The road to autonomous service
We all know that AI is propelling a sea change in how we move people and goods. This spring, Alphabet’s Waymo will send driverless cars onto the streets of San Francisco – the first time autonomous vehicles will navigate a major city. Amazon has been actively testing an AI-directed drone delivery service. But these AI technologies are already re-shaping a world that consumers and workers interact with every day: the world of customer service.
Dubbed “autonomous service,” these new approaches employ AI, workflow automation, and event/pattern detection (where analytics captures real-time events) to augment and automate customer service journeys from end to end. Individually, and collectively, these technologies have the power to make our interactions with them feel more natural.
Centered around the customer journey – rather than focused on a specific channel or system – autonomous service makes every interaction feel empathetic, more personal, and simpler. Customers today can now get the same support using self-service (through web portals, apps, chatbots, and intelligent virtual assistants) as they would from a human agent.
Just as with self-driving cars, these technologies are closing in on the “last mile” of customer service – preemptive prevention of issues before they impact a customer.
What problems does autonomous service solve?
Self-service that falls short
Almost 50% of consumers believe self-service is more convenient and 82% say they are willing to use it, yet 46% don’t expect good results, according to a 2021 Pega survey.
Inconsistent quality of service
Most businesses offer customer service over multiple channels (phone, web, mobile app).
But 80% of the businesses Pega surveyed admit the quality of service they provide is not consistent across channels. 67% of customers say businesses need to improve quality of service.
Autonomous service empowers organizations to deliver on their brand promise by providing new levels of autonomy to customers and employees, freeing up the latter to pursue more meaningful work.
Customer service agents have the autonomy to truly understand customer context using real-time intelligence and provide help without passing off to someone else. Customers have the autonomy to help themselves and get real-time answers on any digital touch point.
The results: a faster time to resolution, a simpler service experience, and higher containment rates.
5 levels of service autonomy
Similar to the five levels of vehicle autonomy, where progressive levels of AI and automation are applied, autonomous service follows a similar pattern:
Level 0: No AI and automation
Level 1: Desktop unification & digital channels
Level 2: Occasional AI assistance
Level 3: AI as agent co-pilot (i.e. continuous/contextual guidance) with hands-free driving for agents
Level 4: Fully autonomous inbound automation
Level 5: Fully autonomous outbound automation including proactive/preemptive
Level 0: No AI and automation
Level 1: Driver assistance
Level 2: Occasional self-driving
Level 3: Limited self-driving (vehicle sometimes in control)
Level 4: Full self-driving under certain conditions
Level 5: Full self-driving under all conditions
Want to learn more? Visit pega.com/autonomous-service