complete view of the customer across the channels. Often we still prefer talking to humans when we have a tricky issue.

Paul White, director of IFS Customer Engagement, said: "Today's end users expect instant gratification when it comes to customer service, and they want to be able to communicate in ways that are most comfortable and convenient for them, whether social media, email or messaging,"

Chatbots that provide a good ROI for business will pay for themselves in streamlined operation and data gathering.

Read also: New research finds human validation is critical for chatbot owners

Customers expect instant gratification when they encounter customer service, so the more we interact with AI on all levels, the more important it is for customer engagement to reflect this.

Moving from simple to complex problem solving, and lightening the load for the over- stretched contact center agent is the next step for AI. The company that can deliver this level of AI sophistication will win across the enterprise

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