November 4, 2021

Artificial Intelligence’s Influence on Call Center Performance

The Common Call Center Problem

Call centers are the one of the most important parts of any business. They play an essential role by providing customer service to their clients and customers. The main purpose is to provide quality services at affordable prices, which can be done only if you have good contact center agents working for your company. However, it’s not always possible to hire enough people to handle all calls that come into your organization, especially while trying to maintain quality. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into picture.

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Call Centers?

Artificial intelligence (AI) can benefit any call/contact center in numerous ways. It helps them improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase productivity, enhance accuracy, and more. Let us see how AI can help:

1) Improve Efficiency

In today’s world, there are many things happening simultaneously. If we look back 10 years ago, then we will find out that everything was very simple. There were no computers or smartphones; everyone used pen and paper to write down notes. Nowadays, we use our phones to take pictures, record videos, send messages, etc., but still, we need to keep writing on papers. In other words, we don’t want to lose time doing something unnecessary. That’s why AI-based solutions improve efficiency through automation. For example, when someone makes a phone call from his/her mobile device, he/she needs to dial a number first before making the actual call. But with the help of AI technology, this process has been automated so that now anyone can make a call without having to worry about anything else. Similarly, contact center AI also improves efficiency during data entry tasks like entering information into spreadsheets, databases, emails, etc.

2) Reducing Cost

If you think about it, every time someone makes a phone call, they spend money on airtime charges. So, when you make a call from your mobile device, you pay for each minute spent talking with another person. But what happens when you don’t talk anymore? You still need to pay for those minutes even though you didn’t say anything! That means you’re wasting money because you could’ve been doing something else instead. In this case, AI- powered systems can save you some cash. These technologies allow companies to monitor conversations between employees and customers. When a conversation ends, these systems automatically detect whether the agent did his/her job well or not. Based on the results, the system determines whether he/she needs training or not. Therefore, you won’t waste money paying for idle workers’ salaries. Instead, you’ll get better performance and higher profits.

3) Increasing Productivity

When you work as a sales representative, you know that sometimes you might feel tired after spending hours talking to different prospects. Or maybe you just got off from a long day at work and you really need to relax. Well, thanks to AI, you can do both at once. A recent study showed that using AI-powered virtual assistants(interactive voice response technology) such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and others can boost employee productivity up to 30%. According to research conducted by Accenture, “the average worker spends nearly half of her daily workday interacting with digital devices.” And according to Gartner, “by 2020, 80% of organizations will rely heavily on artificial intelligence.” This is one reason why businesses have started investing more into developing AI applications. They believe that if they invest early enough, they can reap huge benefits later.

What are Some Contact Center AI Tools

Speech Analytics

Speech analytics is used to analyze audio recordings as well as provide real-time insights during calls. With this tool, contact centers can determine which words were spoken by whom and how often. It uses elements of speech recognition, voice recognition, predictive analytics, and more to identify what was said within an interaction. The result helps agents understand customer behavior patterns and provides them with valuable feedbacks.

Sentiment Analysis

This advanced technology can also feed into sentiment analysis which is similar to speech analytics, but focuses more on customer sentiment. The AI can identify customer issues or a bad experience simply by the negatively detected emotions. It can realize customer intent through the tone of voice , body language, and other nonverbal cues. Sentiment analysis allows agents to respond in ways that help resolve problems quickly without having to ask questions first. For example, if a caller says “I’m sorry I missed my appointment today”, then the agent should be able to tell that the customer has already apologized. He doesn’t need to ask him again.

Chat Bots

People love chatting with friends via social media apps. However, most of them prefer speaking directly with real human agents rather than typing text messages. This is where AI-powered chatbots come in handy. Chatbots(also known as virtual agents) are software programs designed to mimic human interaction. The main goal behind creating a chatbot is to provide exceptional customer experience. It allows a customer service agent to handle multiple chats at once while saving their valuable time. Moreover, since chatbots are able to understand natural language processing, they can answer common questions based on customer queries. Thus, they become great tools for improving customer satisfaction levels within customer interactions.

Can AI Replace Call Center Agents?

Trending into the Future

As modern call centers become more accustom to implementing artificial intelligence technology, many experts predict that we may see fewer jobs related to customer service representative positions. For example, there’s no doubt that AI has already taken over various tasks performed by humans including data entry, transcription, etc. As a result, many industries are now looking for ways to replace human labor force with machines. A major example that proved this trend was the COVID-19 Pandemic where many companies were starting to have short-staffed contact centers, and instead, started to heavily rely on artificial intelligence. AI-driven chat tools and AI-powered assistants became more common than ever in order to improve response times and fulfill the needs and common queries of millions of customers.

Our Thoughts

On the other hand, one thing that should be noted here is that AI cannot perform all types of jobs yet. There are certain skills which only require human thinking and judgment. At Call Criteria, we  believe artificial intelligence is valuable in quality assurance practices, but human analyst are just as much of a necessity within a call center. With this combined QA approach of artificial intelligence and and human intervention, we aim to help our clients improve their business processes and achieve greater success. Quality assurance that is driven by AI, and verified by humans can provide high accuracy, reduce bias, and allow real results.

Conclusion

All in all, it seems like Artificial Intelligence will continue to grow its presence in every industry and their call centers. Businesses would benefit from using these technologies because they’ll save money, increase productivity, and ultimately make things easier for everyone involved. We hope you enjoyed reading about how AI is changing the way we work! If you are interested in learning more about how contact center AI can improve your business, contact us today!

Image from ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash