Does AI Mean the End for Contact Centers?

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In recent years, there has been a tremendous focus on the technologies like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence or AI can have an effect on the roles of call center agents and contact centers. Sadly though, a majority of the perceptions are frequently not based on facts.

In future, a contact center will be able to anticipate the inquiry of a customer and also make predictions on what they want to discuss. The contact center will be also offering relevant customer support all through the interaction, courtesy AI or Artificial Intelligence.

While automation has disrupted various fields, even customer care centers appear to be benefitting from the new technology. AI Customer support helps the contact centers to improve their interactions with the callers. Several experts feel that automated and Artificial Intelligence services will handle a majority of customer interactions by the time the current decade ends.

In fact, AI is triggering new opportunities for different industries and businesses of various sizes. In case you are yet to be convinced about the suitability of AI in providing superior customer service to the consumers, this discussion can help in setting the record straight.

Ways in which Artificial Intelligence can improve customer experience in the contact center

·       Less training cost

A contact center has to incur heavy training, retraining, and recruitment expenses for all their human customer service representatives. In this respect, Artificial Intelligences are comparatively less expensive.  Rather, an AI has to be trained just once. Subsequently, it can serve the entire customer base of a contact center immediately. It also means lower hiring and training expenses while more consistent service delivery for the contact centers. With the passage of time, AI can even start handling a higher percentage of inbound customer calls, as such needing fewer customer service representatives on the board.

·       Higher responsiveness

It has been observed that automation leads to greater responsiveness mainly because of its capability to deliver protective customer service. Artificial Intelligence is able to predict the requirements of customers on the basis of their in-app and online activities, pinpoint their issues and eventually respond them through a virtual service agent or a “Frequently Asked Questions” page so that the customer does get frustrated and contact the customer service line. As time passes, all these predictions can become extremely powerful, lower customer abandons rates and enhancing customer satisfaction significantly.

·       All time availability

AI customer support service offers 24/7 availability irrespective of a holiday or a different time zone. It also signifies that your customers can enjoy service for 24-hours and they can get in touch at any time to get their issues resolves, thus leading to an improvement in customer satisfaction, retention, and trust.

·       High consistency level

It is a known and accepted fact that the mood and health of humans can affect their performance to a large extent. Contrary to this AIs always tend to deliver peak performance and do not let emotions hamper the customer service. Such consistent customer service can help in businesses getting a large chunk of repeat businesses. As the Artificial Intelligence applications become wiser, their interactions can also become better.

·       Completely scalable

Contrary to human employees in the contact center who can only handle a certain number of customer service issues within a particular number of hours, AI is scalable and can handle a huge volume of customer issues in various languages at any point of time. Such a feature makes Artificial Intelligence highly scalable for companies, enabling them to grow more quickly into unexplored markets without firing or training new service agents.

·       High speed

Artificial Intelligence is able to deliver faster resolutions to the customers. It can also identify opportunities and customer issues faster than any human customer service agent. The level of customer service goes up with faster resolutions, thus enhancing repeat business for the organization.

However, there are a few limitations while deploying an AI customer support in a contact center environment. In case customers are expecting personal services for instance while discussing their financial transactions, it is possible that their preference will be to interact with a human agent. On the flip side, if there is a call seeking assistance on a printer, which is not functioning, the customer may not have any such preference.

Another situation where AI may have a limited functionality is when it is a question of voice recognition. While Artificial Intelligence applications may work on a majority of occasions, they can also commit some ridiculous mistakes. Such errors can be tough to acknowledge when deployed in the customer support environment.

In the future, there will be a time when AI systems will not only be more affordable, but entirely fluent in human speech. These systems can access a huge knowledge base such as how to show empathy to the customers. However, such times are yet to come.

AI is predicted to be used in completely transforming the way contact centers function in the future. Many experts predict that robots and Artificial Intelligence can entirely change the customer experience. However, that does not indicate contact centers have come to an end, at least not for now.

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