We’re going to explore the top 10 key technology priorities that should be at the top of every business’s list to securely progress and grow in 20...
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the way we work and interact with technology across virtually all industries. The ability to automate previously laborious tasks and accurately predict future trends has helped businesses across the board boost productivity, raise profits substantially and improve the customer experience. As AI has made substantial leaps forward in the past couple of years, it is no surprise even more businesses are seeking to take advantage of the impressive tool. But in the case of Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) what advantages does AI present and how can the technology best be utilised by businesses looking to improve their call centre practices?
Contact Centre as a Service is a fully scalable and managed communications platform businesses can use within their contact centre to provide enhanced experiences for their customers. With all methods of communication modern customers need to speak to businesses – including chat, email, voice and more – businesses can streamline their external communications making life far easier for both customers and staff. Better still, because the platforms are easily scaleable, they’re able to grow with the business, as new users and applications can be easily added to the cloud-based solution.
Plus, businesses can cater their packages to their precise needs, meaning there is no need to pay for services they will not use. This makes CCaaS an infinitely attractive tool for customer service teams that want to maximise their communications with customers while also cutting costs.
While once reserved for science fiction stories and films, Artificial Intelligence has become a key component in the daily practices of countless businesses and individual users worldwide. The technology can act intelligently, making decisions and performing functions that were once only achievable by human workers. As AI can work faster than humans, though, the technology has the capacity to undertake large tasks and complete them in a fraction of the time it would have taken a real person.
While chatbots have been around for several years in some form, recent strides in AI have helped them become even more proficient at performing tasks and assisting customers with more in-depth queries. A chatbot is a tool featured online – often on company websites – where a customer can interact with an automated response system, which can offer them information prudent to their query.
Historically, chatbots have only been able to answer simple questions relating to customer orders or questions by scanning pre-set databases or forwarding customers to a human agent. However, as more evolved AI has been applied to chatbots, their responses have become more impressive. The time eventually came when chatbots were able to accept full orders, rather than simply passing customers off to someone who could accept the order for them. Along with this, the “emotional intelligence” of chatbots has moved forward in leaps and bounds. Today, some chatbots can detect the emotions of users in their text responses and offer more catered support based on the emotional state of the customer. For example, customers who are angry or desperate to have their query dealt with may be pushed to the front of the line to speak with a real-life agent.
This has allowed CCaaS users to enjoy a greater connection with their customers, serving them more efficiently and quicker than previously possible, sometimes even without the customer speaking with a real-life agent at all. This then allows staff to enjoy greater productivity in the tasks they have been assigned, as their schedule is more open due to AI-powered chatbots dealing with customer queries.
In the modern digital age, data is king. The more information someone has about a customer, the better they can determine that customer’s needs and serve them effectively. Today, AI is deployed to monitor customer actions and use this information to predict either their future moves or desires, to deliver a more personalised service as they move through the sales funnel.
When a customer visits a website, their movements may be monitored by AI technology, keeping tabs on their page views, items they add to their basket, and more. This information is then used to build a customer profile; a dossier of things the customer may be interested in based on their previous actions. If the customer then needs to speak to someone in customer service, that information can be put to use and recalled by either chatbots or real-life customer service agents who can use it to better cater their responses to that specific customer, rather than offering generic scripted responses or pushing random products.
This can be used in CCaaS scenarios to help contact centres boost sales and create a far better rapport with customers, who will be appreciative that they are being treated as an individual with specific needs, and not a drop in the ocean.
To maintain efficient business practices, businesses need to be able to spot where potential losses stem from, or where practices can be improved to raise the likelihood of sales and profits. In a contact centre environment, it is possible that some members of staff are not performing as well as others, which suggests further training may be required. In the past, it has been incredibly difficult to identify precisely which members of staff – or which processes – were in need of improvement.
However, thanks to AI-powered analytics, customer interaction data can be analysed quickly to greater understand where improvements can be made and recognise which members of staff may be underperforming. For example, it may be the case that a specific contact centre worker responsible for sales is not closing as many sales as other members of staff, despite receiving similar volumes of calls from customers. Rather than workers trawling through masses of data to find the cause, AI analytics can identify where improvement must be made, all in a fraction of the time it would take a human worker to find the cause.
This not only allows businesses to offer specific staff more training to improve their skills and raise sales figures but also to remain productive by delivering training only to certain staff members who need it, rather than the entire team, which would be even more time-consuming.
Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR) have become commonplace in customer-company interactions. An IVR is best described as the automated, robotic voice that is heard when someone calls a company helpline. The IVR asks customers to make choices and answer questions, which can be fulfilled by either speaking or using the keys on their phone, to direct them to the appropriate next stage. Eventually, the caller may reach a live agent, or could have their query answered without speaking with one at all.
Much like chatbots, IVR systems had previously only been able to give very basic responses, calling on a pre-recorded script and access to minimal data with regards to the customer, their orders, etc. However, the expansion of AI has allowed IVR systems to become much more advanced, with some now experimenting with a technology known as sentiment analysis to aid in their decision-making on behalf of the caller.
Sentiment analysis is the practice of an AI-powered technology analysing the words and tone of a caller to better “understand” their emotional state (similar to the “emotional intelligence” in chatbots we spoke of earlier), so the technology can offer more appropriate responses that will resonate with the customer on a more personal level. Beyond this, sentiment analysis can also be used to direct a caller to a specific department or part of the customer service call process, depending on their needs and emotions.
By utilising IVR systems featuring sentiment analysis, businesses can expect shorter call times – with customers reaching their desired departments dependent on their needs far quicker – while also maintaining a positive relationship with the customer, having answered their query in record time and with emotional resonance.
We have all been placed on hold and into a queue when trying to reach a customer service representative. It is a tedious and time-consuming process we wish we could avoid. But while many contact centres are still using call queuing technology that offers limited personalisation, CCaaS solutions utilising AI are better able to queue customers based on a range of factors, so they can be served quicker.
As CCaaS solutions featuring AI can analyse customer data, customer speech and customer voices in an instant, they can use this information to place the customer into a call queue in a specific position that is relevant to the urgency of their call, instead of placing them in a random position. This enables customers to be directed to the relevant agent for their query.
By serving the customers with the most complex or pressing needs first, businesses can keep customers happy whilst also alleviating the pressures of extensive call queues by dealing with queries in a more streamlined and customer-focused fashion. This should lead to more positive customer relationships, shorter call times and increased capacity.
Based on all of the above, along with other incredible benefits of AI-powered CCaaS solutions, businesses that onboard this technology can expect to benefit from:
If you’d like to know more about the benefits of AI in CCaaS solutions for your business, why not speak with an Elite expert today?
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At Elite Group, we have considerable experience helping businesses utilise CCaaS and AI technology to help improve and automate their processes. On the Beach is an excellent example. Nationally renowned tour operator On The Beach approached Eilte Group to assist with its automation, to help lighten the load for their in-house staff, so they could be freed up to use their time more effectively. Thanks to our assistance, inbound call traffic became much more streamlined and we were able to reduce agent call interactions by 10%.
Along with the above example, at Elite Group, we have been assisting major businesses with their technology investments for decades and have the best working knowledge of new and emerging technologies businesses can use to improve their processes. As technology experts with over 20 years of industry experience, we’re recognised as a reliable, trustworthy and knowledgable technology services provider and are ready to help you utilise technology to its fullest, so you can reap the benefits.
Get in touch with Elite Group today to find out more about how we can help your business onboard CCaaS.