Hollywood has always been fascinated by artificial intelligence with classics like “The Terminator” and “Blade Runner”. While we’re still far away from having a robot uprising, there’s no way around the fact that automation is our future. And while Google’s AI phone assistant may take some time until it becomes widely available, there are already many tools that you can take advantage of to improve your contact center’s productivity.
For every second chat bots eliminate from response times, Juniper Research estimates that contact centers save as much as $1 million worldwide. Automating your contact center with the industry’s latest innovations will save you thousands of dollars in wages while making customers happy with faster and more seamless support. However, make sure to correctly balance between AI and human resources and always offer the customer the option to reach an agent. When done incorrectly, contact center automation may result in more hang-ups and frustrated customers.
Automating your contact center can mean anything from offering a comprehensive FAQ page to more elaborate tools, such as a chat bot. In fact, anything that saves your agents time to do other more important tasks can be considered contact center automation. Here’s how to effectively automate yours:
Have an FAQ Section
Let’s start simple by setting up an FAQ page. Even though this might seem basic, you would be astonished by the number of companies that don’t provide such a helpful section on their websites. FAQs allow your clients to find solutions for common issues without having to contact customer support, which decreases the amount of contact handling tremendously. Of course, it’s essential that you create an easy-to-navigate FAQ section with a straightforward search engine. Customers who don’t find answers to their problems after a few clicks will assume the information is not there and proceed to contact customer support.
Get an Omnichannel Platform
Consumers today are more demanding than ever. There are various communication channels, and everyone wants to use their favorite one. From text messaging to social media and live chat, you need to make sure you can be contacted in every way possible. The main problem is how to do it. It’s true that you can build a multichannel contact center by getting dedicated platforms for every single communication channel, but deploying a contact center with omnichannel capabilities is far more productive. Not only will your agents be able to handle requests with one piece of software, but you’ll also have the ability to manage everything in one place.
Use a Chat Bot
While you wait for Google phone assistant, you can take advantage of chat bots to decrease the amount of contact handling. Providers like Freshcaller allow you to teach AI to answer commonly asked questions and send links to relevant articles, which reduces the number of customers taking up your agents’ time to fix simple issues.
Make the Most Out of Contact Routing and IVR
Well-configured contact routing and IVR is an important first step to decrease hold time and the number of call transfers. They allow you to direct customers to the right department, which removes the need for a middleman. There are even solutions like Twilio Flex that allow you to set up self-service options where customers can solve simple problems without speaking to an agent. Yelp is a good example of a company taking advantage of this by using Twilio to send automatic text messages to both customers and restaurants confirming table reservations.
Capitalize on Consumer Information
We're not telling you to sell your customers' information to advertisers. What we’re saying is to take advantage of the data gathered to provide better customer support and more insightful sales pitches. To do this, you can either use the contact center software’s built-in features or integrate it with your favorite CRM platform. Regardless of the solution you opt for, your agents will be able to see the customers' full history when interacting with them. Additionally, the AI found on intelligent power dialers, such as CloudTalk’s smart dialer, will tell you when it's the perfect time to get in touch with someone to follow up on a recent issue or sell them a new service.
While it isn't advisable to ditch humans altogether and have robots handle all customer support, you should still integrate automation into your contact center to decrease expenses and improve customer satisfaction. Just make sure that you set up everything correctly when you do so, as AI will strictly follow your instructions.
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