Successful enterprises understand the importance of customer loyalty. 52% of people stop using a company’s products or services based on bad customer service interactions. And their opinion matters. Users take reviews into account 88% of the time when deciding if they should start doing business with a company.
In my last article on virtual assistants and bots improving CSAT by cutting down on boredom (https://www.blueworx.com/do-you-hate-waiting-in-line/ ), one thing I didn’t address was how to add automation to the contact center without it being perceived as just an extension of the IVR. Because, let’s face it, most people don’t like IVR, and few of them understand that without IVR, product costs would increase. So, how do you use chatbots and virtual assistants without adding to the frustration of the customer?
We are all exposed to some form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on a daily basis. Whether we employ it for personal projects with Siri, on our device’s software to efficiently tag photos, or at the office with the likes of Watson or Alexa, it is obvious that the Age of AI is here.
Heath Terry, Head of Internet Research at Goldman Sachs, states, “We’re going from a world where people give machines rules to a world where people give machines problems and the machines learn how to solve them on their own.”
The future of contact centers will predict a customer’s inquiry and foresee what it is they’re calling about. By using artificial intelligence (AI), future contact centers will also be able to provide appropriate support to the customer, thoroughly enhancing the customers overall experience, hence the marriage of AI and customer contact centers. While this may sound like computers are replacing humans, it’s actually more like a human plus one. AI is actually helping the human, be it the contact center agent or the customer, to be more efficient and get more accomplished in a minimal amount of time.
The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been said to have been “right around the corner” for at least a decade. As with all disruptive technology, it takes time for mass acceptance. Yet when that tipping point happens, we better be ready to harness it. In a 2016 Harvard Forum, Ed Felton, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, likened the importance of Artificial Intelligence to that of mobile computing and internet. Just imagine that. Eventually AI will be as common in our lives as our Smartphones and the Internet. So, what do companies need to do to prepare themselves for this revolution?
Most companies look to the measurement of CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) as a metric for determining how effective their contact center is, or is not. But what does that really mean? Does it tell you anything about the customer? No, the measurement simply tells you if you met the customer’s expectations. But how do you meet every customer’s expectation when each is unique? In today’s marketplace, consumers are demanding more and more from their contact center interactions. They want timely and accurate resolutions to their ever-changing needs.
Businesses experience many challenges in their contact centers as they try to provide the best customer service possible. In a previous blog, we covered the challenge of attrition in the contact center. (https://www.blueworx.com/resolving-the-contact-centers-top-challenges-with-ai/) An additional factor in keeping customers and employees satisfied and engaged is the self-service experience.
Contact Centers experience many challenges across business units as they try to satisfy customer expectations. Keeping your customers happy and loyal can be a huge differentiator for your business. On the other hand, keeping your agents happy and engaged is another challenge that is often overlooked when talking about customer experience.
Imagine this for a moment. You call into your local bank or financial institution outfitted with an interactive voice response application that is set up to quickly and properly direct your call. This scenario could possibly go in a couple of directions – good or bad.
Your call flow then offers what seems to be a list of generic options – none of which are really what you are looking for. You repeat the menu again, only to be frustrated when nothing matches what you are calling about. The next and seemingly only option left is to just press zero, hoping to get to a live agent. This process translates to lost opportunity and lost money, not to mention an unhappy customer and agent.
What if that experience could be significantly different – even enjoyable? Imagine you call into your bank and are greeted in a more natural conversational manner. You hear something like “Thank you for calling. Please tell me how I can help you today. Say: check account balances, verify deposits, speak to a banker, or something else.” You are able to talk in a more natural fluid manner to ask for what you need – and most likely you’ll get somewhere. As always, you can opt out for an agent, but you are more likely to hang on the line and be routed properly.
The amount of data we deal with every day is growing at a staggering rate. The issue then becomes the management and security of that information. How do we keep this ever increasing amount of data safe and prevent fraud? We need to become smarter about which technology we use to secure the data while still being able to access it when required. Enter Artificial Intelligence (AI). So, how do we use AI to the benefit of our overall security protocol?