Striking A Balance with AI In the Contact Center  

Striking A Balance with AI In the Contact Center  

As a contact center leader, your goal is to provide exceptional customer service to your clients. You understand that customer satisfaction is critical to your success, and you are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the customer experience. One of the most exciting developments in the field of customer service is the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI has the potential to revolutionize the way you interact with your customers and enhance their experience.  

Artificial intelligence is a topic of conversation in all industries. What is interesting is that AI has been around for decades. We are just now beginning to understand how the application of machine learning can be harnessed to elevate the customer experience. Just five short years ago that would cause people to chuckle at the thought that AI could enhance the experience. AI is real, it is here, and we are at the forefront of how we can utilize it effectively.   

Personalizing the Customer Experience with AI  

One of the most significant advantages of AI is its ability to personalize customer interactions. AI technology can analyze customer data to provide personalized recommendations and tailored responses. For example, if a customer has a history of purchasing a particular product, an AI-powered chatbot can suggest related products or offer a personalized promotion.  

When you think about it, what that chatbot is doing is something the best agents have always done, ask for an upgrade. This is not a new concept, the ability to execute consistently on the concept is what has changed with AI-enabled functionality like agent assist. While the agent is having their conversation suggestions pop up based on that conversation. Technical help, referencing past conversations, and upselling opportunities are all front and center for the agent to capitalize on in real time.  

One of the most universal complaints customers proclaim is having to repeat themselves or rehash what they talked about in their last conversation. AI solves this problem by having the information and summary of past conversations ready for the agent without the need to look up and scroll through pages of notes. The reduction in average handling time coupled with the elevated customer experience makes AI-fueled personalization a win from all angles.  

Harnessing the Power of Predictive Analytics  

Leveraging predictive analytics can enhance your operations and provide better customer experiences. By using historical data and statistical algorithms to forecast future outcomes, you can make informed decisions about staffing, resource allocation, and customer interactions. 

Workforce management (WFM) is fueled by predictive analytics and can forecast call volumes and schedule staffing accordingly. By analyzing historical call volume data and considering factors such as seasonality and marketing campaigns, your contact center can anticipate peak periods, ensuring they have enough staff available to handle the increased demand. This can help reduce wait times for customers and improve overall service levels, something everyone can get behind.  

Another benefit of predictive analytics is to identify and address potential issues before they become bigger problems. By analyzing customer interactions and identifying patterns in customer behavior, contact centers can predict potential issues and proactively address them. For example, if a customer repeatedly reaches out about a specific issue, predictive analytics can help identify the root cause of the problem and provide the customer with a resolution before they need to reach out again. 

Predictive analytics should be a part of your sales process by analyzing past purchases and buying behavior of your customers. Using that data to anticipate and personalize customer offerings is something companies like Amazon do extremely well. That power is here today, and most likely your contact center has the data to make it happen, the only thing missing is making that data actionable.  

Chatbots Are Table Stakes in The Contact Center  

We could write an entire book on the exponential growth and adoption of Chatbots. There were a handful of Chatbot companies just a decade ago, and now there are industry and even company-specific AI-powered bots. Simply put, chatbots are table stakes to support your contact center and an expectation as an option from your customers’ perspective.  

What is exciting to think about is we are just now beginning to understand the endless opportunities this creates. Up until now, chatbots have been AI-powered conversational interfaces that can interact with customers through messaging platforms, provide 24/7 customer support, answer frequently asked questions, and even provide personalized product recommendations.  

Bots were a product of whatever information or data it was given. So, it was limited by the input and manual instruction from your company. The next generation of chatbots are emerging to utilize logic, and reasoning coupled with data, context, tone, and most importantly emotion.  

Sentiment Analysis at Scale Can Benefit Your Brand 

AI-powered sentiment analysis can analyze customer feedback at scale. Aggregating social media comments, CRM interactions, reviews, and other data points to determine how customers feel about your brand.  

This information can help you identify areas where you need to improve customer service and make changes to enhance the customer experience. Sentiment analysis helps take the emotion out of feedback and identify trends both positively and negatively that merit further action.  

Striking A Balance That Fits Your Business 

There is no secret formula or remedy to use that fits all businesses. We service a wide range of clientele from healthcare to financial services to e-commerce. There are several universal truths when considering a good balance of automation & agent solutions.  

You will always have customers that are averse to automated solutions, and that is OK. No matter how advanced AI becomes they will want a live agent as quickly as possible. There likely will come a day soon when AI will seem like a live person (that time is here) and the difference will go unnoticed. Even then a live agent will be their preference and we respect that. After all, our team is what drives us at InflowCX and what makes your company great as well.  

There will always be a segment of your customers who prefer self-service and want to avoid interacting with a live person. Only as a last resort when they absolutely need to will, they speak or chat with a live person.  

Your best agents will always want to help your customers with the more complex issues. That is when automation and AI work hand in hand with live agents. Automate the mundane so the challenges can be met with your best talent.  

Wondering How to Modernize Your Contact Center?  

AI in the contact center has felt hypothetical to most until the past few years, with this year really feeling like the demarcation point on when the hypothetical became beneficial. If you are wondering how to leverage AI for the maximum business impact a great first step is reaching out to us here at InflowCX. Contact us today and put our decades of experience to work for you!