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February 19, 2019 | By

AI IRL Podcast Episode 7: How an AI-Enhanced Support Team Elevates Your Brand on Social


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You’re probably using social media to elevate your brand awareness. But how are you harnessing all the incoming data from your customers and prospects?

Many companies make the mistake of using the same team responsible for the outgoing messaging to handle the incoming.

AI can handle many of the labor-intensive, often redundant, soul-sucking tasks that wear out your social team. Because machine learning can recognize big data patterns in social media streams, AI can spot individual opportunities that weary social media team might miss.

How can your social media teams make the most out of AI?

Luckily there’s Tim Lopez. He’s the Technology Services Industry Association’s Director of support services and social research. His company provides best practices and industry standards to brands looking to maximize their support teams with AI.

Crunching Power for the Flood of Inbound Customer Data

There is a flood of inbound data daily for brands in the form of customer’s mentions on social.

“People think of social media, for building brand awareness, but it’s a two-way communication stream we’re plugging into.” — Tim Lopez

Brands have all this inbound volume. These brand mentions need customer support, but often the teams created for doing brand awareness on social aren’t prepared to answer the wide variety of questions received to them through tweets, comments, and mentions.

When you search for things that mention your brand on social, the results are overwhelming.

What Tim’s company does is use AI to identify the characteristics of different social mentions: is this mention because of an issue, is the content negative or positive, what is the sentiment?  This powerfully exposes the opportunities to provide customer service via social.

Before AI, agencies or customer service departments had to do all of this manually, looking at thousands of posts every hour and sorting for nuggets.

“We can now respond quickly to customers rather than sorting through a mess.” — Tim Lopez

4 Ways AI Makes the Human Agent More Efficient

Ultimately AI’s power makes the human agents that much more efficient by:

  1. Removing a lot of redundant tasks such as common customer service problems, freeing the agents for more challenging conversations.
  2. Analyzing social data. AI can analyze the issues people are mentioning on social and how they’re being handled.
  3. Crowdsourcing answers by learning the proven effective responses to specific problems.
  4. Making suggestions to the report rep in real-time. “It looks like the customer needs x; maybe try this.”

Typical agents are spending 20% of their time just trying to find information. AI is reducing resolution time.

How to Implement: Involve and Encourage your Human Team

AI can make your team uncomfortable, which makes it more difficult to implement. It can scare them.

“Report reps think AI’s coming for their jobs. It’s just going to make their jobs more enjoyable.” – Tim Lopez

Tim’s advice is on point here. He says to involve the team by asking them questions like “what repetitive tasks would you like to see eliminated so you can have a more enjoyable job?”

What this accomplishes is that you not only get good feedback, but you get the emotional buy-in from those employees.

This way they’ll stand behind you in making the transition. They want their job to be easier and more enjoyable and to have their human talents maximized.

If you want more AI: In Real Life, check out our podcast on iTunes.


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