Although contact centers have come a long way since their earliest days, they are seen by today’s consumers – particularly younger ones like Millennials and Gen Z – as outdated, inconvenient, and even intimidating. (CBS News, 2023). To stay relevant, companies must implement the changes customers actually want to see in customer service. Today’s technologies, like AI-powered communications automation platforms, are easy to implement, drastically improve self-service capabilities, and deliver ROI in a few short months. Desirable outcomes with AI and Automation, which are seen almost immediately, include:
Control and flexibility
In legacy contact centers, rule-based chatbots give the caller several pre-recorded options before handing the call off to a live agent. In essence, the process is no different than a boring choose-your-own-adventure game. (Customer Think, 2023).
With a communications automation platform powered by advanced technological solutions, like generative AI, customers have much more control over the direction of the conversation, asking for information be repeated in a particular manner or even language. Customers can also engage brands with the channel of their choice, such as SMS, social media messenger, email, etc., and – if necessary – switch freely between modes of communication with the context of their interaction remaining within the system.
Customers today want to feel heard and understood – especially when faced with a pressing or unresolved issue. When properly trained, Large Language Models (LLMs) enable virtual assistants to tap into a vast repository of human conversations to appear more empathic and life-like.
Plus, these bots can distinguish various aspects of human speech, including vocabulary, sentiment, pauses, tone, and the caller’s age, quickly deciphering emotions and generating responses that de-escalate tensions if they seem angry or irritated. (CMS Wire, 2023)
Today, people crave personalization as it is a sign that a business has gotten to know them and their needs. Best-in-class communications automation platforms use AI and analytics to extract valuable insights from customer data, such as past purchases, survey responses, demographics, etc., to deliver tailored interactions and personalized content.
For example, a communications automation solution can trigger contextual communications based on consumer activity in real-time, like sending links to pertinent blogs or promotions. Moreover, AI models learn over time, allowing them to constantly refine and hone their responses to support more unique customer experiences.
Convenient and timely
A customer’s finite time is valuable. When people reach out to a business, it is often during their lunch break or as soon as they get off work. As such, customers want their interactions with companies to be as convenient, timely, and efficient as possible.
By deploying AI-enabled self-service channels, customers can connect with contact centers throughout the day or night and even during weekends or holidays. Additionally, providing 24/7 support not only boosts the number of customers serviced but also significantly decreases, if not completely eliminates, wait times, leading to quicker customer issue resolutions.
The ultimate marker of a stellar contact center is if the customer walks away from an interaction with their question answered. To that end, businesses can use AI to resolve customer issues consistently and reliability.
Today’s advanced conversational and generative AI models can understand over 30 languages. (Nasdaq, 2023) These AI solutions can also answer complex user queries, ask follow-up questions to help the consumer clarify their request, and even craft helpful summaries after an interaction. (CMS Wire, 2023) Regardless of how off-topic a question might be, a virtual assistant will rarely get caught off-guard.