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The future of CX starts with agent augmentation
For businesses to meet the endless customer demands in a consumer-centric landscape with more personalization and engaging experiences is a challenge that cannot be overcome with a simple one-size-fits-all model. While personalized customer experience is possible through a traditional contact center, agent augmentation through Contact Center AI and automation is slowly unlocking new opportunities in the CX industry.
How agent augmentation plays a role in CX
Agent augmentation combines automation and virtual agents in contact centers to empower agents. Businesses are automating general customer interactions for a more efficient CX environment. For instance, implementing self-service FAQs and chatbots to answer common questions, reduces an agent’s workload.
In the beginning, many were concerned that bots would one day replace the need for agents entirely, leading to mass unemployment. However, AI can be considered more like an aid for agents rather than a replacement.
AI is there to ensure that the contact center agents can focus on more crucial and complex tasks that demand their skills and attention. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), chatbots, virtual agents, etc. can take over repetitive tasks reducing agent workload.
Additionally, AI-embedded tools have the capability to enhance the agent experience by delivering the required information and guidance on demand to help create better customer experiences.
Agents have much to live up to, with customers expecting more personalized and efficient service interactions. This is where agent augmentation comes into the picture helping agents meet these customer expectations across multiple platforms. It connects the workforce with the latest in AI, machine learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) solutions.
Providing enhanced CX with agent augmentation
Consumers are less patient today and expect immediate answers to all their concerns and issues within a matter of moments without having to repeat themselves over and over again to countless agents.
Using agent augmentation strategies, AI accelerates the resolution journey for agents and customers by providing helpful and relevant information and guidance. In this way, agents are able to receive CRM and customer sales data that facilitate a more contextual conversation.
For instance, our contact center solution, HGS Agent X displays customer information on the agent’s screen, such as:
- The customer’s name and background
- Products or services that they have
- Purchase history
- Previous complaints/call history
Once the agent answers the call, the AI-powered agent assist keeps working in the background and draws up relevant information or offers helpful suggestions. HGS Agent X also employs advanced agent augmentation like sentiment analysis that analyzes customer’s sentiment during the conversation and allows the calls to be escalated accordingly.
Different levels of agent augmentation
The different levels of agent augmentation explain the varying degrees of involvement and sophistication that can be offered during customer interactions.
This level involves no automation and as a result, customers wait in a queue to speak to an agent to solve their query or issue. Customers repeat themselves to the agents as the call escalates, and agents have to use maximum effort when searching for relevant information.
Level 2 implements limited automation like self-service to a certain point. The complex requests have to be handled by an agent, adding wait time. Agents have to switch between multiple data sources and screens to find the necessary information adding to both the agent’s and the customer’s frustration.
A level 3 implementation involves live agents in every interaction supported by AI-assisted information.
In level 4 of agent augmentation, the customer only interacts with a conversational AI or an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA). The IVA digitally receives a response from an agent, which is then forwarded to the customer, making it a quicker and more efficient way of executing the task with low operational costs.
While it’s better to provide non-automation options as well for customers, the availability of accessible and efficient solutions usually makes it so that the customers do not want to let go of automation.
You can implement agent augmentation with HGS’s AI-powered solutions. Check whether team augmentation is right for your contact center from the following checklist.
Types of agent augmentation
There are different types of agent augmentation that can be implemented in a business according to requirements. Let’s take a quick look at some of these types:
Augmentation that reduces repetitive tasks
By cutting down the daily mundane tasks that are repetitive, agents can make use of their time and effort to execute high-value and complex tasks and queries. Using chatbots is a great option to ensure that. When used correctly, these bots can provide an immersive FAQ system eliminating the immediate need for a human agent.
Intelligent call routing
Another type of agent augmentation strategy is to assign tasks according to the skill set and expertise of the agents. Pushing calls through to the first available agent for quick resolutions is not an effective strategy.
Delegating the relevant expert for the job from the beginning can save a lot of time and effort. Having an intelligent routing system can minimize the number of escalations during a call and increase customer satisfaction levels.
Predictive and automated dialers
Augmentation can also be introduced through predictive and automated dialing solutions saving crucial agent time. It is designed to increase agent efficiency by calling as many leads as possible, quickly detecting busy signals and disconnected numbers, and moving to the next call.
Social media, chats, and texts implement predictive dialing too. It can detect a customer’s preferred channel and immediately deliver interactions with an agent providing customers with a proactive outreach. This type of augmentation is a powerful way to ensure that businesses get the most value out of every call.
Virtual assistants (VA)
Despite the automation and chatbots, customers still prefer some level of human interaction. A hybrid AI system solves this through robotic counterparts or virtual assistants that assist the agents, thereby creating a more efficient contact center.
Virtual assistants have access to back-end information with plenty of valuable contextual data to help agents create positive experiences for the clients. For instance, VAs can share customer call history, name and background, purchase history, and other insights like sentiment analysis with the agents enabling them to create a more personalized experience for the customers as the call progresses.
Enhanced analytics for agent training
As AI-driven VAs continue to gather critical information from conversations, supervisors can use that data to analyze where the team requires additional training and support, as well as the areas to focus on when serving customers. Through these in-depth insights, training systems can be set up for customer service representatives to become more effective.
Team augmentation helps contact centers explore how AI and automation can support and enhance agent performances. Implementing it is easy for businesses of all sizes allowing them to empower agents with contextual information, real-time analytics, live assistance, and other useful insights that they need to provide a valuable customer experience. Augmentation is dedicated to making sure that contact center representatives have the tools they need to efficiently address client problems.
Learn more about how you can implement agent augmentation in your contact center. Connect with our experts.
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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