Incorporating AI into Your Call Center
A better alternative exists for call centers that still use live agents for even the most routine and repetitive inquiries. It’s artificial intelligence (AI), and it is being incorporated into existing call centers – with a low amount of effort – to benefit both the business AND its customers. In our recent thought leadership webinar, “Make It Easy For Your Customers to Self-Serve,” we identify market trends and the competitive advantages of using AI automation across multiple channels.
Conversational AI vs. Back Office AI
There are two main areas call centers can focus on when it comes to AI. Conversational AI is best exhibited when an AI agent answers a call, chat, or text and interacts with a customer in real time, just like a human. The AI agent is able to greet callers with natural language, capture intents, and take care of routine customer inquiries such as checking the status of an order, making and rescheduling appointments, and providing billing information. The key is that conversational AI is on the front end, directly interfacing with the customer.
Back office AI is different from conversational AI because it works on the back-end as an agent assistant. There is indirect engagement with customers, as it is likely providing guidance on what to say/do, where to look for answers, and more. Your agents will likely need to be trained on how to use the software so that it actually fulfills the promise of efficiency.
With this in mind, where do you start? Which do you implement first and why?
According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of customers prefer to self-serve. On top of that, by 2020, it’s estimated that 85 percent of customer service experiences will be managed without a human. Conversational AI allows your customers to self-serve, while keeping your business current technology-wise.
Implementing Conversational AI
If you decide to implement Conversational AI in your call center, there are two routes that can be taken. The do-it-yourself model, which many chatbots use, allows you to purchase a platform that uses natural language processing to help automate more. The customer experience can then be built out with varying pathways. This route is generally very burdensome, considering the human resources needed – engineers, linguists, CX specialists, Quality Assurance – and the long development lifecycle associated with such a build. Many businesses have gone down this path, failed, and ultimately scrapped the project. There is high risk associated, not to mention the ongoing need to tune and update the system.
The professional services model is not much more attractive. With huge upfront investments and a similar unpredictability with regards to success, this journey also faces difficulties with regards to ongoing tuning, updates, improvements, and tweaks to constantly improve the CX
The good news for you is that there is a better way: outsourcing all your voice and chat automation needs to cloud-based virtual agents powered by conversational AI and designed by CX experts.
Building Customer Loyalty through Low-Effort Automated Customer Service
These cloud-based virtual agents help build customer loyalty by delivering more effortless experiences. Loyalty and lifetime value are heavily dependent on providing minimal effort for your customer, and the more you can reduce effort for customers, the more success you’re going to find in your customer experience. Using an effective automation solution has proven to reduce customer effort by up to 45% for dozens of companies. With more and more of your customers preferring self-service (AI agents), having an automated front end can help create a more seamless experience for your customers, too.
Why Choose SmartAction?
SmartAction offers best-in-class voice automation that scales the same experience seamlessly to chat and text. While some organizations attempt do-it-yourself automation with chatbots, they are unable to scale the same experience to voice, where over half of engagements occur. Our team of CX experts helps you identify the 3-5 call types or chats that are perfect for AI automation, then customizes pre-built components for a fast 6-8 week implementation. You’ll offer virtual agents over voice then scale digitally, so you can deliver conversational self-service to your customers in every channel – voice, chat, text, Skype, Messenger.
Subscription-based retailer TechStyle Fashion Group implemented automated customer service in their call center, starting first in voice then scaling to web chat. With seamless integration to their NICE inContact cloud platform, the transition from AI agent to live agent is seamless, and automation saved them over $1 million in one year. Global life insurer Legal & General also implemented voice automation that scaled to text messaging to accept payments securely and with minimized customer effort.
Discover the 3-5 call types or chats in your contact center that are perfect for omnichannel customer service automation by taking the 5-min Online AI-Readiness Assessment.