An illustration of an AI customer service tool speaking to customers

Around 20 minutes a week — that’s how long the average American waits on hold for customer service. That adds up to 16 hours a year, or an astounding 43 days over a lifetime. These long waits not only frustrate customers but also cost billions in lost revenue.

Adding artificial intelligence (AI) to your client support systems can set you apart from slower competitors. This technology brings a range of practical advantages, from task automation to data-driven decision-making.

In this blog, we talk about the benefits of customer service AI and how to deploy it in your business. 

The History Of Automation In Customer Service

AI and customer service have been working together for over six decades, starting with the widespread adoption of telephones in the 1960s. Early PABX systems managed and directed growing call volumes to available agents during this time.

Fast forward to the 1990s, the internet introduced new channels for customer service — email and live chat. This digital shift streamlined data collection and allowed companies to mine actionable insights from customer interactions.

By the 2010s, ACD platforms started using AI and machine learning to route calls based on agent expertise. Algorithms analyze various data points — like the customer’s issue, their history with the company, and the skill set of available agents — to make the most suitable match.

Social media also became a prevalent customer service platform — a trend that continues today. Nearly 50% of brand interactions on socials now revolve around client care, handling everything from queries to complaints and compliments. Notably, between 2020 and 2021, the number of people who prefer social messaging for customer support jumped 110%.

This shift has made customer service more accessible than ever before, but it’s a double-edged sword. Did you know that 49% of consumers unfollow brands that fail to deliver timely resolutions on social?

Eager to meet this demand for instant answers, many brands are now using AI — particularly AI-powered Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems. No wonder the global market for this technology reached $4.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to soar to $6.16 billion by 2028.

What Is AI-powered IVR?

AI IVR systems use machine learning and natural language processing to interpret spoken queries and offer smart, real-time responses. They enhance customer satisfaction and let businesses manage a high volume of customer inquiries without sacrificing service quality.

Unlike traditional systems, AI IVR goes beyond simple menu options and touch-tone responses. It understands the caller’s intent and sentiment to offer relevant solutions.

The latest IVR systems even feature human-like voices indistinguishable from real customer service agents. These voices — produced using cutting-edge AI voice generators like Genny — can convey varying intonations and emotions, making the interaction feel more like a conversation with a real person.

Benefits Of Using IVR AI In Customer Service

Incorporating AI-powered IVR into your customer service strategy can streamline operations, enhance user experience, and even generate revenue. Here’s how it benefits both your business and your customers:

Benefits For Businesses

  • Always available – Whether it’s a late-night product inquiry or an early-morning tech support request, IVR-powered AI customer service is there 24/7. Quick and accurate responses not only elevate the customer experience but also boost satisfaction levels. This responsiveness could even drive sales, as over 50% of consumers choose the first business that replies — even if it’s more expensive.
  • Adaptable – IVR-powered AI systems can be programmed to learn from user interactions. They grow more accurate over time to better handle unique cases.
  • Cost-effective – Once deployed, these systems can manage multiple interactions simultaneously. They minimize the need for large customer service teams and lower labor costs.
  • Delegates efficiently – IVR AI for customer service can answer common questions and transfer complex cases to human agents so that every call receives the level of attention it deserves.
  • Automates the customer journey – AI-powered IVR can also be programmed to guide users through stages of the customer funnel without human intervention, making the marketing process more efficient.
  • Generates qualified leads – IVR can engage callers in conversation, effectively turning them into potential leads. This interactive approach could substantially increase conversion rates. IVR systems can also gather callers’ basic data and conversational information to identify promising prospects. These bots can even be programmed to proactively reach out to potential clients and ask qualifying questions to assess their level of interest. Using this data, sales teams can then focus their efforts on those who are most likely to convert.

Benefits For Customers

  • Allows self-service – Customers often prefer to resolve issues on their own where possible. In fact, 70% are happy to use self-service channels to resolve a query. AI-powered IVR facilitates this by offering quick, automated answers to frequently asked questions. For example, a caller can easily find out about a product’s availability without having to wait for a human agent.
  • Personalizes interactions – With the ability to analyze user data and past behavior, AI IVR can offer recommendations and solutions that are specific to individual needs.
  • Offers multilingual support – AI-powered IVR can engage customers in multiple languages, ensuring that everyone in your audience feels seen and heard.

Take Your Customer Service Experience One Step Further with Genny by LOVO AI

Ready to incorporate AI-powered IVR in your customer service system?

Genny lets you quickly produce AI-generated voiceovers that sound just like a real person. Skip the expense of hiring voice actors and studio time. Genny offers a wide array of customizable voices and accents, enabling you to produce lifelike audio messages.

Want a more personal touch? Genny can clone your voice with just a 10-second audio clip, offering a unique flair to your customer interactions.

Sign up for a free trial today!