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Increasingly, traditional call centers are falling short in providing the level of service today’s customers demand.
Customers have to contend with long wait times and multiple calls for their queries to be addressed, and have limited options of self-service. The agents too face an uphill task as they have to access different enterprise systems to get the relevant insights. The result: poor first-call resolution rates and CSAT scores.
Improving agent performance in such call centers poses another range of challenges. Agents do not have any self-help tools to evaluate their call handling performance and rely on information provided by their manager. Managers provide feedback at the level of agent group reporting to them and not for individual agents.
Chatbots are here
Since the advent of COVID-19, about 80% of the agents have been working from home and about 20-80% of the agents would still be working remotely over the next two years.
The agent workforce is now distributed and needs a better collaboration tool that is suited for remote work environment.
Tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can address all these problems and more. AI-enabled conversational agents or chatbots can eliminate the initial wait time and support customer self-service. The bots use natural language for communication, providing an always-on self-service option to customers and reduce the call volume handled by agents. Chatbots are expected to handle 20% of all customer service requests by 2022.
Another plus for AI-powered customer experience (CX) is that they are omnichannel.
Customers can interact with the agents through digital channels of their choice including social media. About 58% of customers in the US use digital channels and e-mail to contact the call center. Multichannel customer service, however, requires an omnichannel CX collaboration space for agents, with a single unified interface using voice, video, and chat across multiple social media channels like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Slack. This collaboration space must also integrate with CRM systems enabling the agent to create tasks and use AI assistance for having the after-call work (ACW) notes populated automatically without having to leave the collaboration interface. It should also provide facility for agents to initiate video calls with customers for face-to-face contact when required.