How Automation and AI redefine Customer Service and CX

contact center

The concept of customer service had come a long way, from the age when customers walked into physical stores for problem resolution to the era of interaction with the enterprise through voice and multiple channels where the robots take calls and respond to queries. It has been a terrific ride.

Technologies, platforms, solutions, and applications together witnessed this magnificent evolution. And if we look closely, many technologies come to mind, but three out of those specifically stand out: Analytics, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence.

They have revolutionized customer service and CX in:

  • Cutting costs by maximizing available resources
  • Being omnipresent when customers need assistance
  • Delivering a continuous and consistent experience at every touchpoint
  • Reducing consumer and agent churn
  • Evolving from transaction orientation to relationship orientation

1. Analytics: Beyond quality and training purposes

Call centers have been recording calls for a long time, but usually just for quality and training purposes. The gold mine of the collected data sat idle on disks and tapes for decades. Today enterprises are becoming mindful of the potential and opportunity this data can provide in revenue generation and customer satisfaction.

a. Speech to Text

With speech and text analytics, one can convert recorded conversations to text and then analyze what customers speak, build patterns and trends, and spot opportunities. It helps enterprises respond in real-time to what’s happening out there, based on detailed contextual analysis of thousands of calls—the approach swings from reactive to proactive mode.

b. Social chatter

A lot is going on in the virtual world. There is no logic, sequence, or pattern whatsoever. Social media data adheres to the definition of the 3Vs – velocity, variety, and volume of big data. Slicing and dicing the same lets enterprises know the trending topics and mass customer sentiments. This technology empowers agents to focus on the influencers with promotions and proactively intervene to mitigate potential issues.

c. Customer analytics

It presents a 360-degree view of your customer. It is a complete package about the demographics, preferences, prejudices, history of interaction, patterns, and styles of individual customers. It helps in predicting the issues they may face, the reason why they reach out, allow relevant cross-selling and up-selling, and personalization of offers and treatments

2. Automation: Making insights and feedback work

The biggest flaw that is often noticed is that enterprises often reach a virtual stall once they receive insightful results from their analytics engine. Insight without practical action is only as good as the data stored in disks and tapes in the former era. It is thus mandatory to ensure those insights are followed up with NBAs (next best actions) in a dynamically automated manner. Insights transformed into business rules and actions must be populated on all interaction channels to apply the real benefits of an analytics solution. It means complex integration, a clear understanding of the business domain and contact center metrics.

It can be done through sophisticated and intelligent self-service solutions and collaboration tools capable of taking the burden off customer service agents. Organizations can use powerful management tools to analyze performance, efficiency, and track quality. Customer service agents should be empowered and trained to use systems that learn and grow from human interaction, providing fast, accurate answers to customer queries. It results in relevant interactions, complete and quick resolution, satisfied customers, and motivated agents – the ingredients of a complete call center.

3. Artificial Intelligence: Humans and machines work together

The tribal knowledge built from one-to-one interactions is fed to self-serve systems (Web, IVR, Mobile, Knowledge base, FAQs, forums & blogs). These systems listen, understand, and improve over time, using artificial intelligence built on machine learning. Well, quite simply, it’s systems that learn and grow over time, automating tasks, refining processes, and finding better ways to do things.

This simplification can mean a 50% reduction in training costs, a 30% reduction in total call time, the elimination of after-call work documentation, higher job satisfaction, and reduced attrition. It’s a truly amazing circle, with humans and machines working hand in hand and organizations doing more with less.

If you think it’s all a bit futuristic and far-fetched, think again. Because it’s here right now, and it could be the biggest change in customer care for years, letting organizations

  • Process large numbers of customer transactions in a common, consistent, repeatable way
  • Meet customers’ growing demand as non-voice interactions moved from 55 percent in 2015 to 85 percent in 2020.
  • Create a consistent customer experience (CX) by harnessing the power of technology and the expertise of customer service agents in various channels.

Let’s sum up. The majority of enterprises expect to adopt and increase their investment in AI over the next four years. They will do so with the expectation that AI will not replace humans but will aid and empower agents to better meet customer needs and demands. In addition to improving customer experience, AI is poised to enhance the employee experience. It can streamline workflows and processes across departments to expedite time to market and grow revenue. In a few years, the role of human agents will evolve, and the focus of the contact center will grow to deliver broader value as a customer engagement layer across the organization.