15 benefits of using AI in contact centers
Customer experience (CX) has become the primary basis of competition, as predicted by Gartner in 2017. At the helm of customer service are contact centers – the most critical touchpoints for businesses wanting to enrich their CX while enjoying a significant financial advantage. With each passing day, contact center transformation is becoming more imperative as traditional Artificial Intelligence (AI) and generative AI becomes more powerful and sophisticated.
AI in contact centers solves customer issues with its fast solutions and results that are made possible through predictive and analytical AI software. The complaints are processed from databases faster than conventional systems.
From customer interactions, AI systems can quickly browse through the data subjects and resolve their issues quicker than traditional call centers, saving considerable time for both customers and contact center agents.
Additionally, introducing AI in contact centers saves businesses from substantial costs involved in the installation and operations of conventional call centers that otherwise require more offices, office equipment, system installations, network, and staffing.
Advantages of introducing AI in contact centers
AI is revolutionizing customer service through the hyper-personalization of CX powered by deep data analysis. The benefits seen from the use cases of AI in contact centers are substantial:
- Intelligent call routing: As frustrating as it can be for customers to be kept on hold during a call, it’s even more cumbersome for contact center agents to escalate or transfer the calls to the correct team for the right agent with the required expertise to take over. AI, along with machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) reduces wait times by immediately analyzing the customer query and routing the case to the right agent, depending on their performance and expertise, thus saving valuable time.
- Replacing traditional IVR: Traditional IVR processes that have pre-defined input and output queues take up a lot of the customer’s time. AI helps address this inefficiency by quickly analyzing the customer statements and providing an effective resolution cutting down the long wait times.
- Big data management: Manually analyzing the vast amounts of information that is collected every day in a contact center is impractical and expensive. AI helps manage, analyze, and generate accurate insights from this overwhelming amount of data with the help of machine learning and other advanced technologies. It filters through copious amounts of data quickly to obtain the required outputs.
- Obtaining specific customer details: AI agents and chatbots capture detailed and specific insights from customer interactions that are used to optimize future interactions based on customer behavior, response, and other factors with the help of contact center analytics.
- Enhanced self-service: There have been continuous advancements in AI to build more sophisticated and intelligent voice agents with better linguistic processing that can fully comprehend the customers’ common day-to-day requests. Chatbots and virtual assistants are a blessing, especially in those contact centers that face staff shortages frequently. They can immediately direct the customers to a specific section of the website or FAQ that can address their concerns. In situations, where the request is difficult to manage, the call is smartly routed to a live chat agent not wasting any of the customer’s time.
- Predicting customer requirements: Automation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools make use of available customer history to analyze and predict their potential future needs, helping businesses to personalize customer interactions more and ultimately enhancing the CX.
- Predictive analysis of customer behavior: In addition to predicting customer requirements, AI also helps accurately predict customer behavior, generating insights into individual customer journeys as well as predicting their future responses and behavior to the course of action taken.
- Workforce management: Efficient workforce management is possible with AI, as repetitive tasks can be efficiently managed by AI tools. Internal staffing decisions are also easy to make with the implementation of AI in contact centers.
- Handling customer complaints: AI improves customer services in areas where manual resolutions can take up unnecessary time. Contact centers can handle and auto-answer general complaints from various customers with the help of technology like Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Advanced AI tools can grasp the tone of the content helping the agents to get a quick overview and quickly transmit the appropriate response. The responses are then saved in the system for future resolution of similar complaints, thus making the Average Handling Time (AHT) even faster.
- Error identification: Contact centers carry huge volumes of data round-the-clock, but with AI’s strong predictive analysis, any deviation or issues is easily detected or predicted substantially saving time upfront. AI immediately flags off an alert in real-time to notify of any identified internal issues, helping contact centers to take timely actions to resolve them.
- Optimizing routine tasks: The key performance metrics of day-to-day operations can be optimized by AI tools benefiting contact center agents. Reducing agent effort on tasks like searching and browsing to track or improve Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a prime example of how AI-powered contact centers can optimize routine tasks and processes.
- Intelligent assistance: Despite the debate over AI taking away human jobs, it should be clear that human touch will always remain important, and AI will merely serve as an assistant, unburdening the stress and repetitive manual efforts. One of the benefits of incorporating AI in contact centers is that it can assume the role of an assistant to the agents, optimizing their abilities to resolve customer queries with more speed and efficiency.
- Sentiment Analysis: With AI, it is possible to accurately identify interactions that led to a negative customer experience, helping the proactive monitoring and management of agent interactions. The issues can be rectified in real-time, and agents are more mindful during future interactions. AI capabilities also help in analyzing and predicting the customers’ sentiments so that businesses can quickly adjust their offerings to create a more positive experience.
- Monitoring agent performance: The success of a contact center largely depends on the performance of its agents and how well they can handle easy to complex customer interactions. AI plays a huge role in identifying agent performances based on various factors. Tracking agent performances can help supervisors come up with better agent training and introduce more robust systems of hiring, saving time, money, and effort in the long run.
- Reducing costs: Acquiring and retaining customers, up-selling, and cross-selling AI in contact centers help drive more business revenues. The biggest advantage is the reduced business costs.
AI-powered contact centers are at the forefront of creating top-tier customer experiences by providing a comprehensive understanding of their needs. There is a wide divide between those companies that are capitalizing on this technology and those still struggling to leverage it. This revolution will continue to expand in scope across contact centers, unlocking the ability to understand customers better and, by doing so, driving growth in revenues.
Ready to add AI initiatives to your contact center? Contact us today.
Prakash Hariharasubramanian, Director & Practice Lead, Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), HGS
Prakash has led various IPA implementations across multiple industry verticals in his tenure of 7 years with HGS. In his role, Prakash develops IPA practice frameworks, creates IPA solutions, and serves as a key automation evangelist for HGS.
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