How do call centers best use intelligent automation?

The goal of AI automation is to allow an agent to focus on the most critical tasks, where they are most needed, and to increase the efficiency of their work.

Managing a call center is no easy task. Imagine an office filled with hundreds of agents and supervisors handling tens of thousands of calls, emails, and chats from thousands of consumers if you’ve never been to a contact center or sales center. calls. In addition, agents are often new to customer service, have little or no professional training, and have an average tenure of fourteen months. When dealing with angry or disgruntled consumers, agents are under pressure to resolve issues or requests quickly. To add to the difficulty, customer services try to provide the best possible experience for every consumer.

What is call center automation and why is it important?

Call center automation is all about using technology to perform monotonous tasks. It can be full call automation or semi-automation increasing the productivity of human agents. For complete call automation, the most modern contact centers deploy AI-based systems that include natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU) and speech recognition models.

During the Covid crisis, the automation of call centers became extremely important. According to a CGS study, during the pandemic, 74% of CX executives saw a significant spike in requests in their call centers. Longer wait times, higher call abandonment rates, and poorer first contact resolution rates (FCR) were the result.

Although a sharp increase in call volumes is only transitory, it can happen at any time for any business due to a new service, a change in policy, a technical problem, or even a loss. merger of two companies. While no one can predict how all of these events will occur, businesses should be prepared for a sudden increase in customer inquiries or a planned business scale-up.

There is a widespread belief that technology, in general, and artificial intelligence (AI) in particular, will disrupt retail customer service in the same way that manufacturing has been disrupted. Do not worry. Although technology is helping the evolution of call centers, human characteristics such as empathy and situational agility are so important to the customer experience that robots will never take control of call centers like they have manufacturing lines.

Rather than replacing agents, AI can dramatically increase the productivity and enjoyment of their jobs. It also adds to better customer experiences by helping agents deliver more of the crucial human skills that customers are looking for.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is cutting edge technology

Over the years, several technological advancements have improved the productivity of call centers, but intelligent automation technology powered by AI is raising the bar even higher. Centers create large amounts of urgent data and being able to use that data now could revolutionize customer support.

This data could be processed by humans, but it would take hours, days or weeks. Intelligent automation is the first technology capable of processing massive amounts of data in real time and acting on it immediately, solving problems that were previously impossible to solve or even recognize.

Service delivery is enhanced by nurturing agents

Many merchants have been forced to view customer service as one of the few levers they have to differentiate themselves from their competitors due to high fixed costs and tight profit margins. Until recently, technological innovation was entirely customer-centric, but that is no longer enough.

Intelligent automation focuses on the ‘upstream’ issues that irritate agents and hamper service delivery, which has a direct ‘downstream’ impact on the customer experience. If a call comes in during an agent’s scheduled break, for example, the agent’s dissatisfaction with not having a break will almost certainly hurt the caller – and possibly subsequent callers.

The pandemic is accelerating e-commerce

The outbreak has highlighted the importance of highly skilled and skilled agents in business contact centers. While in 2020 most retail sales would have moved online, some customer segments would still prefer to buy in-store. The epidemic has pushed the hands of these customers and now that they have tried e-commerce, many of them are planning to stay online.

What happens if an online order is delivered damaged or not at all? What happens if the same item is charged twice to the customer’s credit card? Consumers no longer come to the company to solve these problems. Instead, they contact center agents by phone, email, or chat. This explains the substantial increase in retail call traffic and average processing time. Since online customers have high expectations for service, contact center executives must use AI-powered technology that allows operators to handle significantly more call volumes.

Human agents forever

The epidemic has proven that robots will not be able to take the place of humans in retail customer service centers. Consumers’ continued strong need for human touch is growing, as evidenced by the increase in phone volume and the lengthening of processing times.

As a result, to aid operations in today’s more demanding circumstances, retail companies need to equip their contact center staff with intelligent automation technologies powered by AI. Intelligent automation is scalable, cloud-based, and easy to use. This has helped many stores move to remote agents and continue to serve consumers throughout the outbreak, and it will help them manage the complex hybrid workforce model that will likely dominate operations across the country. ‘to come up.

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