Bots and AI in the contact centre: win-win for customers, employees and business results!
Have you ever researched how much time your customer contact team spends handling repetitive tasks? And? Was it a shock?
Some studies have shown that the average is around 40%. FORTY PERCENT!
- Customers unnecessarily wait for an available employee
- The pressure in the contact centre is unnecessarily high
- Employees become unnecessarily stressed and/or frustrated by a. time pressure, b. a lack of challenge, c. angry customers
- Training new employees – if you can find them at all – takes unnecessarily long
- Business results are likely to be unnecessarily disappointing
Did you notice the word "unnecessarily" popping up again and again? The reason for this is that things can be so much simpler! How? By applying bots and artificial intelligence (AI) in the contact centre.
That is better for the customer, better for the customer contact team, better for operational efficiency, and therefore better for business results.
This blog will tell you more about it.
Why leave all customer interactions – or the vast majority of them – handled by employees? Modern bots are perfectly capable of answering common customer questions. The technology behind this is called conversational AI.
Conversational AI combines natural language processing (NLP) with chat or voice bots, virtual assistants, or an interactive speech recognition system such as Siri or Alexa to help customers. It works through both spoken and typed interfaces. Spam filters, spell checkers and translation programs also use it.
Conversational AI allows for countless simple interactions to be handled without the help of agents, also outside of contact centre hours. In any language, through any channel! So even when the customer contact team goes home at the end of the day, the bot remains available for simple customer questions and actions. This not only increases your company’s accessibility, but also decreases the contact centre’s waiting times. That is of course great news for customers, but also for employees, as it gives them more time for more challenging (i.e. interesting!) customer interactions.
Conversational AI not only contributes to a much better customer experience, it also streamlines business processes by automating repetitive tasks. This increases productivity, reduces the average handling time and improves First Contact Resolution (FCR).
Moreover, conversational AI supports the customer contact team in their work, because it can quickly propose solutions based on the customer’s request (next best action). This means that employees no longer need to endlessly search for answers themselves. A big improvement, that also greatly shortens the training process for new employees.
And since bots don't suffer from mood swings or the Monday morning blues, they provide stable service levels, day-in day-out. Customers love that!
Human vs. machine
The application of smart bots in the contact centre is of course not about replacing employees with bots, but about streamlining processes. With the help of bots and AI, simple interactions can be automated, and customers are given the digital tools to solve their own problems.
And that's great, because today’s customers are more independent than ever: instead of contacting a service employee, about half of them prefer to look for a solution or answer themselves!
But if it turns out that the customer question cannot be answered by the bot, or if it concerns sensitive information or situations that require a certain amount of empathy, the conversation can be effortlessly taken over by a human employee. That is also the reason that bots are increasingly programmed to detect customer emotions, so they know when to transfer a call to an employee.
It is extremely important to formulate clear objectives in advance about the tasks and processes in the customer journey that the bots should take over, and which they shouldn’t. And if the interaction takes place outside the contact centre’s business hours, be sure to give your customers the choice to continue the conversation with an employee the next working day.
Low-code = easy
It all sounds wonderful, but how do you actually do it? Bots, conversational AI, automation… these are terms that can sound rather complicated to the 'tech-challenged' among us. As though you’d need to hire a team of full-time programmers or developers to get everything up and running. But it’s actually quite easy!
With an intuitive low-code user interface, integration with existing systems is effortless and adjustments can be made in a jiffy, without requiring a lot of knowledge. This allows you to easily respond to developments in the market or changing customer needs.
The result? In no time, your organisation will reap the benefits of intelligent bots, both for 24/7 customer contact and for supporting the customer contact team.
Research1) shows that customer satisfaction is 2.5 times greater for companies that use AI than for companies that don't. In addition, they see a 2.4 times greater annual sales growth. This makes the application of AI a real win-win for customers, employees and the organisation.
Curious about how bots and AI can make a difference in your contact centre? Let us know! Our experts will be happy to tell you more about it.
1) Bron: Aberdeen: Contact Center & CX Trends 2019
Whitepaper ‘From the pit lane to pole position’
The customer experience has become the competitive tool of choice, and in a world where customer behaviour and customer needs are changing at breakneck speed, the need for innovative technologies and automation in the contact centre is increasing. Those who do not invest in innovation run into an unbridgeable deficit.
In our whitepaper ‘From the pit lane to pole position: The urgency of customer-centric innovation in the contact centre’, we discuss the different ways AI and other technologies can be applied in contact centres. They help to find the right balance between man and machine, and between scalability and ‘personal touch’, in order to optimally serve the customer.
Don't get stuck in the pit lane, invest now in the technology that puts your company in pole position. We are happy to help you on your way.
At DDM Consulting we believe that our customers benefit most from tailor-made advice, without preference for a particular product or specific supplier. That is why we offer a wide range of intelligent omnichannel contact centre solutions, delivered by renowned partners who are all specialists in their field.
How we work
Together with the client, we evaluate the current contact centre processes as well as the requirements and preferences for the new platform. We apply our years of experience to find the best match, and provide advice on the potential optimisation and automation of business operations, for example through the use of AI.
We naturally guarantee a successful implementation of the new solution, and ensure that all back-end systems are seamlessly (re)connected. After the deployment, we are at the service of our customers to offer advice and aftercare.
But we go one step further: time and time again, we push the boundaries of the chosen platform, and adapt it to the customer's specific business processes and needs. Our team has the business and technical expertise to achieve the maximum potential, even when it comes to an out-of-the-box solution. This is our way of ensuring that every customer makes optimal use of the capabilities of the chosen platform!
Our clients come from a wide range of sectors, from major financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, to telecom operators, healthcare institutions, government agencies, retail, and media.
We have grown into a team of about 30 contact centre experts, and are mainly active in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. To be able to guarantee the highest quality, we continuously invest in the knowledge, training and experience of our employees.