Ask a Contact Center Tech Expert: Call Center AI & Automation (Part 3)

In the second Q&A of this blog series, we answered questions about Customer Engagement and the CX. Many companies are beginning to more fully embrace the power of artificial intelligence and automation as a part of their technology mix. According to a recent Forbes report: “Many, in fact, see call centers as the new sandbox for AI-powered customer experience—with an array of new and emerging tools that can boost retention, loyalty, and, ultimately, revenue and profit.”

So how are AI and automation being used in the call center? Let’s take a closer look.

I’m hearing a lot about Call Center AI. How is it being used?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to “smart” software and systems that can mimic human intelligence. It can analyze data and make decisions about actions to take or predict behaviors. Call Center AI can be used for a range of purposes, such as to train agents, capture key data and perform data analysis, support speech recognition, create modelling, and more.

Call center AI can help improve agent efficiency, personalize the customer experience, provide more actionable analysis, and reduce operational costs. Some examples of call center AI include:

  • Even smarter intelligent routing – Take smart ACD routing to genius level. With call center AI, contact centers can use additional criteria to route calls or inquiries. This might include using information from the customer’s past contact history to match the customer with the right agent. Getting customers to the right resource more quickly can positively impact the customer experience.
  • Chatbots – Chatbots are getting a lot of attention these days in terms of call center AI. Chatbots can greet online visitors, collect background information, and try to resolve an issue or answer a question, without engaging a live agent. Chatbots are a good example of using contact center AI to handle simple requests more efficiently. When an agent is needed for more complex issues, the chatbot still provides a valuable service by passing the captured data to the agent. This arms the agent with the customer’s details while eliminating the need to ask the customer to provide them again for more seamless service.
  • Data insights – Call Center AI can provide a more in-depth understanding of your customer’s needs and expectations. This gives your business leaders actionable information they can use to improve processes. For example, AI-powered analysis can give you vision into customer behavior, identify potential churn risks, and reach out to them proactively with an offer personalized to meet their needs.

What’s new in terms of Call Center Automation?

Call Center Automation is closely related to call center AI. Automation allows organizations to replace manual tasks with the use technology. Automation typically improves accuracy, increases efficiency, eliminates repetitive, mundane tasks, frees resources, and reduces costs. AI is often used to make decisions about what tasks or processes to automate, and determines which steps are taken.

Call center automation (also known as robotic process automation, or RPA) is becoming increasingly common. It not only improves efficiencies and results, but also can create a better customer experience. Self-service capabilities and chatbots are two ways in which automation can be applied to customer interactions.

For example, chatbots interact with a customer by generating a chat session to gather information and help answer common questions. Or it may diagnose an issue to direct the customer to the right resources. With a well-designed chatbot, the customer may not even realize they are talking to a machine and not to a person.

Self-service can combine a number of tools, such as interactive voice response (IVR) and automatic speech recognition (ASR), to provide personalized service. These tools use automation and AI to identify customers, determine their needs, and deliver the right information – all without a live agent.

In an environment where modern contact centers are charged with reducing waste and improving efficiencies, these new call center automation methods can provide two-fold benefits. They allow companies to offer more ways for customers to interact with them. And they can help improve service models and provide faster responses while using resources more effectively. Once programmed, routine tasks can be handled without human intervention and virtually free of errors. This allows contact center employees to focus on more complex tasks and problems.

Want to Read More?

Part 1: An Intro to Call Centers
Part 2: Customer Engagement and the Customer Experience (CX)


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