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Contact Center Automation With Conversational AI

April 22, 2022  •  10 minute read

Now, that you are trying to automate your contact center, we are sure that your business will see a surge in employee and customer retention. The major benefits of contact center automation are the reduction in customer churn and the pressure on your employees to keep the customers satisfied.

Today, when self-serve is the way to resolve all the queries, contact centers with AI and automation can help the end customers with instant solutions without any phone calls or email threads. The ultimate goal of businesses is to satisfy their customers, and conversational AI can help you achieve that.

Traditionally, contact centers, or rather call centers made various attempts to automate the phone calls using IVR and a numbered system of solving simple queries like requesting an upgrade or making appointments. However, due to a high customer churn and low customer satisfaction, the technology became obsolete.

In this article, we will primarily focus on how artificial intelligence can transform your contact center, once you adopt it and what are the benefits that you will observe. Towards the end of this article, we will propose a solution that will help you blend artificial intelligence and human consciousness together so as to provide the best possible customer service.

What is contact center automation?

Contact center automation is a process of using technology with an aim to efficiently handle some of the customer service requests using intelligent algorithms with minimal or no need for human intervention. With AI in customer service, contact centers can automate customer interactions for all channels for text and voice conversations. 

There are multiple aspects of automation of contact centers using conversational AI. If you want to automate the complete infrastructure, you can deploy chatbots as well as voice bots for all channels that your business uses for communication.

Unlike traditional call centers, contact centers do not just attend to customers over the phone. They interact with the customers on every possible channel including emails, social media and web-based and app-based chatbots and voice bots. With so many platforms to handle, contact centers without automation are a nightmare for their employees.

How can conversational AI transform contact centers?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a cutting-edge technology that can revolutionize customer support in contact centers. The huge amount of data created by contact centers every day needs a lot of processing and human hours to sort it and derive some valuable insights.

Using AI, contact centers can manage large amounts of data and obtain actionable insights within seconds. 

Apart from data handling and getting insights, conversational AI can help contact centers automate conversations and improve the employee experience. Transforming the contact centers with conversational AI can bring about a shift in the way people look at customer support. 

Role of AI chatbots in customer service

With AI chatbots for customer support, contact centers can observe major differences in customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Not just this, the first contact query resolution rate also improves to a great extent. This happens because of certain functional benefits of AI chatbots.

1. Customer service in human language

Artificial intelligence comes with Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine to understand and respond to customer queries in a language naturally used by the customers. This component of conversational AI can help contact centers to understand a customer’s everyday spoken or written language.

Instead of creating a user interface to solve customer queries, contact centers can actually engage with the customers in natural language. Data-trained AI chatbots can help improve self-service and give the end customers the freedom to use their natural language.

2. Omnichannel support automation

For contact centers, omnichannel engagement and support are not an option, it is a necessity. Building a strong and automated cobweb of customer support on all platforms can provide the customers with unambiguous and consistent responses on emails, social media, and even calls.

Contact centers can get consolidated insights from all different channels in a single report and get rid of siloed data. Such insights can help businesses make well-informed decisions and help customers by working on issues in the right direction.

3. Minimum friction and high discourse flexibility

Contact centers need to deal with often distorted human communication and provide a successful customer journey. Every customer comes from a different background with different pronunciations and expressions. With conversational AI, contact centers can provide maximum flexibility and minimum friction to the end customers.

Traditional methods of customer support such as filling out a form or sending emails did not need the contact centers to be imaginative and innovative. Customer support for Gen Z can be a little tricky. Automating customer support for customers today needs intelligence and reasoning in order to elevate customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Conversational AI in contact centers

By now you might have got the gist of what conversational AI has in store for contact centers and how can it transform them using automation and AI chatbots. Let us dig deeper into the benefits you can observe once you start using conversational AI in your contact center.

1. Reduction in human resource costs

One of the biggest challenges faced by call centers or contact centers is agent attrition. With long working hours and a stressful work environment, employees do not stay for long. This leads to the proposition of hiring challenges and the overhead costs.

With automation in play, the work pressure on the employees reduces and it becomes easier to achieve the targeted customer satisfaction rates. This leads to a higher retention rate for employees and in turn reduces the human resource costs that go into hiring and training new employees every now and then.

2. Reduction in customer efforts

Traditionally, customers interacting with the contact centers had already known that their queries will be resolved in 2-4 business days and they would have to put in extra efforts to get the required results.

Today, with all the information at their fingertips, customers cannot wait to get responses. They look for responses accurate and fast. To deliver such results, contact centers must be automated. With the right tools and the right attitude, nothing can stop the contact centers from their desired results in terms of customer satisfaction.

3. No-barrier customer suport

Satisfying a customer is a continuous process, and contact centers need to keep going on and on with it all day and all night. Once you automate your contact center, you can make this possible. With instant responses 24×7, 365 days a year, you can solve customer queries unstoppably.

With these efforts, customers are bound to be satisfied. In the case of a complex query, the requests can be seamlessly transferred to a customer support agent or the team that would handle the request. Businesses can mention their off-hours and provide the customers with a timeline of when are the agents available to solve their queries.

4. Reduction in training efforts

With an improvement in employee retention and automation of tasks, a contact center would not need to put much effort into training employees.

AI chatbots have machine learning capabilities, which means, they are evolving and enhancing their performance on their own without a need for training. 

Only in the case of an update in the company’s data, do chatbots need to be data-trained with the updated documents so that they do not provide incorrect information to the customers. 

5. Seamless agent-handoff

AI chatbots understand the queries of the end customers and try to solve them. Even if they are not able to solve the issues, they know exactly where to forward the queries and which team can solve the problem.

Chatbots hand off the customer queries with all the previous data about the customer so that the agent doesn’t need to take the information all over again from the customer. To help the agents, AI chatbots also provide response suggestions that the customer support executives can use to respond to the customers.

6. Increase in first-contact query resolution

AI chatbots and voice bots are data-trained and store all the information about the customers in one place. Due to this data-centralization contact centers don’t need to “get back” to their customers. Chatbots or customer support executives can resolve the queries during the first interaction.

First contact resolution is the percentage of incoming support requests that are resolved in the first interaction. The higher the First-Contact Resolution (FCR), the higher the customer satisfaction rate. This can be achieved by using conversational AI and providing sufficient data to the chatbots and voice bots.

7. Increase in deflection rate

Call deflection is the rate at which incoming calls get self-served on different channels and the queries get resolved through automation without the need of a human agent.

With conversational AI in contact centers, self-service becomes very efficient and the call-deflection rate increases. Customers don’t need to wait for an agent to be assigned to the call. Problems and concerns can easily be solved through automation using AI chatbots.

Human agents and AI: Contemporary Solution

Contact centers must adopt a collaborative approach to handle customer support requests. AI chatbots are not here to replace human agents but to help them solve customer concerns efficiently. A combination of human agents and artificial intelligence is recommended in order to improve customer support.

AI chatbots and voice bots can be the first line of contact that provide instant responses to the customers. They can help customers in case of simple queries such as order tracking, or placing a return request. In the case of complex queries, human agents can take over.

Being the first line of contact, chatbots can help human agents by collecting all the information about persistent issues. Agents can use the data collected by the chatbot to resolve customer queries in one go. The best possible customer support solution is when the chatbot knows when to hand off the call.

Some instances can be when the customer directly wants to chat with an agent, a customer’s sentiments are angry or frustrated, or there is a time-sensitive or critical issue. Chatbots must be programmed to be intelligent enough to know when is the best time to bring in an agent.

A highly trained intelligent chatbot can be a USP for your business and can give your customers immense satisfaction with your brand.

Conclusion

We hope this article helped you understand what contact center automation is and how it can help grow your business exponentially in terms of customer satisfaction, employee retention and ultimately revenue generation.

The future of customer service is AI and your contact center needs to adopt it as soon as possible. It will not only keep you ahead in the curve but also let your organization manage customer engagement like never before.

We at Yellow.ai can help you throughout your journey of contact center automation. We are the world’s leading total experience automation platform and we can provide you with everything you need to automate your contact center intelligently.

If you are ready to explore the options and upgrade your contact center with artificial intelligence, request a demo and our experts will get in contact with you at the earliest. They will understand your requirements and help you with the best possible solution for contact center automation.

Namrata Narsinghani

Namrata is a content writer at Yellow.ai, comes with a zeal to write content that educates audiences, creates brand awareness, and ranks on SERP. A digital marketing enthusiast, she loves to learn all new trends in the industry. Apart from work, she loves to swim, read, and travel.
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