How AI Can Make Your Customers — and Employees — Happy

Your call center teams are overwhelmed, often so inundated with repeat requests that getting to high-priority calls is a challenge. This exhausting problem gets more complicated when teams are fighting for talent. Call volumes per agent inexorably increase as staffing lags. 

Fortunately, integrating artificial intelligence into your processes can yield a multitude of benefits. With AI, customers experience streamlined services, easily resolvable issues are managed, and agents can focus on the most complicated problems.

Launching an AI program can feel overwhelming, but the results will make the journey worth it. Integrating an AI solution into your call center’s operations can offer relief to inquiring customers and overwhelmed teams both. 

Start by gathering robust data, solicit feedback from agents and customers, and develop testing protocols. Focus on personalizing your efforts to nurture the human aspect of your business while reserving agent expertise where it’s needed.

Seek to become an emerging expert in AI while engaging with industry professionals and approaching problems with curiosity and candor. 

Assess Your Metrics for Opportunities to Improve Wait Times and Resolution

Do missed targets make your monthly metrics meeting one you dread? If so, an intelligent virtual agent, or IVA, maybe the saving grace your datasets have been dreaming of. Powered by artificial intelligence, IVAs let businesses deliver intuitive resolutions based on their most frequent customer requests. This approach can reduce the need for associate involvement while providing call resolutions at record speeds. 

Review your metrics dashboard for your team’s most common call reasons, looking back over the past five years for trends. Assess the volume, call time, and resolution path to determine the most opportune issues to address. 

Packaging your call reasons into categories can help you batch request types and topics to fully provide customer resolution. Track the potential time savings to help prioritize which issues can be best assisted through an IVA. Armed with this data, you can create a strategic implementation plan for your AI efforts that saves time and money.

Build a Framework Supportive of Self-Service for Busy Customers

Now that you’ve reviewed your call reason reports, it’s time to cross-reference them against your knowledge base. Assess your web metrics to log top page hits, FAQ usage, and search history. Check FAQ helpfulness reports to determine if your current knowledge base is addressing customer needs. 

If your organization is active on social media, check comments and messages for valuable insight. Partner with your metrics and data team to crawl message boards for areas where customers are asking questions and providing feedback. 

If customers are seeking external input for issues specific to your product, take note so you can fill the gap. Prioritize this list and determine whether your responses to these issues are evergreen, reducing the need for constant updates. Start small to create a manageable menu while outlining an update procedure to ensure content stays fresh and accurate. 

Consider developing your content plan in phases, with time blocked for assessment and feedback during implementation. Integrate this practice into your metrics efforts, shifting your framework over time based on customer needs and product offerings.  

Consider Data Protection and Risk Management

The mention of compliance may incite an audible groan from even the most jovial team member, but it’s a necessity. Depending on your industry, you may have security requirements that add costs and complications to your call center. 

Solve for this challenge through AI by automating transactions that require personally identifying information (PII) or payment data. Cybersecurity and data protection are being drilled into the minds of customers and organizations alike. In 2021, the average data breach incident cost organizations $4.24 million, which means skipping this step is not an option.

Meet with your legal team, IT leaders, and cybersecurity experts to review regulatory requirements and best practices. Integrate data protection elements into your AI framework, ensuring that customer responses are masked and secured, even those managed by IVAs. 

Put your team on offense against cybercriminals and work to build that mindset within your organization. Integrate confirmation language to ensure your customers acknowledge and accept terms and agreements for account updates and transactions.

Connect their responses to their accounts and develop a methodology to access them if needed. 

Improving Your Bottom Line by Retaining the Best Talent

Your business relies on meeting the needs of its customers. Without qualified support talent, even the best product can struggle to survive. Consider this your call to approach the integration of IVAs and AI into your call center with an optimistic spirit.

Your efforts can reduce costs, help retain top talent, and delight customers as you shift resources in a new way. 

Improve compensation and reward programs for human talent as they efficiently resolve tough customer care issues. Support teams with dynamic, ongoing training to boost confidence and competence. And shift basic inquiries to your IVAs to reduce burnout and boost customer satisfaction in one fell swoop.

Approach today’s business challenges with an open mind as you deploy new solutions. With them, you’ll place your organization ahead of the pack and on the favorites list of your best customers. 

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