Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to play a crucial role in today’s business environment. With the rise of ChatGPT, Bard AI, and other AI chatbots, everything from entire industries to individual employees are re-evaluating their workflows and processes. This bodes well for customer experience moving forward but the challenge remains to actually enhance customer service channels with this technology, not just provide eye candy.

One channel that stands to benefit the most from AI advancements is email. High volumes, long interaction histories, and complex workflows are common issues that AI can help resolve to ensure each inquiry is resolved quickly and correctly. AI can make handling emails easier by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, therefore improving productivity and efficiency. Some of the specific ways AI can be used in email handling include:

  • Email sorting and prioritization: AI can sort and prioritize emails based on importance, urgency, sender, sentiment, and other criteria.
  • Spam filtering: Machine learning algorithms can accurately identify and filter spam emails, reducing the number of unwanted emails that reach a user’s inbox.
  • Email categorization: Automatically organize emails into specific folders and teams, reducing the time spent manually triaging emails.
  • Response generation: AI-powered email assistants can generate responses to common inquiries, freeing up time for more important tasks.

Overall, AI helps streamline the email handling process, making it easier and faster for organizations to manage shared inboxes and keep customers happy. Let’s delve into each of the categories above.

Email Sorting and Prioritization

AI can use machine learning algorithms to analyze and categorize emails based on different criteria, such as importance, urgency, sender, and other factors. This can help users manage their inboxes more efficiently by prioritizing the most important emails and reducing the time spent sorting through less important ones.

For example, AI can analyze the content of an email and determine if it contains urgent information that requires immediate attention, such as a time-sensitive travel issue or repeat complaints. Similarly, AI can prioritize emails based on sentimental analysis, escalating emails with angry wording, negative sentiment, or urgent problems directly to the best suited agent.

In addition to prioritizing emails, AI can also sort them into specific categories or folders based on different criteria. For example, it can identify words or intent in an email body related to specific topics, projects, or pre-determined categories and fills that data straight to a CRM database.

HyperAutomation Cloud uses AI to analyze, translate, and categorize the email body while also providing a summary and sentimental analysis of the email tone. 

The ability of AI to sort and prioritize emails can help teams manage inbound email more efficiently, save time, and improve productivity.

Spam Filtering

Spam filtering is a critical component of email management, as it helps protect users from unwanted and potentially harmful messages. AI algorithms can play a key role in this process by accurately identifying and filtering spam emails using  blacklists enhanced with pre-trained NLP models.

Similarly, spam filtering reduces wasting an agent’s time by making sure they don’t get routed to the contact center at all or get rerouted to lower skilled agents. Even saving a few seconds on each spam email can add up.

AI-powered spam detection use machine learning algorithms to analyze a wide range of factors, such as the sender’s identity, the email’s content, and the recipient’s past email behavior, to determine whether an email is likely to be spam or legitimate. These algorithms can quickly adapt to new types of spam messages, using feedback from users to continually refine and improve their filtering capabilities.

One of the key advantages of AI-powered spam filters is their accuracy. Unlike traditional filters that use a set of predetermined rules to identify spam, AI algorithms can analyze a much wider range of factors, making them more effective at catching new and evolving types of spam messages. This can significantly limit the number of unwanted emails that reach a user’s inbox, helping to improve productivity and reduce the risk of security breaches.

An important tool for email management, AI-powered spam filtering is helping users to protect their inboxes and stay focused on important messages.

Email Categorization

Allow categorization to automatically group emails into specific work baskets based on different criteria, such as sender, subject, content, or enriched customer data (loyalty level, open cases and expected value). This can help agents resolve inbound emails by reducing the time spent manually triaging them. Artificial intelligence can play a key role in this process by completely automating the process or by assisting agents in making triage decisions.

For example, a customer request to return an item has order numbers and purchasing information which would get grouped into a returns or payments folder, while an incoming member sign-up would be processed by an onboarding workflow, automatically syncing customer information with the CRM and triggering a welcome email flow.

AI-powered email categorization can significantly reduce the time and effort required to organize emails manually, making it easier for agents to find and respond to urgent tasks. It can also help to reduce work basket clutter and make it easier to prioritize emails, improving overall productivity.

In addition to categorizing emails into specific folders, AI can also suggest new categories based on the content of the emails. For example, if a user receives several emails about a new product or service, AI can suggest creating a new category or folder specifically for those emails.

The ability of AI to automatically categorize emails can help users manage their inboxes more efficiently, reducing the time and effort required for email organization and improving productivity.

Response generation

AI algorithms can help respond to common inquiries or forms, without having to write a response from scratch. Today, AI-powered email assistants can analyze the content of incoming messages and generate responses that match the tone, context, language and intent of the original message.

For example, an AI email assistant could recognize a claim request and suggest a form or pre-written response. This can help agents save time and effort, particularly for repetitive or routine requests that require a similar response each time.

AI-powered email assistants can also help agents respond to emails more quickly, without sacrificing the quality of the response. This can be particularly useful for enterprise contact centers which receive a high volume of emails each day and need to respond quickly to important messages.

Moreover, AI-powered response generation can help improve consistency and accuracy in responses, reducing the risk of errors or miscommunications. The AI can use pre-written templates or responses that have been reviewed and approved in advance, ensuring that all responses are of a high quality and personalized. If a more thorough response is necessary, a manager or agent can be involved to write a response.

Not only can AI be used to respond to email, but it can also flag outbound emails to pass an approval process before they’re sent out. If an agent’s response contains personal identifiable information or the case is related to a sensitive topic, the email can be re-routed to a supervisor to approve before being sent to the intended recipient.

Overall, the ability of AI to generate responses can help agents manage their inboxes more efficiently, freeing up time for more urgent tasks and improving productivity.

Lots of future potential

Artificial intelligence can significantly improve email handling by helping organizations manage their email service teams. AI algorithms can sort and prioritize emails based on different criteria, accurately filter out spam emails, automatically categorize emails into specific folders, and generate personalized responses to common inquiries. These features can help agents save time and effort, meet SLAs, improve productivity, and ensure a consistent and accurate response to email communication. As AI continues to evolve, it is likely to play an even more significant role in email management in the future.