The average call center hold time is approximately 12-13 minutes, and most people are willing to wait up to six minutes on hold before hanging up. According to HubSpot, 57% of customers find long hold times to be frustrating, negatively impacting customer experience. As a result, call centers have resorted to AI – lessening the length of wait time and avoiding disappointment amongst customers.
Artificial Intelligence essentially introduces a faceless agent with a voice, who answers everyone and every question. The state-of-the-art technology considers every call, successfully prioritizing customers based on their sequence and ultimately serving as an agent in every capacity.
How to improve customer service using AI
From conversational chatbots to automated ticket creation, Artificial Intelligence has reformed customer service in a better way. With the help of AI, agents can offer personalized services to their customers leading to brand loyalty and higher numbers of customer retention. While AI is no replacement for human expertise and experience, it does help increase efficiency and reduce AHT through the following ways:
- Instant responses: AI helps human agents with continuous support during their calls and chats, identifying a caller’s intent and offering real-time assistance at every step. Additionally, AI powered virtual agents can easily switch between topics, answer questions and interact through other channels to minimize the load on human resources.
- Preserving the human touch: A survey reported that more than 90% customer preferred interacting with live agents over pre-recorded calls. AI helps to personalize customer experience by allowing personalization options such as tone of voice, response statements, and background sound for virtual agents. The added human touch will ensure a more fulfilling experience for the customers.
- Natural routing: AI can understand a caller’s intent through sentiment analysis, by enabling smooth routing towards human agents through natural interactions rather than asking callers to dial specific numbers on the keypad.
- Converting speech to text: AI platforms are capable of speech recognition and can make real-time call transcripts by analyzing the calls thoroughly. These transcripts help virtual agents keep track of the conversation even if there is a change of accent, background noise, or connectivity issues from the customer’s end.
- Best of human and AI: Established and reputed call center companies prefer to combine the strengths of AI and human experience. Therefore, a lot of testing and troubleshooting happens before a call center decides to adapt an AI generated system in the environment. The goal is to work alongside humans and enhance their productivity, not replace them. Contact center AI agents are programmed to consult/reach out to human agents when they find it difficult to understand a caller, serving as a great supplement to the human agent customer experience.
For years, we’ve been integrated into the era of technology. With nearly every industry utilizing or planning to use many aspects of automation and Artificial Intelligence, it’s no wonder that it’s all the rage. The BPO industry is no exception and whether it’s a sale related outbound call or responding to an inbound support call, AI not only helps human agents to perform efficiently and more quickly, but also works to achieve a flawless customer experience, and in an industry where customer service is the most centered on responsibility- that’s the most important thing.