New & Next

How AI and Predictive Analytics Anticipate Customer Problems


As new mobile devices and software upgrades roll out, consumers are eager to get the latest technology. From Apple’s iOS 11 to the Galaxy Note 8, consumers are upgrading to the next big thing. With the latest products and system upgrades, however, consumers need to understand how their new devices and software updates work and how to get around the technical issues they might be having. New features, layouts, designs and devices can be tricky for some consumers to master right off the bat.

Apple’s new iOS 11 software update for their most recent generation of the iPhone and iPad drew millions of downloads within just a few hours of its release. The iPad’s newest feature upgrade showcased the Apple Pencil, digital scanning, as well as the ability to multi-task between apps. The iPhone did not receive many major changes other than a slightly longer design and a few tweaks to the camera and display features. Regardless of the number of changes, consumers will still likely meet a few bumps in the road while getting acquainted with their new devices or operating systems. Customer service agents need to be ready for an influx of customer queries like:

Do I need to upgrade my device to get the new iOS?

Why can’t I update to the new iOS?

I updated to the new iOS and don’t like it. How do I go back to my old iOS?

Anticipating customer questions

Support centers are already preparing for these questions before they are even asked. But how can call centers know what customers will have trouble with before the product has even launched? These predictions are possible with artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics. By taking into consideration previous product launches and system upgrades, these two intelligent technologies assist carriers, customer support and retailers to come up with solutions long before concerns from consumers arise.

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, for example, Samsung used AI to collect information about the spreading concern about the device overheating. This AI technology gives customer support the upper hand in preparing responses by informing them of the issue before it became a front-page headline.

Giving customers the tools to answer their questions

Not only does AI assist in customer support, its digital tools are available to customers to drive the self-support movement. Through portable computers, smartphones and tablets, we have witnessed the power of intelligent chatbots—digital customer agents—that guide consumers to online content and materials through a self-support journey involving FAQs, product guides, spec sheets, tutorials and videos. These digital materials help consumers to solve their own issues without needing to call customer support agents.

We can’t forget the driving force of AI. Predictive analytics give companies the advantage in collecting and assessing prior consumer concerns through machine learning during events such as product launches and software updates, which prepares agents for upcoming releases that will bring in a vast number of questions.

This method of prediction and computer intelligence validates how far technology can go to assist customer support agents and call centers by providing the solutions before consumers even experience a problem.

Customers usually shudder at the idea of calling agents because they know they will be put on hold, and the wait can be too long to handle or can sometimes end with no solution for the problem the customer is having. With AI technologies, support materials are also available to customer agents, to guide them to the answers customers need and want.

Devices are all around us, and questions for them are usually their permanent companions. Call centers are pushing to provide solutions to customers quickly and efficiently, and customers are expecting rapid solutions. Effective and positive customer service builds the brand loyalty companies want, period.

Carriers, manufacturers and retailers are benefiting from AI and predictive analytics. Both customer support agents and customers are experiencing a more enjoyable journey as the latest devices and software updates to reach the market, because of these intelligent tools. 


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