How Contact Centre AI Can Help Reduce Customer Churn

Customer churn concept with magnet and ball bearings
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Did you know that a 5% reduction in customer churn can lead to a profit increase of 25% to 125%, or that businesses have to spend five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, according to the HBR?

Contact centres equipped with effective training and the right tools can empower agents to resolve issues efficiently and provide a positive and personalized experience. This directly translates to higher customer satisfaction, which is a proven deterrent against churn.

In this article, John Ortiz at MiaRec examines how contact centre AI solutions can detect potential churn risk factors, enhance customer service quality to create better customer experiences, and reduce customer churn.

Identify Customer Churn Risk Factors

To reduce customer attrition, you need to first know that it is happening to you. The earlier you identify customers at risk of churning, the better your chances are of winning them back.

AI-powered Conversation Intelligence can help you proactively predict and identify any churn risk factors in various ways.

One of the best ways is to provide visibility into your Voice of Customers through the categorization of calls and topical and topic trend analysis across those.

For example, this could include categorizing all calls where your customers are asking to be transferred to a manager, requesting a refund, or considering canceling a subscription.

In addition,  you can automatically monitor all calls for specific keywords mentioned, such as mentions of competitor products.

Conversation Intelligence solutions allow you to run detailed reports across these trends. This means you are now effectively able to prioritize interventions for at-risk customers.

You can specifically target those customers with offers based on churn indicators and address their specific frustrations, which they mentioned in calls.

In some cases, you might even want to openly admit you messed up and offer to make it up to them, turning a bad experience into a positive one.

Improving Agent Performance Through Auto QA

Your agents are on the frontlines every day interacting with customers. Closely monitoring agent performance, consistent training, and coaching are crucial to improving service quality.

Traditionally, supervisors had to evaluate agents by relistening to call recordings and manually scoring the agent’s performance.

This process was not only painstakingly slow, tedious, and boring work, but supervisors could only get to 1-5% of the calls, giving them only a fraction of the picture.

Thanks to AI-driven Automated Quality Management (or Auto QA), you can now utilize Generative AI to score 100% of your calls automatically.

This allows you to get a complete picture of what is happening inside your contact centre and identify calls that require manual follow-up through a supervisor.

This can help you improve call scripts and adherence to them, identify knowledge gaps, design more targeted training, and provide more personalized coaching for your agents.

Automated Agent Coaching

Although I mentioned agent coaching in the point above, it is important enough to give it its own section. There are many ways AI can help coach your agents.

For example, after a call is completed, Generative AI can provide the agent with personalized coaching suggestions related to that specific call based on your specific call scripts and best practices.

Another approach is to offer coaching tips in real time, although this isn’t very sophisticated or usable in practice yet.

In the past few months, many Conversation Intelligence solutions have made huge leaps in utilizing Generative AI to identify an agent’s lack of knowledge and then automatically assign specific knowledge base articles addressing this situation or make suggestions on how to handle this situation better moving forward.

For example, if an agent is unsure when asked about the company’s return policy, the AI will spot this and automatically assign training material that specifically covers the company’s return policy.

AI will also set a due date for completion of this assignment to ensure the agent has read the content. Moving forward, the agent is ready to handle such situations, which will lead to a better customer experience and less customer churn.

Real-Time Agent Assist

Real-time agent assist capabilities help agents provide better customer service in real-time, which leads to better CX and lower customer churn.

They enhance agent performance by reducing the number of errors or omissions agents make and providing on-the-spot support in complex situations.

They also improve the customer experience by identifying common pain points and suggesting solutions, helping agents to resolve issues faster.

Real-time agent assist can also identify customer needs or buying signals during calls. Agents can then be prompted with relevant upsell or cross-sell recommendations, offering additional value to the customer and potentially increasing customer lifetime value (CLTV), which reduces churn in the long run.

In the near future, it will also help make interactions more personalized by analyzing customer data and suggesting relevant information or talking points for agents.

Sentiment Analysis

Knowing how your customer felt at the beginning of, during, and at the end of the call gives you important clues about their customer loyalty and churn risk.

Sentiment analysis can flag rising customer frustration from their calls. Using this information, agents can proactively prepare for similar situations in future calls and de-escalate situations by adopting a calmer tone, offering apologies, or acknowledging the customer’s emotions. This can prevent negative experiences from spiraling and potentially leading to churn.

This allows you to identify conversations that went well, e.g., the customer started off the conversation frustrated and angry (negative sentiment), but the agent was able to offer a resolution, and the conversation ended with the customer happy (positive sentiment).

This could serve as a training opportunity for other agents. It also allows you to identify conversations that require supervisor follow-up, e.g., the agent was not able to resolve the customer’s concern and they were rude, making things worse.

Improved First Contact Resolution (FCR)

AI can equip agents with relevant customer information and suggest knowledge base articles during calls, increasing the chances of resolving issues on the first contact. This reduces customer frustration and the need for repeat calls, which can contribute to churn.

Another way AI can help surface relevant customer information is through automatic call summaries.

Instead of having to take notes during and after the call, the agent can pay full attention to the customer interaction, providing better service quality. Immediately after the call, Generative AI summarizes the call.

This also helps with providing a personalized customer experience. If agents can bring up subjects discussed in previous conversations, this will make the customer feel like they are being listened to and remembered, which goes a long way for improving CX and CSAT.

Suggesting The “Next Best Action”

Often, customer conversations happen in a vacuum, and important opportunities are missed. Based on customer interactions, Generative AI can suggest the next most logical step for the agent to take after any call.

For example, a customer calls in and has a question about a price increase. They express frustration with this price increase.

The AI might provide some instructions after the call that will say something like, “Since the customer was upset about the price increase, maybe consider sending this customer a discount code for future purchases.”

Conclusion

In conclusion, reducing customer churn is crucial for businesses to thrive and grow. By utilizing AI-driven solutions such as identifying churn risk factors, improving agent performance, offering automated coaching, real-time agent assist, sentiment analysis, and improving first contact resolution, companies can enhance customer experiences and decrease customer attrition.

These are just a few ways AI can help reduce customer churn, highlighting the importance of leveraging technology to create better customer interactions and ultimately drive success.

Customer Churn Reduction Related FAQs

What Is Customer Churn?

Customer churn, also known as customer attrition, refers to the percentage of customers who stop doing business with your company within a specific time frame.

It can happen for a variety of reasons, from feeling dissatisfied with your product or service to finding a better deal with a competitor. Regardless of the cause, customer churn has a significant negative impact on businesses.

You can calculate your customer churn rate by dividing the number of lost customers by the number of total customers at the store on a chosen period and multiplying the result by 100.

What Are The Implications Of Customer Churn?

The most immediate consequence of customer churn is lost revenue. Each churned customer represents a stream of income that has dried up.

This can have a domino effect, impacting your ability to invest in marketing, product development, and hiring new talent — all of which are crucial for sustained growth.

The impact of churn goes beyond just the bottom line. When customers leave, they often share their negative experiences with friends, family, and online communities. This can damage your brand reputation and make it harder to attract new customers.

In today’s digital age, a few scathing online reviews can quickly snowball, deterring potential customers and hindering your ability to grow.

What Is The Difference Between Active And Passive Customer Churn?

There are two main types of customer churn: active churn and passive churn. Active churn is more straightforward — it’s when a customer explicitly cancels their service or subscription. Passive churn, however, is more insidious.

These are customers who simply stop using your product or service without notifying you. They may have grown frustrated, found a better alternative, or simply lost interest.

The challenge with passive churn is that it can go undetected for a long time, making it even more critical to have mechanisms in place to identify at-risk customers before they silently disappear.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of MiaRec – View the Original Article

For more information about MiaRec - visit the MiaRec Website

About MiaRec

MiaRec MiaRec is a global provider of Conversation Intelligence and Auto QA solutions, helping contact centers save time and cost through AI-based automation and customer-driven business intelligence.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: MiaRec

Published On: 9th May 2024
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