As long as there are customers who need help, there will be contact centers to assist them. Every day, millions and millions of calls are made to companies of all sizes to help people solve their issues, and companies are becoming smarter and more efficient in how they service their customers.
57% of CIOs and CTOs agree that conversational bots can deliver significant returns on investment for minimal effort–particularly in contact centers. Conversational AI is on the rise in the contact center industry, and there's no question why. Conversational AI offers the potential to enhance the customer service experience as well as preserve human workers for tasks that make the best use of their time and energy.
Gartner predicts that conversational AI will reduce contact center agent labor costs by $80 billion in 2026. These are tremendous cost savings–and only the tip of the iceberg of what conversational AI has to offer. Here are a few key ways conversational AI is already helping reshape and optimize the customer service experience for contact centers.
Provide 24/7 Support
While AI has not and will probably never truly reach the pinpoint intuition of human beings, human beings will never have the stamina, processing ability, and consistency of artificial intelligence. Conversational AI is becoming an increasingly lucrative solution, enabling contact centers to offer around-the-clock support. Conversational AI resolves customer inquiries quickly and intuitively–no matter how complex the situation is.
While there are often niche customer issues that can't easily be solved by traditional chatbots, most of these interactions can be conducted by conversational AI. Natural Language Processing (NLP) enables the understanding of the variations of human language to answer naturally and intuitively. Plus, with access to your company's knowledgebase, your conversational AI will have all of the information needed to successfully interact with customers and resolve issues such as:
- Checking balance information
- Determining whether an item is in stock
- Assess the status of an order
- Track shipments and more
A virtual AI agent will dramatically streamline customer results by quickly escalating customers through the problem-solution process to understand and resolve the issue behind their call.
These are items that can easily be executed by conversational AI. However, when human intervention is needed to solve these issues, that isn't an issue. If this is the case, the conversational AI agent will immediately transfer customers to a human agent. During this transition, the conversational AI agent will continue to support customers and employees by providing the human agent with relevant information, such as the customer file, order history, and information on their previous interactions. This avoids any disruption in the customer experience and sets your employees up for success with every interaction.
When human agents aren't needed, conversational AI will handle tedious tasks, freeing up contact center employees' time to focus on more complex and valuable customer interactions. Your business will yield more efficiency, revenue, and productivity within the contact center.
And unlike basic human vocal interaction, this kind of data process creates an ongoing network of customer interaction with conversational AI that builds trends and can identify emerging needs, operational difficulties, and much more. Conversational AI not only makes the customer interaction process more efficient but also makes it more trackable across a large volume of customers.
Respond via Multiple Channels
Conversational AI can work across platforms through text, voice, SMS, a chat function, and more–sometimes even simultaneously if needed. A ready-made conversational AI agent to respond to a customer instantly makes the contact center process easier than customers who send in a text request and wait for a human being to reply.
Conversational AI can be programmed and readily usable across various channels, operating with speed, efficiency, and responsiveness that human beings cannot execute at scale. Your company can address a higher volume of customer inquiries faster than ever. This ensures that customers are satisfied with their experience and employees aren't drowning under a pile of customer requests.
Another aspect of this application is simply responsiveness: unlike a human being, conversational AI will always pick up the phone, answer the text message, and respond in the chat mechanism for as many people as needed. 100% responsiveness is a benefit that can't be ignored.
Automatically Collect and Analyze Customer Data
Continuing from the previous point, conversational AI makes for more accurate contact center interactions. Your conversational AI agent can access your company's data for precise information. Similarly, it can provide this information to your human workforce, supplementing their efforts with fast and accurate data.
This is in contrast to human recordkeeping and note-taking, which can be affected by things like fatigue, human error, etc. Having a conversational AI assistant perform tedious tasks and keep records makes your employees' lives easier. Instead of devoting all their time to rudimentary and repetitive tasks, they can focus on complex, nuanced, and high-value projects.
With greater accuracy, your customers will benefit from an improved customer experience, and your workforce will find themselves performing better in their roles. Any way you look at it, it's a win.
Delegate Tedious Tasks
The art of delegation is taking on some tasks and finding a way for others to do everything else! Conversational AI makes the delegation of repetitive and tedious tasks simple. Following the point above, conversational AI can function in many ways like a junior employee, executing rudimentary tasks and giving an agent the ability to do the things only the agent can do.
Human agents can delegate repetitive tasks to a conversational AI agent, giving them more time to focus on customer service and relationships. Much of the computing and processing involved in executing and resolving a customer service request involves synthesizing information that a conversational AI has access to and can manipulate on its own.
Conversational AI significantly streamlines these processes by placing orders, answering customers, or updating inventory. Even by automating these seemingly mundane tasks, your contact center can drastically increase productivity and efficiency, allowing you to scale operations.
Respond with Emotional Sensitivity at Scale
With Natural Language Processing (NLP), conversational AI agents can respond intuitively and recognize emotion, creating a human-like experience–even if human agents aren't available.
While conversational AI can't experience emotion the way a human being can, it's advanced enough to recognize and respond intuitively to human emotion. This means that if a customer is frustrated or discouraged, conversational AI can sense these things through tone of voice, vocal stress, and more, allowing it to communicate with a customer in a human-like manner that stimulates empathy and understanding.
The most profound part is that this can be done at the scale of thousands or even millions of customers with the same empathy and understanding. This kind of scale is simply impossible for a human being.
Even better, conversational AI agents are being retrained and developed all the time to become even more sensitive in listening and understanding human emotions and needs. This technology will only improve in the future. For customers who seek the efficiency of automated communications but want the complexity and intuition of a human agent, conversational AI offers the best of both worlds.
Conversational AI: Process Automation Meets Human-Intuition
Companies today desperately need automation, but they can't risk losing the value of the human experience in their brand. Conversational AI provides contact centers with the speed and efficiency of automation technologies without compromising the human-like quality of customer interactions.
Conversational AI allows for scalability, replicability, data collection recordkeeping, and speed. Plus, developments in interpretation, emotional nuance, and the ability to execute solutions for customers almost as intuitively as a well-trained human agent make this solution invaluable. The gap between human ability and conversational AI is rapidly shrinking, providing contact centers with significant cost savings and improved customer service.
Interested in learning more about how DRUID's conversational AI can improve your contact center? Download our free whitepaper, The Future of Contact Center Automation Is Conversational.