Tony Lorentzen of Nuance shares his advice for reviving your contact centre strategies with new technology.
Consumers want choice. Contact centres are the front-door to those choices.
When thought of as virtual engagement centres powered by a range of customer input options from voice and video to text, contact centres are vital lifelines for organizations’ digital transformation and customer engagement strategies.
Also, while the shift to using digital channels like SMS and in-app messaging is growing, there are still millions of people who want the opportunity to pick up the phone to talk to a human when engaging their favourite retailer, bank, or healthcare plan. The data proves it.
The power behind virtual engagement centres is in applying AI to automate the tasks that can and should be automated so that organizations can serve their customers in connected and easy ways.
Virtual engagement centres give human agents and associates the power to achieve more with technology, so organizations can grow and thrive.
In addition, they are poised to allow organizations to interact with their customers in new ways by leveraging conversational AI and empowering a more connected experience, no matter which channel customers choose, by:
- Intelligently guiding customers to the channel most appropriate for them to get their query resolved, whether that is via voice, SMS messaging with a live agent or chatting with an in-app virtual assistant
- Proactively reaching out to customers to alert them of changes in the status of orders or enquiries, answering the questions likely to arise before they even reach out
- Offering more visual interfaces on mobile phones, to improve first contact resolution, whether through video or in shared document viewing
Over the last several months, there has been a rapid interest in and understanding of the importance of transforming contact centres into virtual engagement centres.
In recent weeks, Nuance has assisted large global organizations by:
- Turning their brick-and-mortar store employees to virtual chat agents
- Launching new virtual assistants to automate online purchases
- Shifting calls from overburdened call centres to automated virtual assistants and live-chat channels
These activities have been the cornerstone of the digital transformation for many organizations, all of whom will be stronger longer term as a result.
Even if you’ve gone down the path with a “contact centre is dead” approach, you can quickly course-correct.
Here are five tips to get your virtual engagement centre approach started:
- Tightly integrate your traditional voice and digital channels to enable a true omnichannel, connected experience
- Leverage conversational AI not just to automate but to intelligently determine the purpose of an inbound call and guide those customers to messaging and virtual assistants where appropriate
- Use common tooling to leverage previous investments in the telephony channel across newer digital ones to reduce total cost of ownership
- Deploy a true enterprise-grade virtual assistant, not a simple chatbot, to handle complex enquiries to increase sales and drive out costs
- Implement AI in learning and guiding conversations so you can coach agents to respond faster