What Does Contact Centre Partial Automation Really Mean?


Pierce Buckley, CEO & Co-Founder at babelforce, explains partial automation and what it really means for your contact centre.

Contact Centre Partial Automation Defined

What does partial automation mean? Does it mean that somebody didn’t complete their job?

Pierce Buckley at babelforce.

No, not at all. Partial automation is arguably the main form of automation that is taking place, the most common form, in the contact centre and call centre.

The reason is that if somebody contacts the customer service centre, then they usually need help from a person.

There are some routine tasks that agents do that could be fully automated, but in many cases, the business needs a human agent to do the job, because it’s difficult, or the customer needs a human agent to help them.

So in those cases it’s unlikely, or it could be very difficult, to achieve full automation, at least initially.

Partial Automation Examples

Now to make it really concrete, let me give you some examples of partial automations. So typically when a call comes in, it goes through a small IVR, press one for this, and two for that etc., and maybe it does a few other functions.

And then the call gets into a queue, and then it lands with an agent. Such a call is not enriched with data, the agent doesn’t have any additional information, so the agent has to do all the heavy lifting.

They have to do all the work, they have to ask for the account number, and any other identifiers, they have to ask the security questions, and they have to figure out what it is that the customer wants. And then after doing all that, they still have to actually solve the problem.

Imagine if you could take away all the initial stuff from the agent, and how would you do that?

For example, instead of the old-fashioned IVR, you’ve got an AI-enabled service that understands natural language, and it can ask the customer what they’d like to do. And then it can ask them the security questions, and ask for the account identifier.

Then all that first stuff is gone, which is a lot of stuff, often 45 seconds to as far as two minutes of agent time. And if you take that away across hundreds of thousands or millions of calls, that’s a huge amount of effort gone. It’s a partial automation, the agent is still involved, so it’s not a full automation.

There are many partial automations you can do, so I think the way to think about it sometimes is that it could be easier in your call centre or contact centre to partially automate 80% of queries than it is to fully automate 20%.

Thanks to Pierce Buckley, CEO & Co-Founder at babelforce, for contributing to this video.

If you are looking for more great insights from the experts, check out these videos next:

Author: Pierce Buckley
Reviewed by: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 21st May 2024
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