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AI for Customer Support – Beyond Ticket Automation

AI for customer support is taking over the industry one CXM at a time.

Take for example the success story of Republic Wireless — a small company that wanted to offer great customer support despite the constraints of their size. Republic Wireless has three governing principles that inform how their customer support team operates:

  1. No phone calls — Republic Wireless wants to reach customers where they are, which means eliminating the tedium and frustration of lengthy phone calls.
  2. Keep it small — Company culture is very important to Republic Wireless, which means they want to keep their customer support team under 100 agents.
  3. The end of “first-in-first-out routing” — Republic Wireless does not subscribe to a first-in-first-out methodology. They feel it unfairly categorizes customers and does not reflect their company philosophies.

Republic Wireless needed a change. In order to support these key company principles, and still provide effective customer support, they needed to upgrade their aging CXM to account for growing ticket volume. Lucky for them, that’s what AI for customer support does best.

A unique CXM called for a unique solution

Republic Wireless upholds a high standard for their agents: a mere 110 agents manage 30k tickets a month during a 24/7 cycle. On top of all that, due to the company policy, all tickets come in written form, which required exhaustive and tedious manual routing for each and every ticket.

Republic Wireless’s customer support processes were not sustainable. In light of mounting product demand and increased ticket volume, they needed to find a way to quickly route tickets and increase agent efficiency — as it turns out, AI was the Answer they were looking for.   

A sustainable solution

Republic Wireless partnered with AnswerIQ in order to provide their agents the tools they needed to offer outstanding customer support despite their start-up size. They integrated multiple AnswerIQ AI products to improve agent efficiency, including:

  • Triage
  • Automated Response
  • Recommended Response

Here’s how it works: all tickets are first fed through the AnswerIQ machine learning algorithms which decide where the ticket should be routed to. In instances where AnswerIQ is very confident it can answer the question automatically, it never reaches an agent — for Republic Wireless this happens for 25 percent of tickets.

In most other cases, AnswerIQ offers recommended response templates to inform agent interactions, and these recommendations are used for 70 percent of tickets. Thanks to recommended responses, Republic Wireless’s old, 237 macro workflow were cut down to a mere 3 - 6 macros.

Real world results

The success of Republic Wireless stands as vindication that AI for customer support does not  always have to include complete ticket automation. The misconception that AI must perform 100 percent automation dissuades many eligible support teams from reaping the benefits of AI for customer support.

Republic Wireless is proof of the many benefits of agent AI augmentation such as triage and recommended response templates. After upgrading their CXM with AnswerIQ’s intuitive machine learning technology, Republic Wireless now uses AI for 75 percent of tickets that are not already fully automated.

Thanks AI for customer support, Republic Wireless has been able to shed minutes off of their average time to response — in some cases they saw as much as a two minute improvement.  Saving two minutes per ticket might seem negligible, but it actually translated to significant costs savings and procedural advancements for Republic Wireless.

“Two minutes is a long time because that time scales with every ticket,”  Republic Wireless Director of Operations Technology Sean said. “It’s not just the cost of the two minutes — it is the cost of the two minutes of opportunity that you could be spending on another ticket. When we went from five minutes to three minutes, or from three minutes to one minute, that was huge savings for us. Every minute counts.”

The Republic Wireless support team, which was previously bogged down by the inefficiency of manual routing, now uses 90 percent of their agents for direct issue resolution. Download the Republic Wireless Case Study and learn more about how AI improves CXM efficiency and eliminates tedious support tasks in order to maximize agent productivity.

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Topics: Customer Support, AI

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