Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are certainly the most talked about technologies of today. The trend of creating “smart” gadgets and devices is now becoming a norm. People have become much more dependent on computers for even the slightest of their needs, and, certainly, the rise in this trend continues. The way these technologies have invaded our lives, we can undoubtedly anticipate how robotic our future is going to be.
Although many people have a clear-cut stance in favor of AI, one cannot omit the significant number of individuals hating this technology, including some famous names. Regardless of whatever evidences either of the groups gives to prove themselves right, what we, the public, can see is that AI is making us more and more reliant on it with each passing day. The concept of AI-powered customer service is just an example of how dependent we are going to be on this technology. But, the question is, will artificial intelligence improve contact center performance as well?
In this article, we will delve into the details of the role of AI in contact centers. We will also talk about the brighter and darker aspects of exploitation of this technology.
AI Powered Customer Service – A Futuristic Approach
Call centers and customer support services are one of the keys and the busiest departments of the corporate sector. For all businesses, establishing a robust contact center is a requisite. Hence, the workload on this side is the highest, and, despite spending a lot of money, the businesses always face some troubles while managing this side. Hence, there was a need to create something that jazzes up the performance of call centers. People started looking for alternative methods and ended up at using AI.
Consequently, the concept of AI powered customer service centers emerged. There have been various speculations by which AI will enhance the overall operations of this industry. When the entire operations are managed adequately, people will naturally witness a rise in the sales and lead generation as well. What else could be desirable for a business than to have dedicated leads!
What To Expect From Artificial Intelligence Customer Support
Considering the hyped situation regarding the use of AI in call centers, we decided to research a bit and come up with the factual anticipations from Artificial Intelligence that could jazz up the customer support. Here are three most reasonable expectations from this futuristic technology.
· Predicting Customer Requirements
This could be a real benefit for a call center agent if somebody could predict what a customer is going to ask, isn’t it? This is what AI will supposedly do.
This smarter technology is expected to analyze the nature of the incoming call by making use of the caller history, demographics, time of the call, etc., and will present the predicted details to the human agent.
· Modifying The Conversational Tactics
Although we have seen bots dealing the customers today, the next generation tech advancements will bring us the hybrid conversations. It is normal that a client would be bored to talk to a bot. Or, maybe your bot fails to give adequate answers to any unexpected queries. In such instances, a human agent can enter the conversation. This hybrid model will significantly improve the call center industry.
· Enhancing Automation
Another worthy expectation, for which everyone is waiting, is the rise in automation. Presently, call center industry is predominantly handled manually. The use of AI may introduce drastic automation in call centers that could notably jazz up their performance.
How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Contact Centers
When it comes to making expectations and predictions about technology, people can think that they can win over skies. However, the practical aspects of any strategy are somewhat different. Let’s take a look at how AI will benefit the overall operational flow cycle of the contact center industry.
1. Quicker Processes With Minimal Human Involvement
As said above, the new AI models will introduce AI-human hybrid conversational models. As the technology becomes smarter, the need for human involvement will reduce further. In this way, you can manage the overall operations maximally by the computers and minimally by humans. Hence we expect faster execution of all processes, precisely, faster than human speed.
2. Automation of Day-To-Day Work
As artificial intelligence continues to become more intelligent, it will memorize and get used to with the routine operations. Hence, things will become automated gradually, which will not only reduce work speed but will also reduce human workload.
3. Predictive Analysis Using Big Data
Big data analytics are now a requisite for the businesses to grow and outrun their competitors. The use of AI in call centers will help in analyzing this data and present the predictions to the humans for further executions. This includes everything from predicting customer calls, to the analysis of overall big data generated in a firm.
4. Supporting The Targeted Marketing Strategies
Though we have got several techniques to improve our marketing strategies, the use of AI will significantly contribute in the target-based marketing approaches. By analyzing the big data, and using the demographics, the businesses will be empowered to know about their target market zones.
5. Reducing The Time For Maintenance Works
With artificial intelligence in call centers, there will be no need to spend a huge amount of money on the maintenance of large offices. A few computers with a lesser staff and AI will save your maintenance works and the money.
Role Of AI Call Center Agent To Increase Lead Generation
Besides the benefits of artificial intelligence in improving the overall call center operations, there also are numerous benefits directed towards the generation of live leads. A single AI-based software could provide you so many benefits that you will supposedly notice a marked increase in your lead generation.
Let’s take a look on some of the ways by which artificial intelligence will help you in gaining more dedicated leads.
1. 24/7 Communication With Clients
The main benefit that AI would furnish you with is the way by which it manages your leads. Client management is one of the most terrible things to do, and the people are ready to make massive investments in hiring skilled staff, just to keep their clients happy. Yet, at one or the other point, they face losses.
However, with the use of AI-based software, you would be able to manage several clients accordingly, delivering correct answers to all of them at the same time.
Plus, you don’t have to limit your customer support to a particular time zone. Since you now have computers that never get tired, you can offer round-the-clock customer support to your clients.
2. Saving Money Required For Employing Human Staff For Client Management
Although this aspect is not directly related your leads, this would benefit you indirectly in the long run. In fact, you will begin witnessing the benefits within a few months of the initiation of AI-based customer service strategy.
With artificial intelligence, you don’t have to hire the larger number of employees to manage all your clients. Nor you will have to set up an entire office merely to manage this department. Hence, you significantly save a lot of money that would have otherwise spent on maintenance of equipment, furniture, office interior, as well on paying all the employee benefits and managing the stressed situations due to frequent turnover of the staff. Since AI will be dealing most of your work, you can stay relaxed you’re your clients will be adequately entertained.
3. No Need To Hire Separate Call Centers
A majority of startup businesses cannot manage to afford a separate customer service department. Hence, they are compelled to turn towards the dedicated call centers for managing their leads. During this process, they have to spend a lot of money on these call centers. Yet, they are seldom stress-free that their clients are appropriately attended and provided with related information. With smart apps like RosponseAI, you significantly save up on this amount since you do not have to hire separate call center services.
Hence, you can save up all this money for spending on other aspects of your business that could attract more leads, such as improving or increasing your promotional offers.
4. More Effective Communications Due To The Elimination of Accent Problems
A common problem with most human communications is the difference of accent. A local human call center agent cannot understand the foreign accent and vice versa. Artificial Intelligence removes this accent barrier since it will be based on computer-generated neural accents that could easily be followed by anyone.
The Downsides Of Using Ai In Call Centers For Humans
They say, there is a con for every pro. The same goes true for artificial intelligence. Although its benefits in the call center industry are undeniable, one cannot ignore the fact that much of these benefits actually result in alleviating human involvement in this industry. This single approach may impart several adverse effects on the human lifestyles.
1. Disruption In Human Employment Ratio In Call Centers
Although reducing the need for staff hiring is somewhat beneficial for the businesses, it may drastically affect the human employment ratio at large. Call center industry is one of the critical sectors predominated by humans owing to the need for politeness, humbleness, hospitality, and knowledge. If all these gestures could be provided by artificial intelligence, why would someone hire human staff? Some people are skeptical that such gestures could contribute towards human unemployment.
2. Taking Over the Business Industry
The use of chat bots and smart apps will eventually expand its dimensions from call centers to the businesses at large. Although artificial intelligence is beneficial for humans, making this technology too intelligent would supposedly be harmful to humans, since no one can predict the threshold level of artificial intelligence and machine learning. As Elon Musk says, “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon.”
Artificial Intelligence Customer Care Services Have Now Emerged
Despite realizing the room for improvements, people have begun experimenting with AI by introducing some smart AI-based software for call centers. At first, we saw the IBM Watson Call Center, and the call center by CISCO. Today, several other firms have also stepped into this niche.
Let’s dig out what we have from this companies for call centers.
· LivePerson AI Customer Service Bot
Chat bots are expected to reduce the workload of call centers markedly since most of the customers approach the call centers via chat. Hence, LivePerson has stepped up to create a human-AI hybrid model to serve as a chat bot for this industry. This chat bot will keep the customers engaged as they can talk to a human agent as and when needed. This way, it is not intending to replace the human agents, rather it simply divides the workload. It also empowers human agents to deal with multiple clients at a time.
· DigitalGenius Email Bot
Now that we have a dedicated chat bot for managing customers, how we can leverage AI for managing emails? DigitalGenius answers this question by launching a specialized email bot. This bot or software makes use of the previous conversations in the databases and assists the human agents to respond to emails accordingly by showing up the most successful relevant conversations from the past.
· Cogito AI Customer Service Chat
When we have seen some genius applications of artificial intelligence in call centers, how could the most important task of a call center agent be neglected! Cogito, a startup company, is on the verge of creating a comprehensive software for helping in the effective management of customer phone calls.
What To Conclude?
The flaming debates of whether the artificial intelligence could improve the call center performance may not be adequately answered positively or negatively for now. Since the application of artificial intelligence in the contact center is just in its infancy, it is too early to give a firm verdict. Nonetheless, from the look of the things, it appears AI will contribute to enhancing the call center industry operations. Although the skepticism towards the downsides of AI cannot be ruled out, the present day scenario hints that AI is emerging merely to assist the humans, without having the slightest intention to replace them.
Maybe we can count on the words of Stephen Hawking as a guideline for treating AI accordingly, “Computers will overtake humans with AI within the next 100 years… we need to make sure [that] the computers have goals aligned with ours”.