November 8, 2021

Agents Shouldn’t Be Considered ‘Outdated’ in the Modern Call Center

The Call Center Today

In the modern call center, artificial intelligence has become a key component of customer service. The ability to automate many tasks and provide real-time responses is critical for today’s call centers. But as AI becomes more prevalent, it also raises questions about how agents should be trained and what their role will look like in the future.

AI Will Actually Make Agents More Effective

As we move into an era where customers expect immediate answers from companies, automated systems are becoming increasingly important. In fact, Gartner Inc. explained, by 2020, 50% of all interactions with businesses will involve some form of automation or virtual agent interaction. This means that there is fewer human agents on the phone lines than ever before. And while this may seem scary at first, it can actually make things easier for your employees because they won’t have to deal with irate customers who don’t understand why you need so much time to answer simple questions. But even though AI technology makes life easier for agents, it doesn’t mean that they no longer play any part in the process. On the contrary, the best way to ensure that your agents remain effective is to train them well. As long as they know exactly what to do when faced with certain situations, they will always perform better.

How Can You Train Your Employees?

There are several ways that you can help your agents learn new skills and improve existing ones. First, consider using gamification techniques such as awards and dashboard scores to motivate your team members. Second, try implementing training programs that focus on specific areas of expertise. For example, if one of your agents specializes in sales, he might benefit from learning how to handle difficult conversations effectively. Finally, think about creating a culture within your organization that encourages open communication between managers and staff. By doing so, you can create a positive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and suggestions.

What Can AI Not Replace?

As mentioned, AI can bring lots of convivence to your call center but it will never replace humans entirely. Although AI has high levels of intelligence, the human brain and human intelligence is still far superior to anything else out there. So, although AI can take over repetitive jobs, it cannot match the cognitive abilities of the human mind. There are still plenty of jobs that require people to interact directly with clients. These include account executives, technical support specialists, and other roles that rely heavily on interpersonal skills to provide the best customer experience. So although AI tools can certainly assist agents during calls, they cannot take over every aspect of the job. Customers can appreciate human interactions with live agents, especially those involving complex issues. They want someone to talk through problems with them rather than simply providing canned information to virtual assistants without human intervention. If you want to keep up with changing consumer demands, customer behaviors, marketing strategies, analytic techniques, and more, then investing and keeping high quality agents is essential. A customer interaction with human agents also allows a customer to understand the personality behind the voice. It gives him/her more insight into the company itself, and reputation will always hold great importance.

Collaborative Intelligence – Conclusion

Business processes are constantly evolving, but it doesn’t mean the answer is ‘out with the old, and in with the new’. It would not be wise to completely eliminate human workers and human intervention from your business model. Instead, use these technologies to complement rather than replace your current workforce which can be known as the process of collaborative intelligence. Elon Musk created self-driving cars, but there is still a human behind the wheel and in control for a reason. Similarly, artificial intelligence has its place in many industries today, but it’s only going to become more powerful and useful as it’s developed with higher levels of intelligence. When used correctly, it can provide real benefits to both consumers and businesses alike. However, it should never be considered a replacement for human beings. Only when combined with traditional methods like testing and monitoring can it truly deliver results. To learn more about how we can help implement a blended AI and Human QA approach into your call center’s business model, contact us today!

Image by Ramón Salinero from Unsplash