Tamsin Dollin of NICE inContact shares the latest thinking of leading organizations when it comes to self-service and artificial intelligence (AI).
Rewind the clock for a moment to 20 years ago, when self-service first began in call centres. The approach was simple, and customers were bound by one of two options within the self-service interactive voice response (IVR) — just press 1 for this and press 2 for that. But today’s contact centres can offer so much more to customers.
The industry has seen plenty of evolution in IVR technology, which means big things for how you serve your customers. What we’re seeing now is self-service as a critical part of call centre software AI, and the capabilities are astounding.
Why should you care about self-service and AI? It’s all about reducing agent time spent on those high-volume, low-complexity tasks. When your frontline staff handles these simple, repetitive tasks, your contact centre incurs high costs.
But the good news is, if the complexity is low, customer acceptance of self-service is much higher. Today’s customers expect and assume they’ll be interacting with AI for items of low complexity.
This provides you with the perfect opportunity to move those high-volume, low-complexity tasks away from live agents to free them up to handle the more complicated activities and interactions that demand human attention. Not to mention, you’ll cut down long queue times that can lead to frustrated clients.
The Latest Strategies in Self-Service and AI
How are organizations using the latest AI technology to implement self-service strategies that improve customer experience?
Here are four of the latest strategies to help answer that very question.
Chatbots are getting smarter. More and more, organizations are overlaying this technology with text to speech capability.
Consider all that’s possible with voice assistant tools like Amazon Alexa. Tools like these are also being utilized by IVR systems today.
What’s the key to success with a smart bot? It really comes down to the quality and the source of the data you leverage.
2. Improved IVR
There are so many opportunities for organizations when it comes to improving IVR containment.
When IVR systems initially debuted on the market, the technology featured fairly rudimentary speech recognition. But today’s software for call centres is far more sophisticated.
Improving your containment will help you resolve enquiries in IVR and increase your ability to route calls from IVR to a live agent when a human touch is required.
3. Data for Agents
Thanks to evolved data capabilities, we are now able to share data from the IVR with agents through innovative AI applications.
For example, if a caller is entering data in order to get an insurance quote with a chatbot and then leaves the chat, that departure can trigger an offer to speak to an agent.
If the customer accepts that, then all of the information captured by the chatbot or the IVR is automatically sent to the agent.
With this data, the agent can review what’s already taken place and save valuable minutes not having to ask the same questions again.
Applied across your whole contact centre, this leads to greater efficiency, streamlined interactions and a great impact on your bottom line.
Tools like single sign-on and real-time coaching, as well as procedure and process guides, are dramatically improving ROI.
While these features might not be customer-facing, this AI technology empowers your contact centre agents to have better resolutions and better interactions with customers.
In the end, this supports increased customer satisfaction — so it’s a win–win.
How to Navigate Changes in AI and Self-Service
How do you go about evolving your call centre along with these changes to self-service? Start by reviewing your contact centre processes, from start to finish, for automation opportunities.
What are those high-volume, low-complexity activities? Once you’ve identified areas for potential automation, evaluate your data sources. Make sure you’re getting good-quality data as you identify the frequency and cost of interaction around the automation opportunity. That will help you heighten ROI within your contact centre.
It’s clear that self-service is key to the customer experience, with the latest research revealing that forward-thinking businesses are confident in AI, but consumers are more cautious.