Why AI Can Transform the
Contact Center Experience
Quality customer service remains a strategic priority for businesses. That’s critical according to a Forrester Research survey which found that 44 percent of respondent s claimed they would return to a retailer that gave them good service. But, on the flipside, the firm calculated that poor service equates to lost sales of around $75 billion annually.
Delivering customer service is also a balancing act – offering the best quality while controlling efficiency and costs. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to play an increasing role in the contact center — and it’s helping to transform both service quality and efficiency.
Eliminate Routine Tasks
AI, coupled with high levels of automation, is helping contact centers to eliminate repetitive routine tasks and freeing agents to spend more time on complex or high-value customer inquiries. For example, agents can use software robots to automate account applications, process online payments, confirm or update orders, and manage customer data.
In the financial services sector, one firm deployed 85 robots to automate 13 processes and handle more than a million and a half inquiries annually. The firm claimed that the robots added the capacity of 200 people, but a less than a third of the cost of hiring additional staff.
The consultancy Deloitte believes that using AI-based solutions is important for customer service tasks that are repetitive, prone to error, rules-based, time-critical and involve digital data. By deploying AI solutions, respondents to a Forrester study reported a 71 percent reduction in manual effort, 57 percent improvement in customer service, and the same level of improvement in employee engagement.
Focus Agents on Added-Value Contacts
The other major benefit of adopting AI is that it allows agents to spend more time on tasks that add value. One company reported that it was able to use the savings from automating routine tasks to hire subject experts who can offer customers high-level advice.
Forrester believes that this will lead to changes in the structure and role of customer service agents. They predict that ‘super agents’ will become the dominant force in the contact center – people with advanced skills and knowledge, capable of handling the high-touch, high-value or critical interactions that cannot be automated.
At the same time, chatbots or virtual assistants are increasingly being used to handle ‘self-service’ type inquiries. Research by Gartner predicts that twenty-five percent of customer service and support operations will incorporate chatbot technology by 2020. Other research by Gartner found that businesses reported a reduction of up to 70 percent in call, chat and/or email inquiries after implementing chatbots, with a 33 percent saving per voice engagement.
Personalization has long been an important contributor to great customer experience in the contact center; AI can take that further. For example, AI tools can be used to analyze call content to provide predictions on customer preferences. Integrating those predictions with other customer journey information and context supports high levels of personal service.
AI tools can also refine the predictions through learning. Agents will have a greater understanding of a customer’s value and requirements, which will increase opportunities for increasing revenue through up-selling and cross-selling.
Although AI and robots will play an increasingly important role in the contact center, human contact remains important. The challenge for contact centers is to blend people, data and technology in a way that maximizes the customer experience.
For More Information
If you would like to know more about BroadConnect Canada’s advanced solutions for the contact center, please contact us to speak to one of our awesome sales consultants at 1-877-228-6616.
Jason Stephen Ali is a seasoned Marketing professional, I hold the ultimate responsibility for my organisation’s Marketing activities and also oversee the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy for the business. Developed the BCT marketing strategy by studying economic indicators; tracking changes in supply and demand, identifying customers and their current and future needs and monitoring our competition.