Contact center automation improves agent experience manifold
The optimal mix of AI-based automation and human agents creates a win-win situation
A lot has been written and said about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on our lives and work. The prevalent narrative is that AI-led automation will reduce employment opportunities for future workers. First, however, let us look at how AI improves the employee experience and makes the workforce feel empowered.
Today, most B2B and B2C brands invest in contact centers to maintain a consistent, synchronous, and always-on connection with their existing and potential consumers. People reach out to the contact centers via phone calls, emails, messenger texts, or other predefined communication mediums. The human workforce at the contact centers addresses these queries, requests, and comments to create consumer delight through every interaction.
It is imperative for business leaders to think about the kind of “employee experience” that they want to create
However, as the volume of communication grows, the human agents often start feeling overwhelmed, make mistakes, or simply feel unhappy with the repetitive tasks they perform. Moreover, one of the key reasons for the global phenomenon called ‘The Great Resignation’ is that employees are increasingly questioning whether they really enjoy their role or company and evaluate both their professional and individual purposes. In other words, they are more conscious about the value that they add to the business. Often, employees working at contact centers find a low sense of purpose due to the mundane nature of their jobs. Thus, it is imperative for business leaders to think about the kind of “employee experience” that they want to create.
Thankfully, AI-based automation provides answers to the above problem statement. It enables contact centers to redesign their systems to handle the most repetitive queries and responses. This reduces the average handle time (AHT) for interactions. This means that processes like complaint registration, informing a customer about delivery status, a policy renewal on the same terms, etc. need no human interaction. This improvement saves a significant part of work-hours for human agents who can engage in more high-value or complex conversations such as crisis management and escalation, troubleshooting, and suggesting alternatives basis consumer’s interest. In addition, they can provide valuable inputs to bridge loopholes in the existing processes and take up small improvement projects, which they could never do due to time scarcity. The satisfaction derived from solving some complex problems around customer engagement could be a big motivational gain and trigger a much-needed sense of purpose among employees.
Besides work, the agents get more bandwidth to take some extra breathing space during work, engage inhumanly watercooler conversations with colleagues, and enjoy their workplace. In other words, they feel more connected with their workplace and job, can expect better work-life balance, and come back to work with more energy every day.
Besides the reduced workload, AI-based automation also helps agents prepare more accurate and prompt solutions for customers
Besides the reduced workload, AI-based automation also helps agents prepare more accurate and prompt solutions for customers. For instance, rather than fiddling around for the correct answers during a running call, they can seek help from the automated system, which suggests the next best course of action basis similar queries in the past. Not just this, the system also continues to learn from all the new scenarios and gets more effective by the day, thanks to its machine learning capabilities.
The optimal mix of AI-based automation and human agents creates a win-win situation for everyone, i.e., consumers, employees, and the brand. Most companies look at the benefit of contact centre automation to improve agent productivity and reduce costs. However, it is merely the tip of the iceberg. An equally important business benefit is to enhance agents’ experience, which drives them to think qualitatively instead of taking insane numbers of similar-sounding calls. This changed experience also reduces the attrition rates at contact centres and adds further value to the bottom line. So, there are more tangible reasons to leverage the power of AI to automate the contact centres.
Guest contributor Rashi Gupta is the Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist at Rezo.ai, a fast evolving Indian AI-powered contact center. Heading up the innovation, product development, and evangelism at Rezo.ai, Rashi believes in being involved in both the planning and execution stages of projects until the product rollout is stabilized in order to ensure inclusive and customer-driven solutions. Any opinions expressed in this article are strictly that of the author.