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Squashing Long Wait Time & Call Friction: AI’s Role in Transforming Contact Centers

Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy once said, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” We know that this prolific gentleman said this in a totally different context, but the statement stands pretty accurate in the fast-paced, ever-changing technological world, particularly in the case of contact centers.

The most significant truth is time is a l*****, especially in the customer service industry where customers are impatient, curious, and demand immediate assistance.

A report by Freshworks suggested that 22% of customers felt overwhelmed and frustrated because of the long wait times at call centers while 52% of customers expect super-fast resolutions. Another report by Social Stamina revealed that around 64% of customers expect a reply within just an hour of posting on Twitter. In comparison, 85% of customers stated that they expected a company to respond within six hours of raising a complaint.

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In the current scenario, exceptional customer service is the key to enhancing a brand’s success. Artificial intelligence and its magnificent sets of AI-empowered tools and techniques are helping brands and contact centers strengthen the customer experience. Organizations are now offering quick resolutions and i****** replies to customers and making their journeys more fruitful.

A report by Gartner categorically stated that when customers experience distress due to high-effort issue resolutions, there is a 96% chance of them being disloyal to brands and 81% were more prone to share negative feedback verbally.

With this article, we are closely focusing on the effortless ways in which AI is shaping the future of contact centers.

3 Effortless Ways How AI is Revamping Contact Centers

Since its inception, AI-empowered tools, techniques, and software have changed the way brands interact and engage with their customers, especially in the case of contact centers. Let’s glimpse through how AI is revamping contact centers and simplifying the customer service experience.

1. Fostering a Faster and Smoother Connection between Customers and Agents

AI’s chatbots and call routing tools streamline call flows and enable agents to invest more time in interacting with and helping their customers. AI is facilitating a symbiotic relationship between the customer and the agent where the friction is less and the business goal is achieved.

Chatbots

With the emerging popularity of chatbots, customers are now capable of self-resolving their issues with the help of AI. A decade ago, speaking to a live human was quite tricky and a customer felt super lucky if they got connected to an agent instead of being on endless hold. But today, chatbots are the true saviors, who are heroically saving time and improving customer service. This not just helps customers but also agents who can now wade their way through call queues a lot faster which means, lesser hold time and lesser friction.

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Emphasizing the ever-increasing demand for this vital technological component, Gartner predicted that in another 5 years, chatbots will graduate to becoming the primary customer service channel for around a quarter of organizations.

Smart-Routing

Smart routing is another AI technique feature that ensures that customers are getting connected with the right agent quickly. The best part of this feature is that the software decides where the call will go, meaning no time to redirect calls, therefore time is saved.

2. Real-time Analytics for Smart Decision-Making

Data is the key to the smooth functioning of a successful contact center. Real-time data not just helps managers to review the call flows and how an agent is performing but also helps the agents to gain insights into the customer experience.

AI capabilities and cloud when used in real-time dashboards can help managers to keep a tab on the happenings. With access to accurate real-time data, you can now see details of performances and customer experience.

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Dashboard Alerts

When the call queue is abnormally high, managers are notified about the same through dashboard alerts. With this notification, managers can find a way to fix it by adding more agents to uniformly distribute it.

Agent Training

AI also helps managers to measure the number of times an agent interrupts a customer during a call. Further, they can use this data to identify the agents who need more training.

Understanding a customer’s mood.  

Some kinds of AI help managers and agents to understand how a customer is feeling. With the use of emotional intelligence, this software enables you to analyze the voice tone of the caller to gauge what they are experiencing.

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Customize Reports

In some cases, the software allows you to create customized contact center analytics that you can use to generate insightful reports on call tracking, talk-time intervals, and daily transfer. This way, it will be easier for you to discover trends in the contact center activity.

3. Reducing Contact Center Costs  

One of the biggest advantages of implementing AI software and techniques in the contact center is that you can o**** 24*7/365 without hiring a bigger staff, thus bringing down the costs.  With AI by your side, you will have the confidence to rely on technology more, hence enabling you to efficiently operate with a leaner contact center while enhancing customer experience simultaneously. Let’s take a look at the features individually.

IVR-enabled Resolutions

When a customer calls, the call goes to the IVR, which is typically the first point of contact. The good part is if the IVR is able to resolve the query, there’s no need for an agent’s involvement. If the need is, IVR can also forward the call to the appropriate agent.

I****** Chat Resolutions

Another form of self-service option for customers is contact center software with AI chatbots. Embedded with natural language processing provide technology, chatbots are capable of understanding human conversations and accordingly provide apt responses.

With this AI-enabled chat service, there are chances of a quicker online resolution than having to wait for a live agent. A survey by the Northridge Group stated that 63% of customers were of the opinion that online chat was the most hassle-free channel of communication.

Recommendations

When you are clueless about what your customers want, trust the AI recommendations. These suggestions cut down the call frequency and foster faster call resolutions while allowing your agent to have a more personalized customer experience.

Bottomline is…

The bottom line AI can address a number of problems often faced by contact centers like call friction, recognizing a customer’s pulse, lack of real-time visibility into case details, attention to detail, etc. All thanks to this marvel of technology, contact centers can work more efficiently with their customers, and empathize better while promising a superior experience.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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