Across every industry, businesses are increasingly looking towards automation to reduce costs while remaining efficient.
This is particularly true of call centres, with the global call centre AI market expected to reach $7.5 billion by 2030. It’s not surprising, given the potential benefits of implementing AI and automation in the contact centre.
Using these tools, you can find and address issues before they impact the bottom line, taking a proactive approach to improving productivity, efficiency, and customer experience. Let’s take a look at what automation means in the call centre context and how it can reduce your costs.
What Is Automation in the Context of a Call Centre?
Automation refers to the use of technology to expedite and streamline call centre tasks and processes. This can involve everything from managing customer relationships to analyzing data and predicting behaviors.
If used correctly, automation tools can increase agent productivity and make customer journeys more seamless.
With Gartner predicting that 70 percent of organizations will implement structured infrastructure automation by 2025, it’s clear that business leaders are picking up on the potential benefits. Below, we will briefly examine some common call centre automation tools.
Predictive Call Routing
With predictive call routing, you can automatically direct calls to suitable agents based on predefined rules and logic, ensuring that customers are matched with the agent most capable of handling their query. With 80 percent of customers expecting quick responses, this is vital for CSAT scores.
Interactive voice response uses pre-recorded messages to help customers quickly find the best option for their query, easing agent workload and improving contact centre efficiency.
Speed is essential for CX, with customers 2.4x more likely to remain with a brand that solves their problems quickly.
Technology can be used to automate workflow processes like scheduling, call logging, and data entry, allowing agents to focus on what really matters—helping customers resolve their issues.
Considering that 60 percent of agents agree that AI saves them time, workflow automation is a welcome addition to the call centre toolkit.
It is estimated that chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for 25 percent of organizations by 2027.
They are typically used to assist with more straightforward customer queries so agents can focus on more complex interactions, allowing the contact centre to process a greater volume of calls without sacrificing service quality.
With 71 percent of customers expecting businesses to know why they’re calling before the interaction begins, AI analytics software has become a necessity.
Using AI-derived insights, you can learn more about agent performance and customer motivations, streamlining the interaction process on both sides.
How Using Automation and AI Can Help Reduce Call Centre Costs
Doing more with less is all about speed, efficiency, and optimization. Using automation and artificial intelligence, you can reduce call centre costs while maintaining a high standard of customer satisfaction.
Increasing operational costs, high agent attrition, and provision of remote work support are expensive challenges, but automation is a cost-effective solution.
80 percent of tech leaders consider automation a top tactic for cost optimization, and when you look at the wide range of benefits below, it’s easy to see why.
Increased Agent Efficiency and Resource Optimization
More efficient agents are the key to a more efficient call centre. Using automation, you can get the best out of your team by easing their workload and removing repetitive tasks from their day-to-day.
Predictive call routing and IVR free up agents to focus on more complex customer queries, while workflow software handles mundane duties like ticketing and data entry.
All of this results in more focused agents, better equipped to serve customers, leading to lower cost per call, shorter average handling time, and improvements in key metrics like first call resolution.
This enhanced efficiency doesn’t only contribute to reduced call centre costs; it boosts customer experience.
Reduced Call Abandonment Rate
A high call abandonment rate refers to the percentage of customers who hang up before successfully connecting with an agent. It can be an indicator of long queue times, difficult entry procedures, and poor service options.
Automation can streamline this connection process and increase agent availability, ensuring an improved abandonment rate and fewer missed opportunities.
Predictive call routing gets the customer in touch with the right agent, while AI supplies agents with the up-to-date information they need to provide a prompt resolution. Quick resolutions mean fewer repeat calls, saving time and money.
Given the high call centre attrition rate—an average of 42 percent—hiring is a common expenditure in the industry.
Automation can help you reduce outlays on new hires, addressing one of the biggest cost drivers behind running a call centre.
This is particularly useful when scaling up, as tools like chatbots allow you to expand and offer 24/7 service without the need to hire additional staff. This doesn’t only reduce operational costs but also provides better support for customers.
Lower Training Costs
Cutting the cost of training doesn’t mean cutting the quality. Conversational analytics software allows you to analyze 100 percent of agent-customer interactions to identify skill gaps and areas for improvement.
This level of insight is invaluable, contributing to data-driven training programs that target concrete issues within your team.
The tailored approach helps reduce training expenditure while also having the knock-on effect of saving money in other areas through improved agent performance. AI can also facilitate real-time training by providing agents with customer info mid-conversation.
As noted, high turnover remains a problem for call centre leaders, resulting in stunted workflows, inefficient processes, and poor morale.
By using automation to tackle these issues, you can limit agent turnover and, as a result, cut the costs associated with hiring and onboarding new staff.
Assigning mundane, repetitive tasks to AI and allowing agents to instead focus on the more exciting aspects of the job will not only make their job easier, it will make it more rewarding.
This, in turn, will lead to increased employee satisfaction and better morale, two key contributors to agent retention.
Lower Business Continuity Costs
When implemented correctly, automation can be a key part of an effective business continuity plan. AI integrates seamlessly into your existing infrastructure, allowing you to scale up and down as necessary.
If you’re suddenly hit with a surge of unexpected calls, you have the AI in place to handle the additional volume.
Conversely, if there’s a downturn in demand, you can simply scale back your AI capacity, so you aren’t stuck paying for resources you don’t need. This ability to scale in either direction also ensures that CX isn’t affected by changes in call volume.
Reduced Client Acquisition Cost
AI’s ability to personalize interactions and expedite resolution leads to better scores for CSAT, NPS, and FCR, and when existing customers are happy, word spreads.
This reduces customer acquisition costs as the superior service prompted by automation does the work for you. It’s more than just a lower client acquisition cost; 36 percent of business leaders report seeing direct revenue generation with support automation.
Smarter Business Decisions
The advent of AI has given businesses an unprecedented level of insight into their operations. With AI-powered analytics, call centre leaders can derive insights from every single agent-customer interaction, automatically collect feedback, carry out predictive analysis, and more.
AI allows for a complete overview of operations, so you can identify inefficiencies that are costing your organization money and take corrective action.
With more than half of contact centres identifying operational costs as their top challenge, this level of analysis is invaluable.
Facing ongoing challenges around agent attrition and rising operational costs, many contact centre leaders are looking to call centre technology for answers—and this is no surprise.
Effective implementation of AI and automation can give detailed insights into every aspect of an organization, enabling leaders to reduce costs without sacrificing customer experience.
Running a successful contact centre is about striking a balance between happy customers and efficient processes, and automation can help with this.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the Original Article
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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.