Reprinted from this call center AI article.
The business benefits of AI in the call center are indisputable.
54% of executives say that implementing AI in their workplace has increased productivity, while AI usage increases are expected to create $2.9 trillion of value in 2021 alone.
In a customer service capacity, AI can alleviate call volume, streamline workflows, speed up customer interactions and facilitate more effective service. It’s a no-brainer, but actually implementing it, on the other hand—not so much.
AI call centers: simple and practical uses
Low and no-code AI call center solutions that come with virtual agents and bots pre-integrated remove the complexity out of AI implementation, making it easy to understand and put into action. When you choose a platform that’s focused on practical capabilities that can be deployed and iterated on by the average business user, your customer experience will simplify and your backend operations will become more practical and accessible for teams to manage, making a measurable impact quickly without a huge up-front investment in new infrastructure.
Here are eight key ways AI call center technologies can help you provide better, faster, and more accessible customer service.
The AI call center unifies data
Unified data connects all data from separate systems in one centralized place. It enables disparate systems to communicate with one another and allows us to make meaningful connections between data from different sources. Because of this, it’s the foundation upon which your customer service AI capabilities are built.
Unification gives AI machines the “fuel”—customer data in a standardized form—they need to function, while enabling us to generate powerful insights about our customer journeys and agent workflows. For many companies, unified data is the missing link that’s holding them back from reaching maximum productivity, and implementing it is a low-hanging fruit that can produce near-instant results.
The AI call center makes IVR encounters more human (and less annoying)
Consumers crave human interaction. 42% of adults say they prefer in-person exchanges to every other form of communication, including texting and email.
And yet, when it comes to customer service, they also demand speed. One survey of satisfied customers found that a quick resolution was the number one reason customers cited for their positive feelings toward a brand.
AI lets you give customers the best of both worlds, with humanlike interactive voice response (IVR) systems that are built for efficiency. Intelligent speech analysis “understands” what the customer is saying and sends them to the right place quickly, allowing them to tackle self-serviceable needs in a way that’s natural and hassle-free.
The AI call center customizes campaign and agent workflows
One of the major challenges of the customer service industry is that the work can be tedious. Repetitive, unengaging tasks contribute to one of the highest turnover rates among any industry.
AI helps you streamline workflows, getting the customer quickly to the best destination based on their intent and, if needed, engaging the most appropriate human agent for the task. Automation takes care of many monotonous, time-consuming tasks, resulting in faster service times and happier agents.
The AI call center personalizes journeys at scale
In a one-to-one interaction, like a customer walking into a brick-and-mortar store, personalization is relatively easy. With a knack for remembering names and a little bit of charm, a store owner can easily have a friendly and personal conversation with each of their regular customers.
On a large scale, personalization becomes more challenging—more so the larger your customer base gets. This is another place where unified data becomes key. With it, machines can tailor conversations based on known customer details, powering personalization and a human-like feel without actual human intervention.
The AI call center supports and empowers agents
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a crystal ball that could reveal exactly what your agents should say or do in any given service interaction? AI can do just that—no fairy dust required.
AI draws upon your vast reserve of data to augment agents’ knowledge and guide them through the best course of action based on data from historic calls and predictions about customer behavior. Necessary information is always close at hand, facilitating both call quality and speed while ensuring accuracy and compliance along the way.
The AI call center offers self-service that gets smarter over time
AI-powered virtual agents allow customers to resolve simple issues on their own via voice interaction, while chatbots engage in smart, humanlike conversations via text. Both give customers convenient self-service options, and their round-the-clock uptime means you’re able to offer greatly expanded availability to your customers.
Monitored and managed alongside your live agents, virtual agents and chatbots can improve agent satisfaction by freeing up human personnel for more meaningful and complex tasks. They come with a hefty bottom-line impact, too; in the healthcare, banking, and retail sectors, for example, research suggestschatbots could save organizations $11 billion annually by 2023.
The AI call center analyzes performance and acts on insight
One of AI’s most powerful and practical uses is its ability to analyze data and distill meaning from it.
With intelligent speech analysis, you can monitor 100% of conversations across all channels and score them automatically on key performance indicators. This not only dramatically reduces the labor required for such monitoring, but is crucial for measuring call outcomes and using the resulting knowledge to improve processes.
Powerful omnichannel analytics tools allow you to view and assess all your data in a single location, giving you a complete view of your performance from any angle. Easily understand the relationship between different metrics, what’s driving their shifts and what needs to change in order to get the results you want.
The AI call center optimizes everything, saving time and money
If there’s one thing that’s likely becoming clear about AI’s business implications, it’s that its many parts are interconnected. Unified data drives personalization. Personalization contributes to a simplified agent experience. A positive agent experience, along with many other factors, influences positive customer outcomes.
In this way, AI creates a positive feedback loop within a call center’s operations. It gives you the unique ability to constantly stay abreast of what’s working and what’s not and take steps to make changes in real time.
Technology is always evolving in new ways that can be a boon to business, and AI is one of the most exciting areas of development for the customer service field. With LiveVox as your trusted partner, you can quickly and easily get up and running with the AI tools that are most practical—and will make the biggest impact—in your contact center. Find an at-a-glance summary of how LiveVox makes AI for customer service simple and practical here.
Tops features of AI call center software
AI call center software can provide a wealth of valuable features to a contact center. Here are a few of the top ones that you should consider when choosing a solution for your organization:
- Automated chatbot: A chatbot can handle a variety of simple customer service inquiries, freeing up agents for more complicated tasks.
- Natural language processing: This technology allows a chatbot to understand a customer’s query and provide an appropriate response.
- Voice recognition: By recognizing a caller’s voice, a call center can route them directly to the right agent or department.
- Predictive analytics: AI-driven predictive analytics can be used to anticipate a customer’s needs before they even ask a question.
- Automated insights: AI can analyze a caller’s behavior and provide valuable insights that a contact center may not have been able to generate on its own.
By leveraging the power of AI, your call center can become a more efficient and customer-oriented organization. With a variety of features available, AI call center software can provide a seamless and efficient experience for both customers and agents alike. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition, integrating AI into your contact center is an absolute surefire way to do so.
How to integrate AI in your call center
Integrating AI in your call center can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By leveraging the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can make your contact center a powerhouse of customer service excellence. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Make sure that you understand the capabilities of AI and how it can be used in a customer service setting.
- Analyze your current contact center setup and determine which areas would benefit most from the introduction of AI-powered solutions.
- Research different vendors that offer a variety of AI tools for a call center, such as automated chatbots, natural language processing, and voice recognition.
- Establish a timeline for implementing AI in your contact center, taking into account any organizational roadblocks or budget limitations.
- Work with a vendor to customize a solution that fits both your needs and the customer’s expectations.
- Train staff on how to use the new AI technology and monitor its performance.
- Make sure to keep a close eye on customer feedback in order to measure the success of your AI-driven contact center operations.
By following these steps, integrating AI in your call center can become a smooth and successful endeavor.
Further considerations when implementing artificial intelligence in your call center
Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) in a call center can revolutionize customer service, increasing efficiency and reducing response time. One primary use of AI in call centers is the deployment of AI-powered chatbots, which simulate human conversation by utilizing natural language processing (NLP) algorithms. Chatbots can be seamlessly integrated into multiple communication channels, such as social media platforms, websites, and messaging apps, acting as the first point of contact for customers. By automating repetitive and routine tasks, like solving simple queries, booking appointments, or offering product recommendations, chatbots can efficiently handle large volumes of customer inquiries, ensuring faster resolutions and freeing up human agents to attend to more complex issues. Furthermore, AI-driven virtual assistants are capable of learning from customer interactions, improving their responses and decision-making abilities over time.
Another integral approach to incorporating AI into call centers is through intelligent call routing systems that optimize the distribution of incoming customer calls. By analyzing the caller’s data, such as their location, call history, and the nature of their issue, AI algorithms can identify and dispatch the call to the most suitable agent. This increases the likelihood of resolving customer concerns on the first call itself, effectively reducing average handling time and improving overall customer satisfaction. In addition, AI-powered speech analytics tools can be employed to monitor and analyze agent-customer interactions in real-time. By detecting patterns of speech, keywords, and sentiment, these tools can provide valuable feedback and coaching to call center agents, identify areas of concern or improvement, and even predict customer churn. Consequently, the integration of artificial intelligence in call centers propels data-driven decision-making, enabling organizations to streamline their operations and elevate the customer experience.
How is AI revamping the call center?
AI-human interactions have become second nature, and many organizations are starting to deploy the technology in the call center using natural language processing, machine learning, and automation software. Customer experience is the leading driver of AI adoption among businesses and it’s revamping call centers by simplifying agent tasks, personalizing communication more accurately, and speeding the time to customer value. AI adoption in the contact center pays off—early AI adopters report an improvement of almost 25% in customer experience ratings. Furthermore, automated customer service options like virtual agents and bots are the number one use of AI among large companies.
Can AI replace call center agents?
Theoretically, yes AI could replace call center agents. But that’s note how we’re seeing the customer service market implement the technology as of yet. The truth about AI in the contact center is that despite its exciting and promising capabilities—and there are many of them—it cannot and does not replace the capabilities of living, breathing agents. Instead, AI in the contact center is at its most effective when it’s used in a complementary fashion with human agents, to enhance their output rather than attempting to take their place.