Virtual assistants to the rescue

“Don’t gamble on customer service – use AI to keep the human touch”. So says Dom Wolf, VP at AI firm

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the world we live in; whether it’s driverless cars or chatting with Alexa, new technologies are in most cases improving our day to day lives. One area where there is great potential, however, is significantly enhancing customer service, especially within the gaming sector.

The gaming sector has faced challenges over recent months, with job cuts and cost-cutting widespread, the list of gaming companies to announce such cuts is set to rise. The Malta-based gaming company Star Group, and the online lottery betting operator Multilotto are the latest to announce significant reductions in their workforce.


Customer service on the chopping block

Customer service teams are often among the first casualties when business pressures begin to mount. However, as the main source of help and knowledge, good customer service agents are vital to drive business success. Inefficient ways of dealing with customer enquiries are a central issue within many companies, with a recent survey showing that 75% of agents’ time is spent responding to repetitive inbound customer enquiries. Therefore, by cutting customer service roles significant levels of direct customer interaction is being lost and can result in ongoing customer dissatisfaction.

Dramatic job cuts may be the ‘go-to’ solution for many businesses, however human interaction is still a critical service that customers want. Many gaming companies are now facing a dilemma. How can they give great, and efficient, customer service but also deal with the burgeoning pressure to reduce costs?

Many companies have looked to implement digital solutions to improve their customer service. However, this has proved unsuccessful because tech on its own simply cannot offer the same services as humans. Failure to understand context and sentiment just increases customer frustration. With whole-scale digital transformation seeming much easier said than done, alternative avenues need to be explored.


Virtual assistants to the rescue

Virtual assistants are built upon AI and are making significant inroads into customer service operations. Ultimately, AI merges together intelligence and automation, replicating the flexibility and understanding experienced with human interaction. So, by using this technology virtual assistants can precisely automate repetitive tasks, understand different dialects and accents, and even prioritise pressing issues to a more focused and dedicated customer-service team.

This ‘cognitive technology’ does not mean replacing humans with frustrating robots that often cannot understand customer requests. Instead, it is technology built upon algorithmic structures which produces results often more accurate than those that the human brain can produce.

This is all without losing the human touch. Advanced sentiment analysis means that a virtual assistant can sense the tone of a conversation and, if needed, transfer a customer to speak with a human to resolve their query. Machines shouldn’t be left to run themselves – oversight is a vital aspect of AI, and an incredibly important consideration in the gaming industry.


A route out of danger?

It’s true that the gaming sector has had its challenges this year. Artificial Intelligence is, however, a viable solution to solve some of its growing problems, particularly in terms of customer service. AI strikes a balance between human interaction and innovative technology which is key to helping the gaming sector prosper. Virtual assistants can upskill any customer service department, giving them time to handle the more complex cases which come across their desks while routine enquiries are handled by their AI team mates. The benefits AI customer service can bring the gaming service are set to be huge.