Artificial intelligence (AI) has become part of our lives. From self-driving cars to smartwatches, AI has made incredible progress in the last few years. This is good news for businesses because AI-powered solutions can help solve some of the most challenging problems companies face today. In this post, we explain the roles of AI in contact centers and how they can help businesses improve their customer service.
This is not a story in which computers take the place of people. Instead, you can think of it as “human plus,” wherein AI will help humans, whether the customer or the contact center agent, get more done in less time.
What will that mean for contact centers in the next couple of years? Let’s look at the roles of AI in contact centers.
AI in Contact Centers Helps Augment Conversations
A smart agent, or an automated agent powered by artificial intelligence, can provide customers with personalized, intelligent, and timely support with the help of AI, Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These are technologies that enable a smart agent to talk to a customer using speech recognition. Callers can have their questions answered or requests processed quickly using simple voice commands by AI in contact centers. With a smart agent, long waiting times in queues to talk to a human agent will be gone.
AI programs such as these help improve customer satisfaction and reduce customer care costs. In fact, there is a 61% improvement in customer satisfaction in companies that combine AI with human interaction (Gartner). It is clear that AI provides an advantage to increase response rates while providing exceptional customer service.
There are two major ways in which automation plays a vital role in the customer experience.
First, with the help of its most widely accepted tool, chatbots, automation has experienced a surge in popularity. It has become the preference of a certain demographic who favors text-based communication over voice-based communication. Second, it also plays a vital role in decreasing the workload that is put on the agents by enabling them to focus on other business-value-oriented tasks.
Instead of spending hours on the phone answering queries that do not need human intervention, the AI system will answer them. Agents would then be focused on taking care of the crucial calls.
In addition, an AI system can reduce the risk of human errors. Human agents can be biased or miss important details in a call to solve an issue. By utilizing AI, queries are responded to with an efficient process and the most effective solution according to its database of statistics of solved customer tickets. According to Forrester, 71% of consumers say that good service hinges on how a company values their time. When AI is implemented in a call center, employee productivity increases while they are able to engage customers without exhausting themselves.
AI Can Anticipate Customer Needs
Artificial intelligence can also analyze and predict human behavior. A smart agent is able to predict customers’ queries based on previous conversations, and present relevant information or provide appropriate solutions to the caller. AI programs powered by ML allow smart agents to learn, understand, and respond to customers’ needs.
With data, a smart agent can do various things such as answering questions, suggesting products and services, and making recommendations.
To picture this, think of how Google’s artificial intelligence programs are able to understand what customers really want. By analyzing their previous searches, it can provide them with relevant information and offer new products. This same kind of technology can also be used in a contact center setting.
As the world becomes more connected, it’s no surprise that customers are expecting to be able to reach a business 24/7. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. In order to accommodate the demands of an increasingly globalized society, many businesses have begun to use a combination of human agents and AI to help provide the best customer service possible.
Customer service is the backbone of a successful business, and the first step in delivering an outstanding customer service experience is understanding how Artificial Intelligence (AI) in contact centers can help. AI is the future of customer service.