Priyanka Tiwari of Interactions argues the case for hiring digital-specific employees in the contact centre.
Meet Rose. Rose is a customer service representative (CSR). She is always friendly, answers calls or chats immediately, and knows each of her customers personally.
She always has the answers to all enquiries – simple or complex. She speaks 5 different languages and understands different dialects and accents.
On top of that, she works 24/7, doesn’t take a break and never goes on vacation. How? Because Rose is an intelligent virtual assistant powered by AI. Rose is a digital employee.
Thinking about hiring your first digital employee? You’re not alone. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 25% of customer service and support operations will use intelligent virtual assistant and chatbot technology across most engagement channels.
Additionally, Forrester (via Forbes) predicts that over 40% enterprises will create AI-powered digital workers next year, eliminating 20% of all service desk transactions.
So, without further ado, let’s look at the three key reasons for why you should consider hiring your first digital employee.
1. A Personalized Experience — Every Time
Human brains are fascinating. We use semantic memory to remember facts, concepts and information about things, and episodic memory to remember experiences and events.
By combining these memories together, we formulate our conversations to make them personal and contextual to the person we are talking to.
It is scientifically impossible for human customer service agents to remember all the conversations they’ve had with a customer, let alone remember their history with a brand.
In contrast, a digital employee can use AI to replicate these memories. It can parse through customer data and transaction history, easily adapt to customer preferences and offer a highly personalized and contextual experience.
2. No Churn
One of the biggest challenges faced by contact centres is agent churn. Over time, agents get bored, disengaged, burnt-out and overwhelmed. Per a Contactbabel 2018 report, staffing accounts for up to 75% of a contact centre operational cost.
So naturally, issues such as attrition, recruitment and training are always on the contact centre manager’s mind. With digital employees, there is no churn or attrition. After an initial training and tuning period, the training costs drastically reduce.
Digital employees also scale beautifully when you face seasonal peaks and valleys in customer service requests. This reduces the burden of seasonal hiring, contracting and training in short periods.
3. Make Your Human Agents Look Like Heroes
These digital employees may make your customer service agents tick, but in a good way! The digital employee won’t replace your human agents, but instead will make them more productive.
Monotony and lack of fulfilment are two of the top reasons for agent attrition. Agents repetitively charged with menial tasks tend to feel undervalued. A digital employee can take on these routine tasks and let live agents concentrate on very complex tasks that add value.
In some cases, digital employees perform data gathering, routing, payment processing, form filling, etc., before seamlessly transferring the customer to a live agent. This improves average speed to answer, first contact resolution (FCR) and average handle times (AHT) – the success metrics agents are measured on.
So, in conclusion, a digital employee may be the best hire you’ll make all year. Their round-the-clock schedule and ability to free up time for your live agents will make your customer experience an effortless one, and one that will keep your customers coming back for more.