How AI is eliminating contact center hold times

Dec 5, 2023

2 minutes, 53 seconds

We’ve all been there, hearing that distinct pause in the never-ending jazz music, hoping it means we’re that much closer to connecting to an agent, but alas, a new tempo begins. When the average wait time hovers between four to 35 minutes, with a maximum of 90 minutes, it’s no wonder consumers often abandon calling customer service (Microsoft 2023).  

Suffice it to say this can hurt an organization, as research points out that one poor experience with an organization’s contact center is all it takes for consumers to switch to a competitor to meet their needs (Oberlo, 2023). Sometimes, consumers are bold enough never to do business with a company again.

Corporations risk losing billions in revenue by refusing to invest in customer care strategies. One crucial step they can take is leveraging AI to reduce and eliminate long hold times.

The current state of the consumer 

Attempting to reach an agent who can answer a specific question can be frustrating. Full of automated ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions that can leave customer’s heads spinning. After finally reaching someone, the agent asks the customer to repeat the information as if they hadn’t already done that three steps earlier. 

These instances have pushed organizations to prioritize improving the customer experience (CX). In fact, as more customers flock to digital channels to resolve their inquiries, CX has become the fastest-growing operational priority (McKinsey, 2022). However, this is proving to be a challenge, with significant roadblocks slowing down any momentum of improving the system.  

The effects of the Great Attrition have made it increasingly difficult for contact centers to maintain quality CX. This influx of employees vacating their jobs – citing burnout, dissatisfaction and lack of growth opportunities – widens the gap between expectations and reality. To make matters worse, companies are now reporting higher call volumes, with projections inferring this volume will continue to increase in the coming months (McKinsey, 2022).

How AI can reduce hold times 

The most challenging aspect of contact center operations is gathering the why behind a customer’s call. Current procedures help agents dissect and evaluate the inquiry to direct them toward the right agent. 

AI can significantly reduce this process, allowing consumers to reach their end goal faster. AI is dynamic enough to augment human interactions, learning and synthesizing customer data as it handles queries over time. Within minutes, it can easily fetch the information needed to formulate the correct response – eliminating the need to consult a human.

Additionally, when augmented by predictive analysis, AI can prioritize calls based on the nature of the issue and the customer’s history. Those of higher priority are met with immediate attention, while AI handles the burdening, repetitive FAQs.

Hyper-automate your contact center with SmartAgent 

As it becomes more apparent that customer service is an essential factor affecting consumer choices, companies must look toward AI (Zippia, 2023). Its ability to deliver dynamic experiences and answers allows it to keep up with increased demand and a depleting workforce.

IntelePeer can help your business quickly automate agent responsibilities and empower self-service for CX improvements. With IntelePeer’s SmartAgent, those time-consuming and monotonous tasks can be a thing of the past. The application provides a digital solution for inbound contact centers that captures customer intent and decreases call resolution time. Moreover, SmartAgent uses the latest generative AI features, advanced analytics and omnichannel orchestration, minimizing average handle time considerably.

Contact us today to learn more about IntelePeer’s SmartAgent and its Communication Automation Platform.

Do you want to learn more about modernizing your contact center and accelerating customer engagement with generative AI and automation? Schedule an AI and automation Customer Interaction Intent Study with IntelePeer now.  

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