In the past, we've seen businesses silently doing away with the middlemen to pave way for self-service. By thrusting the power of direct engagement into user's hands, it became clear the change was long overdue as most people preferred self-checkout methods over contacting agents to fill out forms or visiting a brick and mortar facility to conduct business. Today self-service is no longer an option but a necessity for speed and convenience, but then there's a threshold where even the most robust self-service systems can't get past.
Unanticipated incidences within the process are often blamed for causing friction in the customer journey. Whenever customers place uncommon requirements or run into technical glitches, there seems to be a struggle that can't resolve on its own. These incidences are the proof of self-service hitting the rev-limiter. Beyond which users simply pick the receiver and dial for agent support.
In the above instance when self-service has reached its threshold and customers are reluctant to visit a physical location, incidences get transferred to a contact center for secondary assistance. At contact centers, agent support goes beyond voice calls. Information and communications are relayed via emails, live chats, and social media channels. A business's image solely depends on how it handles incidences through the contact center. Therefore, indices such as churn rates, revenue opportunities, client satisfaction, and so on are among several KPIs that are constantly measured to ensure consistency in service levels.
Phone call automation has existed since time immemorial and has come a long way from the days of IVRs when customers keyed options to convey their concerns. It had a rather limited purpose and proved to be efficient when processes were straightforward. But then web interface tool the baton from IVR, thus resulting in the early demise of the first-gen IVRs. This was back in the millennium when the technology was still in nascent stages. Over the last two decades, tremendous changes have occurred within the contact center but not there yet to address complex cases until recent times.
Today, automation in the call center industry is vastly improved by AI and language processors. Advanced self-learning voice and chatbots are enabling businesses to get closer to customers by giving them an experience that is as reliable as human agents.
Why Automate Contact Centers?
Stick around till the end to know how automation improves contact center ops with chatbot and ML-based voice technology. We'll walk you through outcomes, cost, and customer experience. The powerful automation has the following characteristics -
Supports Omnichannel Engagement
Contact Center automation includes Robotic Process Automation, automation of messaging platforms, voice calls, chatbots, and so on. If the implementation is right, it makes channel switching seamless.
Facilitates Personalized Experience
To make machine interaction more personalized, automation combines language communications with visual elements such as point and click UI. This enables a business to incorporate machine learning in a range of functions.
FAQ automation is one of the fundamentals of contact center automation but greater priory is assigned to transactional interactions. An effective call center operations involve facilitating the process that occurs in the backend such as placing an order and resetting the password because boosting call center service with automation is a priority for most companies.
Flexibility in Communication
Automation enables call centers to be prepared for the vagueness in human interaction because every individual is unique and the fuzziness is more pronounced during interactions. To overcome barriers the automation system intelligently learns more about people through interactions.
Call Center Automation Improves Customer Experience
The best time to adopt automation is now because it drives innovation and is capable of providing a unified and personalized experience to customers through seamless engagement. Whether it's front-end or back-end, automation redefines the customer journey for the speedier outcome and better sales opportunity. In return, you'd get to keep happy and loyal customers. So here are automation techniques to increase contact center efficiency -
Implementing Automation the Way You Want
Automation is here to stay as it helps to unify the people, departments, and systems to help businesses have a single vision and take a collective step towards a common goal so it's important to automate your contact center to be ahead of the change. Automation gives a complete picture of spending patterns and resource management. Further, it enables taking snapshots of trends, priorities, and best paths for your business process. In a nutshell, business management can get a view of assigned tasks, resolved issues, and stats like who handled tickets and how long it took for problem resolution. Automation also enables data archiving for efficient backtracking. It improves the management's ability to learn from past instances and correct the course for a better outcome.
Automation Brings More Hands for Critical Tasks
As the number of customer interactions increase, it becomes complex for human agents to be available at all times. Automation directs a major chunk of inbound traffic to intelligent agent management systems that carefully identify repetitive incidences through segregation. Most mundane tasks are taken care of by AI-powered bots through predictive routing so human agents are available to handle exceptional incidences that are unable to be resolved at level 1. Automation with ML learns the humanized way of interaction and frees up agent's time. It also ups the performance of identifying customer concerns.
Automation Simplifies Work Environment
Automation is a disruptive technology in contact centers because most workplace environments are flawed in one way or the other. Automation improves the rate of self-service by interpreting context and greatly reduces the time spent in problem resolution. It shrinks the overhead cost and time to enhance efficiency. The ultimate takeaways are automation is ideal for analyzing call data and optimizing the rate of containment. The data generated during the active process helps to collect insights on contact center automation trends to improve outcomes through first contact resolution.
The Impact of Automation in Contact Centers
Most early adopters of Call Center automation have reported the following outcome -
Improves Customer Outlook and Satisfaction
A study by Forrester says that 3 out of 4 callers value time. They seem to prefer contact center support if the issue could be resolved in the shortest time.
In general, automation influences the efficiency levels of companies that adopt them. For businesses, being able to maintain a consistent lower average handling time (AHT) brings tremendous benefits. Automation seems to have an edge over human agent's AHT where an average of 240-600 seconds is considered healthy but if there is a way to shave a few more seconds, it would greatly impact the KPI of business.
Improves Revenue Opportunity
Managing conflicting goals seems to be a priority for contact centers that includes balancing hiring costs and improving service levels. In a nutshell, reduction in AHT significantly impacts customer satisfaction but rising labor cost impacts profitability. In most cases, saving operational expenses by increasing handling times might dent the revenue and lower customer satisfaction.
Boosts Employee Morale and Satisfaction
The key to lower the AHT is automation but unlike what is generally perceived, it is not a 100% substitute for human agents. Due to high turnover in contact centers, automation is a great tool to strike a balance rather than a solution to combat attrition.
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