How to Meet Increased Customer Demands With Virtual Customer Assistants
As more businesses introduce chat, social media, and even video channels to their omnichannel contact center, it is easy to forget about the evolution of the traditional voice channel thanks to virtual customer assistants. Many CX leaders are expecting a phone line that is somehow less busy than before. Indeed, according to the Deloitte 2017 Global Contact Center Survey, voice is expected to drop from 64% of customer contact volume to 47% by 2019. At the same time, chat and message will likely grow from 10% to about 16% of communication while social media will account for 9%. Many organizations think emerging video could handle as much as 8% of that volume.
The Future of Voice Automation: Virtual Customer Assistants
Those numbers, however, do not tell the full story. The survey also suggests that overall contact volume will continue to grow. This means that even though voice will field a smaller percentage of total volume, it will still remain the most prominent channel. Companies will be receiving more voice calls than they ever have before. So, chat, social media, and video are not cannibalizing the voice channel’s intake – demand is higher than ever and the entire contact center universe is expanding.
It is not just contact volume that is increasing. The Deloitte survey respondents, especially in the life science and health care industries, reported that the complexity of each engagement is growing as well. As customers have more access to online information and become more fluent with their communication preferences, the more sophisticated their needs are. As a result, technology has not reduced workload for contact centers as much as it has created new challenges and untapped opportunities for them. Since most customers still prefer the voice channel for their most complex inquiries, it is now more essential than ever to introduce virtual customer assistants to intelligently handle voice engagements.
The Importance of Call Center AI Solutions
Organizations will be targeting high quality live agents to manage these more complex conversations and improving retention rates by expanding training programs, allowing more flexible work hours, and other creative strategies. But by far the most important way companies will enable live agents to perform at a high level is by using call center AI solutions to leverage data to better align them with customers. Capturing customer information and quickly passing on their data to these talented live agents will be the role of natural language (NLU) chatbots and intelligent IVR, which not only cut down on time and effort for agents and customers, but also can be predictive about the customers’ needs. Leveraging this data to its full potential can be easier said than done though. 63% of Deloitte respondents cite integration as the biggest hurdle for call center automation – even over budgetary concerns. Those fears are grounded in reality; many have haunting memories of implementation gone wrong.
Luckily, integration is no longer as problematic as businesses often envision. Cloud-based platforms of today are not designed to rip, replace, and reconnect to all of the other data management systems in a contact center. Instead, they can quickly and easily integrate with the proper APIs. Plus, cloud platforms come with additional benefits, like speedy implementation, regular updates and enhancements, and a low capital investment to get started.
In order to meet the increased demands and expectations of customers in the coming years, companies need to start introducing intelligent automation to their contact centers. Contact center AI, which can handle many of these more complex inquiries, is available now. Click here to learn more about it.