Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a sci-fi marvel, but a genuine game-changer – contact centers are not immune to this evolution. AI is poised to redefine customer service, offering improved efficiency and enhanced experiences. This blog dives into the AI evolution and the future of AI-driven contact centers.
Overcoming Traditional Challenges to Meet Modern Customers
Contact centers have always been pivotal in ensuring customer satisfaction. They bridge the gap between businesses and their customers. However, the traditional model is riddled with limitations. Think about the long hold times, repetitive inquiries, and inconsistent service. A whopping 47% of people say speaking with customer service is frustrating.
These challenges, unfortunately, translate to reduced customer loyalty and potential business losses. With customer expectations on the rise, contact centers must evolve to keep pace.
The Rise of AI in Contact Centers
AI-powered virtual assistants have entered the scene as the premier solution with the resources needed to transform operations. They bring efficiency, accuracy, and the much-needed personalization that traditional models lack.
Recently, Ryan Smith, senior director of customer care strategy and operations at GoDaddy, and Phil Gray, chief product officer at Interactions, discussed the crux of AI’s impact on these centers and the optimistic future it creates. By leveraging AI, contact centers can automate complex tasks, ensure high-quality customer service, and boost operational efficiency – a triple win for businesses.
Real-time AI Benefits – A Case in Point
One of the standout features of modern AI solutions is their real-time data collection and analysis capability. GoDaddy’s implementation of this function transformed their interaction with customers. The realization that internal jargon might not resonate with customers led to a significant shift in their approach. As Smith aptly put it, aligning one’s vernacular with customers is crucial since they are the actual consumers of the products. Such insights could only be derived due to AI’s real-time capabilities.
Human-in-the-Loop – The Balance Between AI and Human Touch
There’s a common misconception that AI aims to replace human involvement. GoDaddy’s “human-in-the-loop” approach, facilitated by Interactions Virtual Assistant (IVA), debunks this myth. Smith highlighted an instance where a customer’s partial cancellation request, which would typically involve transfers and potential hold times, was seamlessly handled by the IVA. The IVA, with its ability to orchestrate the partial cancellation task with a human agent in real time, maintained control, delivering a smooth experience for the customer. This approach not only ensures customer satisfaction but also provides the AI system with continuous learning opportunities from the edge cases managed by human agents.
Breaking Down the Complexities – Automate the Achievable
Smith’s perspective on complex interactions is a breath of fresh air. Instead of viewing complexities as a binary – either entirely automatable or not – he suggests deconstructing them. By identifying components of a complex task that can be automated, agents are left with only the essential pieces requiring their help. This perspective doesn’t just enhance efficiency; it enriches the job roles, combating monotony, and ensuring job satisfaction.
Embrace or Lag – The AI Ultimatum
In the webinar, Smith sent out a clear message: AI’s integration is inevitable. It’s become clear, companies need to identify AI’s potential benefits and harness them. For contact centers, the choice is clear – adapt to AI and enjoy the benefits of labor optimization, increased customer satisfaction, and reduced handling times, or risk falling behind.
Smith acknowledges that transitioning to new technologies might be challenging. However, he assures that the journey is worth the effort. With pioneers having paved the way and a wealth of knowledge available, contact centers are well-equipped to overcome any hurdles.
The future of contact centers, with AI at its helm, promises a seamless blend of technology and human touch. GoDaddy’s experience serves as a testament to the transformative power of AI.
Guest post written by Interactions, the Sponsor of Execs In The Know’s Executive Luncheon at Customer Response Summit in Nashville.