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How AI Can Make Your Customers — And Employees — Happy

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Your call center teams are overwhelmed, often so inundated with repeat requests that high-priority calls are difficult to access. This exhausting problem becomes more complicated when teams compete for talent. Call volumes per agent increase inexorably as staffing lags behind.

Fortunately, integrating artificial intelligence into your processes can bring a host of benefits. With AI, customers benefit from streamlined services, easy-to-solve issues are managed, and agents can focus on the most complex issues.

Launching an AI program can seem overwhelming, but the results are worth it. Integrating an AI solution into your call center operations can offer relief to curious customers and overwhelmed teams.

Start by collecting solid data, soliciting feedback from agents and customers, and developing testing protocols. Focus on customizing your efforts to nurture the human side of your business while reserving agent expertise where it’s needed.

Seek to become an emerging expert in AI while engaging with industry professionals and approaching issues with curiosity and candor.

Evaluate your metrics for opportunities to improve wait times and resolution

Are missed goals making your monthly metrics the ones you dread? If so, an Intelligent Virtual Agent, or IVA, might just be the saving grace your data sets have been craving. Powered by artificial intelligence, IVAs enable companies to provide intuitive resolutions based on their customers’ most frequent requests. This approach can reduce the need for associate involvement while delivering call resolutions at record speeds.

Review your metrics dashboard for your team’s most common call reasons, looking back over the last five years for trends. Evaluate call volume, duration, and resolution path to determine the most timely issues to resolve.

Grouping your call reasons into categories can help you group request types and topics together to provide comprehensive customer resolution. Track potential time savings to help prioritize issues that can best be resolved by an IVA. Armed with this data, you can create a strategic implementation plan for your AI efforts that will save you time and money.

Build a self-service environment for busy customers

Now that you’ve reviewed your Reasons for Appeal reports, it’s time to compare them to your knowledge base. Evaluate your web metrics to record homepage visits, FAQ usage, and search history. Review FAQ usefulness reports to determine if your current knowledge base meets customer needs.

If your organization is active on social media, check comments and posts for valuable insights. Partner with your metrics and data team to explore message boards in areas where customers ask questions and provide feedback.

If customers are looking for outside input for issues specific to your product, make note of it so you can fill the void. Prioritize this list and determine if your responses to these issues are persistent, reducing the need for constant updates. Start small to create a manageable menu while outlining an update procedure to ensure content stays fresh and accurate.

Consider developing your content plan in phases, with time set aside for evaluation and feedback during implementation. Build this practice into your measurement efforts, changing your framework over time based on customer needs and product offerings.

Think about data protection and risk management

The mention of compliance may elicit an audible groan from even the most jovial team member, but it’s a necessity. Depending on your industry, you may have security requirements that add cost and hassle to your call center.

Meet this challenge with AI by automating transactions that require Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or payment data. Cybersecurity and data protection are in the minds of customers and organizations. In 2021, the average data breach incident cost organizations $4.24 million, which means skipping this step is not an option.

Meet with your legal team, IT managers and cybersecurity experts to review regulatory requirements and best practices. Build data protection elements into your AI framework, ensuring customer responses are hidden and secure, even those handled by IVAs.

Put your team on the line against cybercriminals and work to create that mindset within your organization. Integrate confirmation language to ensure your customers acknowledge and agree to terms and agreements for account updates and transactions.

Connect their responses to their accounts and develop a methodology to access them if needed.

Improve your results by retaining the best talent

Your business relies on meeting the needs of its customers. Without skilled support talent, even the best product can struggle to survive. Take this as your call to approach integrating IVAs and AI into your call center with an optimistic spirit.

Your efforts can reduce costs, help retain top talent, and delight customers by moving resources in new ways.

Improve compensation and reward programs for human talent as they effectively solve difficult customer service issues. Support teams with dynamic and continuous training to build confidence and competence. And forward basic inquiries to your IVAs to reduce burnout and increase customer satisfaction in one fell swoop.

Approach today’s business challenges with an open mind as you deploy new solutions. With them, you will put your organization ahead of the pack and on the favorites list of your best customers.

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