One of the ways to gauge the productivity of a Call Center is by considering the time it takes to link a consumer to the right agent in order to resolve a particular concern. Currently, businesses are looking for an alternative to “rule-based decision matrices” (Example- The self-service IVR system that needs a customer to press the dialer to process a query or speak to customer care executive).
Overtime, these systems have become outdated and can frustrate the customer. The aim is to streamline the current channels of communication and gain a happy shopper.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as an answer to this issue. While an emerging technology, AI is anticipated to transform call center performance and enhance customer-agent engagements.
Recent cases of AI in the customer service field are, Taco Bell’s TacoBot which allows customers order their meals from Slack. Similarly, Sephora, the beauty-brand giant lets shoppers to skip a trip to their shop by fulfilling makeup orders via their messaging app Kik.
More significantly, artificial intelligence can be used to enhance customer experience. To put in in simple words, smart bots developed on AI technology provide a very personalized customer experience by giving functionalities that would otherwise be expensive and laborious if done manually.
A Quick Look into AI Technologies
#1. Machine Learning
Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that gives systems the capacity to automatically learn and improve from experience without being overtly programmed. Machine learning emphasizes on the advancement of computer programs that can access information and use it learn for themselves.
#2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
It is the aptitude of a technology to converse with people using their natural language. This interaction can be in terms of speech or text. The motive is to program the computers to comprehend, scrutinize and successfully use long natural language engagements to provide the right response.
#3. Sentiment Analysis
It is the process of computationally distinguishing and classifying views expressed in verbal communication or a piece of text. The aim is to know a customer’s attitude towards a specific issue, merchandise or engagement etc.
Why Artificial Intelligence?
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistance and Siri are well-known examples of AI that customers are by now familiar with and depend on them for regular requests and use. However, the real change will come about with the use of AI at the enterprise level, particularly the customer service departments of a company. The following observations were made by Gartner with respect to AI technology, its use and application in businesses.
- By December, more than 10% of IT hires in customer service will typically write scripts for bot engagements.
- By year end, artificial intelligence platform services will cannibalize revenues for 30% of largest businesses.
- By 2020, businesses using cognitive ergonomics and system design in artificial intelligence ventures will attain lasting success four times more often than others.
AI Will Complement Omni-Channel Support System
AI has the ability to complement omni-channel support too, which is the current need of the Call Centers. At the moment, Intelligence Call Centers are employing the omni-channel system to service consumers across various channels of communication (Chat, Social Media, Email, Text, IM). AI will assist in completing the dots and elucidating clear lines of communication. For instance, a shopper can contact customer service representative via email as well as through social media. AI will empower businesses to scrutinize data and assist in data mining to improve employee productivity, which consequently leads to improved customer experience.
Smartbot: Artificial Intelligence in Call Centers
Smartbots are a prime example of AI that are presently being used in Call Centers and business websites. A great conversable liveperson is the one where users are not able to tell whether they are conversing with a human or bot. Chatbots are likely to be emotionally smart and swift in interpreting and handling queries thanks to call center ai technology. The technology is fast evolving and the sky is the limit in terms of how much it can improve call centers. According to Gartner, consumers will handle 85% of their brand engagements without talking to a single human by 2020.
Impact of Chatbots for CX
AI and smartbots are on the way to pave the path for future of Call Centers. Let’s look at some of the ways by which smartbots have been proven to be valuable for Call Centers and Customer Experience.
Reduced Waiting Time
Intelligent bots make sure that the consumer doesn’t have to wait. The goal is to cut the wait time and prioritize shopper query. With AI support, the chatterbot is able to route the consumer to a free agent using smart algorithms.
24/7 Customer Service Support
Consumers look for convenience when getting in touch with customer service. Offering 24X7 support is one way of ensuring an impeccable customer service experience. A profitable, yet effective way of doing that is through smartbots. By using big data from initial customer engagements, chatbots can be programmed to resolve simple consumer problems. If there is some escalation, artificial intelligence detects emotions such as frustration, confusion, anger etc. in the consumer’s voice, and can swiftly transfer the call to its human counterpart to resolve the matter.
As previously stated, smartbots collect historical data of customer engagements. Based on the data collected they are able to envisage and offer real time data to human agents. In simple terms smartbots work as virtual agents. Using old and current data, live agents can offer useful information and solutions to the consumers.
Building and Fostering Customer Relationships
Businesses wish their agents had more time to start and foster relations with their consumers. But live agents often don’t have the time to interact in depth talks with consumers. Enterprise chatbots can be efficient in this task. Two ways to make a customer feel appreciated is sending email to keep in touch, and an automated SMS on special occasions. When consumers feel they are being valued, they become loyal to your brand.
Although AI and chatbots are seen as the future of customer service, there still exist a few problems. For example, a few consumers may feel more contented engaging with the conventional customer support systems. Having said that, industry experts believe businesses that are open to the latest innovations and ready to experiment will have a competitive advantage. Actually, with time it is thought that the line between human agents and smartbots will get blurred.