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When Should Contact Centres Deploy AI? | Enterprise | Onecom

Onecom

AI is one of the hot topics in customer service. And when it comes to today’s contact centres, implementing AI can be truly transformative. But when should you adopt it?


“In our business, we talk about emerging technologies and how they impact society. We’ve never seen a technology move as fast as AI has to impact society and technology. This is by far the fastest-moving technology that we’ve ever tracked in terms of its impact and we’re just getting started.”

— Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Accenture

You see quotes like this a lot. AI moves fast — so fast that you should have implemented it yesterday. But we understand that not all enterprises are created equal. Our experience has taught us that despite this, common challenges or situations arise within contact centres that make AI implementation the natural next step for growth.

So if any of the following rings true today, perhaps you should consider taking your first steps into AI.

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Your customers expect better service

We know the customer landscape is changing. Always-on, digital native customers have two challenging expectations:

  1. Fast, professional help 24 hours a day 
  2. A personalised experience that delivers real value

Meeting both of these demands at the same time is a serious challenge. And when customer experience is the number 1 differentiator between companies, you need a solution. That solution is AI. With the right data, training, and a clear goal to strive for, AI can form the foundation of a personalised experience for every customer, even when your call centre teams are offline.

We're all getting used to using virtual assistants, chatbots, and similar tools in our day-to-day lives. It's only natural that your service evolves to meet the new ways of communicating. So, if your customer base is getting more sophisticated, your service should too.

According to some estimates, customer sentiment ratings increased 57.3% among companies using AI in their customer experience initiatives.

Sentiment ratings increase 57.3% among companies using AI for customer experience

You see opportunities in your data

If your organisation has gotten to the size where you have customer data building up, unused, AI can help. Analytics systems powered by AI and machine learning can help you comb through huge, previously unstructured data sets to discover opportunities to improve service and process.

Discover what customers are thinking and feeling

Using this data, businesses can personalise customer conversations to build a rapport, offer better advice and recommendations, and establish the emotive interactions that are key to the customer experience. 

"...for quality and training purposes"

Most organisations record customer calls and capture interactions on other channels for quality assurance purposes. This bank of data can provide insights that improve their teams’ operations, reduce potential frustrations in the customer journey, and coach advisor communication skills.

But most of this data goes unanalysed. According to CallMiner, most organisations only listen to between 1% and 3% of the calls they receive each month. This may be due to the resources needed to analyse such a large amount of unstructured data.

An analytics system that uses automation and machine learning technology can take unstructured call data and analyse it. Along with structured data from surveys or review sites, analysis may reveal opportunities to improve your service.

You need to reduce customer churn

AI can help analyse customer feedback to create personalised profiles. These profiles include summaries of customer sentiment and their expectations of your brand. When you combine this feedback with other data sources, you can start to see a clearer picture of your customer’s motivations.

You can use structured data to train machine learning algorithms to predict a “next best action” for each customer. So, instead of using guesswork and investing heavily in costly, unreliable actions, AI uses the customer's needs to make suggestions.

A recommended action could be as simple as proactive outreach to a disgruntled customer that is predicted to churn. At the other end of the scale, it could be offering an exact discount or promotion code that has the likelihood of resulting in a new sale.

These data-driven customer engagement activities can help you reduce customer churn.

You want to motivate your employees

Contact centres are, and always will be, a people business. But the reality of running a modern enterprise is that you need to perform mundane, non-customer-facing tasks. Whether that's maintaining your IT infrastructure with checks and patching, or optimising workflows.

These repetitive tasks can have an impact on your employees' motivation and their passion for what they do. If your teams are spending more time keeping the lights on than serving customers, it's time to consider implementing an AI solution.

Workflow automation enables agents to setup automatic tasks for the AI to take care of. Such tasks include:

  • Switching applications
  • Locating information for agents
  • Inputting data
  • Performing infrastructure checks and maintenance

You need to get more out of less

All of the scenarios we've described demonstrate the same thing: AI supports your people. It allows them to do their jobs better and more productively. And in this climate, productivity comes at a premium.

With remote working, coronavirus, and economic uncertainty, businesses all over the world are tightening their belts. Smaller teams need to be more agile and more productive to help your organisation get through tough times.

AI can help by intelligently expanding capacity and making your people more efficient, reducing burnout and increasing satisfaction and productivity.

Has the time come to deploy AI?

AI is the logical step for organisations that want to transform their contact centre into a critical strategic asset, leveraging efficiency gains that enhance the customer and agent experience. The technology available allows organisations to enhance employee and customer experiences in many ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Customer self-service
  • Predictive routing
  • Predictive analysis
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Voice transcription

Supported by a cloud-based platform and managed by a partner who understands the value of great customer services, AI implementation could be your next big step to success.

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