Last year, customer satisfaction was at an all-time low. (No Jitter, 2023) The low rating is likely the result of high customer expectations clashing with contact center inefficiencies. Today, 52% of customers expect super-fast resolutions. (Freshworks, 2021) Likewise, 85% of customers want companies to respond within six hours of them leaving a message on Facebook – in reality, it takes, on average, a day and four hours. (Social Stamina, 2021)
It is no secret customers are impatient – but organizations shouldn’t let that deter them from providing the best possible CX. The answer? It’s simple: companies must incorporate AI-powered tools into their contact centers to augment agent workload and enrich CX.
Perhaps the most powerful benefit of AI is its ability to automate customer interactions. By integrating AI communications solutions such as chatbots and virtual assistants into the contact center, brands can begin to automate many basic tasks that typically consume an agent’s day. Whether paying bills, checking reward points, or updating passwords, customers can now complete these tasks in a self-serve manner via AI technology.
By automating the handling of routine calls that come into the contact center environment, agents are able to effectively manage their time, helping them focus their energy on the more complex customer issues. Fewer calls mean reduced hold times and less frustrated customers resulting in faster call resolution and more loyal clients.
Omnichannel notifications and intelligent routing
Not only can contact centers use AI to automate repetitive customer interactions, but they can also automate omnichannel notifications. Agents can schedule alerts and remind customers about important updates on their orders or time-sensitive discounts without manually calling the customer. Plus, these same AI tools work for internal communications, notifying agents of new schedules or operational changes.
Intelligent routing is another intuitive AI communication tool. This AI solution uses information about the customer, such as local caller ID and key details from the question at hand, and automatically route them to the most appropriate department or skilled agent based on their location and time zone. These advanced tools can even analyze a customer’s tone of voice and escalate them to a manager, saving an untrained agent the pain of conversing to an upset client.
AI and humans: A symbiotic relationship
When compared directly to bots and virtual assistants, human agents seem, on the surface, to be inferior. AI-enabled tools don’t need to take time off, can work holidays, and speak multiple languages. While these solutions are invaluable to the modern contact center, AI won’t replace humans but will enhance their capabilities and make their jobs easier and less stressful.
For complex issues that can’t get solved right away through self-service, AI tools can only take the customer so far in a call until the chatbot or virtual assistant needs to perform a graceful pass-thru to a live agent. Critical to the interaction is the transfer of information and when this transition occurs between AI and humans, the agent should have all the information they need to complete the interaction successfully.
IntelePeer’s SmartAgent for contact centers
AI tools are the most effective way to match the high expectations of modern consumers. Nevertheless, implementing these tools into one’s established contact center can be herculean – not to mention expensive. But, with IntelePeer’s SmartAgent for contact centers, you don’t have to fret over costly installations. Plus, our Managed Solutions team can help you further accelerate implementation.
Contact us today about how SmartAgent can turbocharge your contact center.