Edge Insights

Contact Centers and AI: An Unbeatable Power Couple

Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Operations in the communications sector are often considered to be one of the trickiest facets of the business to run. As it demands a synchronized, and dynamic outlook across businesses to keep abreast of the front-runners. Leading firms have started placing AI in their field and service operations like contact centers. Now with new AI capabilities in the hands, contact centers are redefining the customer operations journeys and experiences.

CCaaS: An Overview

Today’s contact center is surpassing the call centers of the past. With the inception of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), the regular centers have integrated multichannel services while offering additional features such as customer insights, intelligent call routing, and personalized services.

Taking cognizance, the innovations community is mulling ways to offset the difficulties faced in CCaaS. These challenges include overburdened agents, the absence of data about past customer engagements, and too lengthy waiting lines before the call gets action. An average caller waited 46 seconds to get connected to a live agent as compared to 37 seconds in 2020, as per a report published by Ozonetel. Results? ‘Abandonment Rate’ was higher in 2021; an average of 28% of calls were disconnected before even being routed to an agent in 2021, the same report reveals. In the last decade, the industry witnessed burning cost pressure, a shortage of labor, and other pandemic-related expenses. To stay ahead, companies will now require heavy investments in customer experience and operational proficiency.

Contact Centers and AI: How can they benefit Businesses?

  • Reducing Redundancy

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) has been the standard customer interaction method for so many years that customers start despising it. IVR often fails to offer satisfactory help in the nick of time. It wasn’t until AI arrived, that the issue started to dissipate. Call flows are now being streamlined and the agents can dedicate adequate time to

listen to customers, all by the mercy of chatbots and call routing tools. A skill-based call routing has now been replaced by AI-powered predictive call routing. This smart behavioral routing model purposes analytics to examine callers with predefined personality traits.

  • Enhancing Field Capabilities

On the field, companies need to play out an equilibrium between customers and workers amidst technical hitches. Soon they realize to work hard on critical metrics across learning viability, productivity, quality, and level of engagement. To strengthen these four parameters, AI-based coaching solutions were formed. Field functions can benefit from- smart scheduling, targeted nudges, forecasting, staffing alignment, and workforce management.

  • Dissecting and Managing Data

An extensive amount of data is gathered daily in a center. The aggregate is so gigantic that is practically unthinkable to analyze it alone with a human brain. AI, on the other side, can smartly study and manage loads of data round-the-clock. It garners information from a broad array of sources- a customer’s call history, online reviews, support tickets, and more. And offers detailed insights that result in faster decision-making, first-call resolutions, and prompt solutions.

  • Offering Remote Work Solutions

The pandemic witnessed a significant drop in the capabilities of the contact center in response to social distancing regulations. However, challenges alone arise opportunities. The absolute upside seen was the potential of the groundbreaking force of AI in customer care in real time. AI-driven remote contact center solutions build a flexible workforce that operates friction-free, no matter where they are working from.

  • Simplifying Lead Generation & Management

Conventional sales models became outdated as they couldn’t able to meet the on-demand, multi-platform needs of customers. AI-powered sales performance applications have been a knight in shining armor. The program automates the lengthy-

running procedure of initiating contact with a potential sales lead and afterwards calling, follow-up and holding the lead. The easy-to-utilize tools have also simplified the mapping and managing of the customer journeys. Thus, opening big doors for organizations in amplifying sales and growth opportunities.

How to implement a successful AI strategy in your Contact Center?

Producing superhuman agents demand a robust, dynamic technological solution. With such countless tools in the market, the leaders would benefit from considering the following best practices.

  • Businesses have to make sure that they are employing the correct interactions and functions and choosing a valuable technological partner when creating use cases to maximize organizational benefits. Together, the companies can design a bot mindfully to drive customer satisfaction, engagement; and operational proficiency.
  • Look for enterprise-grade technology that integrates both technical talent as well as business leads and subject-matter experts, depending on the use case. The metrics should be- hyper scalability, robust security, future-proofing, customizable automation, feasibility, and agility.
  • Companies can seek related solutions like CRM to make positive changes to business processes in their contact centers. CRMs grant agents speedy access to information required on clients, advancements, movement history, etc. Customized facilities are only achievable through a strong CRM combined with knowledge-based call routing.

Summing up

Contact center, being at the helm of customer service, is the most crucial interaction for organizations to enhance customer relations. While the communications industry will continue to face formidable headwinds, thanks to AI that can help mitigate the risks. The ubiquity of AI is innovating the communications path in the long run. Now we have to see how will industry leaders get on board and innovate the path of success.