Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have made their way into a myriad of businesses- from healthcare and automotive to HR and finance- introducing new capabilities, improving efficiency, and unlocking unique opportunities for innovation.
In the case of the contact center industry, the arrival of conversational and generative AI is paving the way for an unprecedented revolution. Companies nationwide are looking at automating processes and increasing efficiency and consistency through Communications Automation Platforms (CAP) to achieve one goal: offering a personalized customer experience while reducing spend and improving ROI.
In this context, what are the benefits of automating your contact center through artificial intelligence? How can CAPs help you keep up with the demands of a modern, always-connected end-customer base?
The most essential benefits of contact center automation
Automating your contact center by implementing AI-powered CAPs will have a transformational effect in terms of technology, processes, and staffing. There are several benefits relating to predictive analytics and data-driven insights, but some stand out as quick wins for any contact center C-level executive looking at automation as the next step in their business journey.
Efficiency and speed
Automating your contact center via generative AI will help streamline routine and repetitive tasks such as call routing, data entry, and appointment scheduling. AI-powered systems can handle these tasks much faster, offsetting agent workloads and leading to faster customer resolutions and reduced waiting times.
AI can also analyze customer queries and route calls to the most appropriate agent based on their expertise. This reduces the time customers spend waiting for the right agent to address their issues.
With automated AI systems, contact centers can also operate around the clock, providing customer support and assistance outside of regular business hours, ensuring that end customers can get help whenever they need it, hence increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
Scalability and dealing with spikes in calls
As call volumes fluctuate, automated systems can easily scale to accommodate high demand without the need to hire and train additional agents.
With generative AI, contact centers can create and deploy new virtual agents or chatbots quickly in response to sudden increases in call volume, and train them to handle specific issues, ensuring that even during spikes, customers receive prompt and relevant assistance.
This scalability ensures that customer service remains consistent during peak times by reducing average handle time (AHT).
Automation through conversational and generative AI has a profound effect on operational costs. By automating routine tasks, contact centers can allocate human agents to more complex and value-added interactions, optimizing resource allocation and resulting in cost savings over time.
AI-powered systems can also triage calls and route them to the appropriate agents more effectively, reducing the time customers spend on hold. This enhances the customer experience and prevents wasted labor time.
The automation of back-office tasks like data entry, report generation, and documentation also frees up agents to focus on more valuable and complex tasks.
One of the most critical benefits of automating your contact center via AI is the level of personalization you can achieve when serving end customers.
AI can analyze customer data to personalize interactions and offer tailored recommendations based on individual preferences and historical interactions.
According to IntelePeer’s Chief eXperience Officer Matt Edic, training bots with generative AI allows them to have end-customer context regarding, for example, purchasing habits. “This information can be used to guide and redirect the responses and provide more information to your agents to build rapport with users quickly.”
Further, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can adapt to how the end-customer speaks as “AI can do language translation and shuffle the vocabulary on the fly to be more understandable. For instance, healthcare patients can have prompts shuffled so they can understand complex medical terms.”
Additionally, generative AI can understand user sentiment and respond accordingly to manage frustration and redirect the conversation toward positive intent.
Using both conversational and generative AI
One key aspect of successfully automating your contact center is using both conversational and generative AI.
While conversational AI is centered around interactive dialogue and user engagement, generative AI focuses on creating original and coherent content across various domains. The big difference between the two is that generative AI can produce new and meaningful content that was not explicitly programmed and offer context.
In contact centers, conversational AI has made interactions between bots and end-customers more natural, but it has narrow containment and a more prescriptive approach. This means that agents need to pick up from where the bot left off in case the latter cannot effectively respond to customer queries.
On the other hand, generative AI offers more context, acknowledges the tone of the communication, and can respond accordingly without the need to engineer every prompt, hence offering faster time-to-value. However, the open nature of generative AI requires strict guardrails and prompt engineering to ensure the responses are accurate and relevant to the contact center.
Still, it is essential to look for CAPs that offer an intersection of both conversational and generative AI automation.
Conversational AI can efficiently handle routine tasks by quickly providing relevant information, guide customers through simple processes, and handle basic inquiries without the need for human intervention.
On the other hand, generative AI enhances customer interactions by providing personalized responses that respond to sentiment and go beyond predefined templates. Also, Matt says, generative models are about five times faster to train, speeding up time-to-market.
Achieve automation with the IntelePeer’s Communications Automation Platform solution
The IntelePeer platform is designed with contact centers in mind, offering a tailored solution that streamlines your processes, enhances agent performance, saves costs, and delights your customers.
Our rapid deployment, plug-and-play applications are no-code/low-code, and will help you optimize call routing, handle routine inquiries with AI-powered virtual agents, and reduce average handle times.
You are one click away from solving your business challenges. Contact us now.