- Artificial intelligence can help agents do their jobs better with real-time assistance on calls as well as reduce monotony for contact center agents by automating manual tasks.
- Implementing AI can help contact centers save money and boost their bottom line by improving first contact resolution, and other key metrics.
- RingCentral’s innovative AI capabilities can modernize contact centers and improve both agent and customer experience.
How engaged are your agents in your contact center, and how often do they find themselves overwhelmed with calls?
Keeping agents happy and empowered at work is crucial to avoiding agent churn. Thankfully, there are tools available to help ensure a positive work experience.
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key tool that contact centers can use to improve agent experience. Here are seven ways AI-enabled communications solutions can help.
Agents are always available to help customers out at any stage of their journey, but AI can step in long before a live agent gets involved. Simple issues can be resolved right away when customers make use of AI-enabled self-service tools like chatbots and virtual assistants.
For instance, a customer looking for an update on a recently placed order can easily find this information through a chatbot or virtual assistant without having to connect with a live agent.
In addition, simple chatbots have evolved into highly sophisticated virtual agents that can recognize intent and provide accurate responses quickly. If the issue becomes too complex, these virtual agents can transfer the call to a live agent with contextual information. This ensures that contact center agents are no longer bombarded with unnecessary and repetitive calls, enabling them to focus on higher-value tasks that require more hands-on assistance. Virtual agents can also help save contact centers money.
To provide customers with the best service, it’s important for agents to gather as much information about them at the onset of a phone call as possible. One of the benefits of AI is that it can collect this information before an agent becomes involved with a caller.
Once a caller connects to a live agent, the agent already has access to all the required information. Armed with the most up-to-date customer information available, agents can deliver great customer experiences right out of the gate.
In addition to gathering customer data, AI can help get the resolution process started behind the scenes. Virtual assistants can analyze customer voices and written comments to get an idea of what they’re looking for. The virtual assistant can then suggest a few potential solutions to the agent, who will then implement their human skills to determine which option is best for each specific customer.
This can help cut down on call times and add a more personalized spin on the call, thereby enhancing customer experience.
During slower times, agents may have the benefit of a more relaxed work environment. Yet when call volumes spike, the agents currently scheduled may quickly find themselves overwhelmed with queries.
With the implementation of AI, contact centers can handle as many calls as required, regardless of how many come in at any given time. Whether there are 10 calls or 500 calls per hour, an AI system can manage them.
AI-enabled communications systems can adjust as call volume retreats or expands. This takes a load off agents during particularly busy times.
Contact center agent turnover rates are already high as it is, with an average of 30-45% of agents replaced each year by call centers, according to recent data. Repetitive work that does little to stimulate agents can cause agent churn rates to remain high.
To reverse this trend, keeping agents engaged in their work is key. This can be done with the help of AI, which can be used to automatically resolve monotonous calls and tasks, such as those that require order status updates, refunds, and so on. While AI takes care of these tasks, agents can be involved in calls that require more problem-solving skills. These calls can be stimulating to agents, helping them enjoy their working hours more and keeping them engaged and happy.
AI can be involved in the entire communication journey between agents and customers to provide employees with real-time support. For instance, agents can be messaged with pertinent information about the customer and their needs preemptively to help resolve tickets more quickly and efficiently. Even better, AI can listen in on every call and provide behavioral guidance to the agent in real time around soft-skills such as empathy or active listening so agents don’t just know what to say but how to say it to ensure the best outcomes.
Contact centers are filled with agents with varying degrees of experience and expertise. Given that fact, it makes sense to route different customers to the agent with the knowledge and skill-set to handle the call appropriately.
For instance, simpler queries may be directed to less experienced agents, while more complex issues may be directed to agents with far more experience under their belts. Further, AI and computer analytics can help determine whether or not a live agent is needed at all even before a call is routed to an agent.
Over time, AI becomes better at matching customers to the right agents, allowing for better responses to customers and a more optimal experience.
Originally published Jul 20, 2022, updated Jul 28, 2022