This is evident from research by CCW Digital up to 62% of contact centers consider investing in automation and AI. At the same time, many consumers are willing to use self-service options or chat with chatbots, especially if it helps them overcome long waiting times. This provides an ideal opportunity for contact center leaders to explore different technologies to discover what best suits their goals and meets the needs of their customers.
The call and contact center industry, whose roots date back to the days before the Internet, faces unique challenges in adoption AI-based innovations. This is especially true for teams that handle sensitive customer data. Deciding whether to delegate these tasks to bots is a difficult task. Still, those who quickly embrace new automation technologies are likely to see notable increases in productivity compared to their competitors.
Read on to discover specific AI applications tailored to contact centers. When used wisely, these technologies can not only save time for agents and callers, but also improve overall business efficiency.
AI voice bots
It’s a tall order to expect human agents to answer every call quickly and attentively. To streamline this, many teams are now turning to advanced systems conversational AI solutions able to understand customers and engage in natural conversations. These bots can handle frequently asked questions and basic tasks, freeing up agents’ time for more complex issues.
While it may sound scary at first to have an AI-based voicebot talking to your callers, there are plenty of use cases where this can be useful. After all, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) was one of the first automations ever introduced to the call center industry, and using a voicebot as part of the setup is just the next step in its evolution.
Additionally, AI capabilities can be integrated with traditional IVR systems, providing self-service options via the phone keypad, such as the ability to connect to a live agent. This feature is especially useful during peak hours when call volume skyrockets. Customers often prefer a quick response from a bot to a long wait for a human responder.
Speech and text recognition
Integrating AI-powered text-to-speech (TTS) and speech-to-text (STT) capabilities can significantly increase the flexibility of your contact center. These technologies enable the automatic and real-time conversion between speech and text and offer a wide range of applications.
For example, agents can conduct surveys using dynamically updated scripts, which the system reads aloud to the caller, eliminating the need for pre-recorded messages. Likewise, STT technology facilitates the effortless transcription of customer conversations without the need for manual input from agents. This not only saves time, but also collects extensive customer data, allowing for deeper analysis of customer behavior and preferences.
Sentiment and tone analysis
While call recording transcripts provide valuable data that helps AI understand each customer’s preferences, they often miss the emotional nuances of the conversation. This is where sentiment analysis comes into play. Using machine learningthese systems can delve into voice recordings to identify signals that contribute to the success or failure of calls. Over time, AI becomes adept at providing better recommendations. For example, it can suggest adjustments to the call center script and tailor product and service suggestions to the customer’s individual needs and preferences, improving both customer satisfaction and call center efficiency.
Moreover, there are also AI-based lie detectors who scrutinize voice recordings not only for emotional cues, but also for signs of deception. This can be especially useful in scenarios where verifying the authenticity of information is crucial.
Verifying a caller’s identity is critical to security in call center operations, but can be cumbersome if done manually. AI streamlines this through automated voice recognition, providing a faster, more secure verification process.
This technology quickly identifies a customer’s voice and matches it to existing samples, quickly detecting any patterns. This quick process not only reduces the risk of fraud and identity theft but also strengthens the multi-factor authentication process. Most importantly, it saves agents time by eliminating the need for manual verification, speeding up customer interactions without compromising security.
Automated ticket routing
Automated ticket routing intelligently categorizes and routes customer queries to the most appropriate department or agent. For example, a customer inquiry about a billing issue is automatically identified by the AI and routed to the billing department, while a technical support inquiry goes directly to the technical support team. The precise sorting is based on the content of the customer’s request, often identified by keywords or the nature of the request.
This approach means customers no longer need to be transferred between different departments multiple times, significantly reducing waiting times and frustration. This leads to a more organized workflow for the call center, allowing agents to avoid incorrectly transferred calls, improving productivity.
Artificial intelligence can provide agents with customized training experiences. This approach uses data-driven insights derived from an agent’s own performance data and customer feedback to tailor training programs that target specific areas of improvement. For example, if an agent receives consistent feedback on the speed of their response, the AI system can focus on improving their time management skills.
Additionally, AI can analyze the types of inquiries an agent often handles and provide specialized training in those specific areas. This method ensures that training is relevant and highly effective, taking into account each agent’s unique strengths and weaknesses and developing the skills they need most. This leads to a more competent and confident workforce, which can respond more effectively to customer needs.
Real-time assistance for agents
During live interactions with customers, AI systems can analyze the conversation in real-time and provide agents with immediate suggestions, information and solutions relevant to the customer’s query. For example, if a customer is discussing a specific product issue, the AI system can immediately pull up the most relevant troubleshooting guidelines for the agent, allowing for a quick and informed response.
Additionally, if an agent encounters a particularly complex query, the AI system can guide them through the most effective line of inquiry or even suggest redirecting the call to a more specialized department or expert.
Additionally, this approach can also suggest relevant cross-sell or up-sell opportunities based on the customer’s history and current conversation, not only solving the immediate problem but also increasing customer engagement.
Implementing AI in your call center may not seem essential yet, but moving in that direction can significantly increase competitiveness. When done correctly and prudently, automation in the contact center industry can help resolve queries faster and more productively, freeing staff to focus on more demanding tasks that require creative thinking beyond the capabilities of any script .