The contact center has changed, and so too has its requirements. Tools and technologies need to be faster, smarter, and more flexible to meet current and future customer, agent, supervisor, and organizational needs. Translation: contact centers need to be AI-enabled. Eighty percent of CX leaders polled this year by Talkdesk say they believe AI will provide a better contact center experience.
Here are some valuable AI use cases for the next-gen contact center:
Reduced Call Volumes
Forty percent of contact center managers surveyed by IDC this year said their facility experienced higher than usual call volumes – far more than their trained employees could handle. AI is poised to transform the contact center by reducing call volumes without compromising quality of service or operational efficiency.
Consider Conversational AI, which allows various AI and automation technologies to interact with people in a humanlike way. Instead of browsing, searching, and navigating for the information they need, customers can ask questions directly, get answers, and take action using a conversational interface such as an intelligent IVR or a voice or chat bot. Contact centers can seamlessly deflect or redirect customers to a digital self-service experience for handling basic requests like paying bills, password resets, and managing their accounts so they can maximize their most expensive resource: agents.
Better CX Measurement
Improving customer experience measurement is at the top of every contact center manager’s list of goals. To do this, they turn to a number of CX metrics like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Average Handle Time, Customer Effort, and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Consider intelligent routing (also referred to as attribute-based routing and smart routing). Contact centers can automatically route an incoming caller to the best-matched resource within the facility or throughout the entire organization to create better service experiences and brand affinity. Also consider Conversational AI, which includes several different technologies such as sentiment analysis, intent recognition, and speech analytics. These technologies bring intelligence and scale to a variety of touchpoints and channels, enabling organizations to not only streamline service but understand what customers really want in conversation in real-time to better measure CX. Also consider speech biometrics, which improves agent efficiency and average handle time while delivering more personalized, outcome-based service.
Greater Agent Productivity
Customer service teams are facing extreme changes and challenges, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic. They are expected to seamlessly handle increasingly complex and emotionally charged interactions, many while working from home as organizations embrace blended and remote work models. AI is an invaluable investment in this area.
Applications of intelligent self-service like digital deflection and voice and chat bots allow customers to update information, submit requests, check on order statuses, and more – even as interaction volumes spike, without needing to add additional agents. At the same time, you’ll be freeing up live agents to more confidently handle complex interactions, take care of post-call work, etc. By 2023, Juniper Research estimates that businesses will save over 2.5 billion customer service hours as a result of implementing applications of AI like chatbots.
Solutions on the Market
There are plenty of solutions available that will supercharge your contact center with AI. For example, Google Contact Center AI comes with a Virtual Agent platform that allows you to create voice and chat bots that automate interactions via voice or text and hand off the conversation to a live agent when the bot is unable to help a customer. The solution also comes with Insights, a module that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to identify call drivers and sentiment so you can better measure CX. There’s also Amazon Web Services Contact Center Intelligence (AWS CCI), which comes with its own set of features to improve quality management, customer satisfaction, and agent productivity.