Emerging call center AI technologies are changing the way traditional contact centers are managed and operated. This innovation can’t come fast enough as evidenced by Forrester’s 2023 US CX Index Rankings, which identified that average CX quality in the US declined for an unprecedented second year in a row. As Forrester puts it, companies face ongoing marketplace challenges including inflation, a skills gap, a potential recession, and shifting customer expectations. What is needed to combat this CX decline are innovative AI call center solutions that are purposely built to enhance both agent and customer experience. Let’s take a look at this emerging tech and how leading contact centers are deploying it to improve the quality of agent performance and aid in retention while simultaneously improving CX.
What is Call Center AI
Call center AI technologies provide agents the means to work more productively, have more engaging and personally gratifying conversations, and reduce overall time spent on simple interactions. The goal of call center AI is to automate simple tasks, provide analyses, equip customer service agents with the tools needed to improve their job performance, and to ultimately increase both employee and customer experience. The goal of call center AI is not to replace the human workforce, but to combine human intuition and emotional intelligence with machine-gleaned data and analytics to form a powerful, symbiotic partnership that benefits all call center stakeholders.
How Call Center AI Improves Agent Quality and Retention
As automation and self-service take care of simple call center interactions, agents are left to handle more complex, emotionally charged conversations. Many of these interactions occur with customers who’ve tried to resolve their own problems prior to contacting an agent. As a result of failing to adequately resolve their own problems, customers become increasingly frustrated and demanding while speaking to contact center representatives. Back to back interactions such as these can often cause front-line workers to feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and eventually burnt out.
Statistics show that companies who fail to invest in reliable AI call center solutions will ultimately face the possibility of talent attrition, employee dissatisfaction, and potential loss of market share. Before 2020, call centers historically reported anywhere from 30% – 45% average annual agent attrition, but these days attrition has been reported as high as almost 80% (furthering the notion that agent well-being is generally decreasing throughout the workforce).
With the help of AI call center software, agents can find comfort in knowing that machine learning technology will aid and support them as they navigate through tough difficult calls. With these reliable AI solutions, call center employees can expect to be coached, notified, encouraged and informed about customer sentiment and behavioral cues during and after their calls. Solutions like these will ultimately change the call center employee experience forever. By equipping agents with reliable customer intel and human-aware conversation AI tools, their workload related stress decreases while their productivity, service, and overall well-being improve significantly.
How Call Center AI Improves CX
Customers have inevitably felt the sting of dysfunctional call centers for years. Consumer Reports states that the two biggest complaints customers expressed about call center service are the long response times and the negative agent interactions (i.e. agent attitude, lack of empathy, unanswered questions/unsolved requests). Good customer service is fundamentally one of the most impactful factors relating to longer-term customer metrics such as revenue (how much a customer spends), number of products per customer (customer’s willingness to purchase add-on products), churn, and overall customer satisfaction.
With reliable AI software, call centers can provide their customers with more accurate and objective measures of customer intent, resulting in elevated service and customized experiences. Front-line workers can benefit from behavioral insights from these machine learning tools and adjust their service accordingly to meet consumer needs (it is during these complex human interactions that customer experience is ultimately established).
Call Center AI Trends in 2023 – and Predictions of 2024
Artificial intelligence, especially innovative Generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, is revolutionizing the customer service industry. These advancements have proven to be the quickest and most effective means to enhance the customer experience, as highlighted by McKinsey. With AI-enabled customer service, companies can activate their potential to dynamically optimize interactions and redefine the way they connect with customers.
The need for real-time AI coaching and guidance services are at an all time high. These solutions can be utilized to help reduce agents’ cognitive loads and subsequently provide top tier client experiences. The data fueled into these digital AI solutions can produce next best agent actions which can result in creating more enriching and fulfilling interactions for all parties involved.
Cogito Call Center AI For Enhanced Agent and Customer Experience
Until recently, call centers were very limited in tools that successfully trained, mentored and coached agents to do their jobs more effectively. These days, AI call center solutions like Cogito provide both in-call speaking guidance and measurable appraisals of soft skills that supervisors can utilize to train and coach their front-line agents. Cogito supplies call centers with machine learning software that aids managers in measuring agent performance across the board, identifies their call related challenges/strengths and helps guide them through their everyday customer interactions. Agents not only feel more supported during their calls, but also feel equipped with proper tools and training to continue growing their skills.
In addition to empowering agents, supervisors and team leaders are given unparalleled visibility into live conversations with Cogito Teams, enabling them to monitor both the customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) in real-time. With valuable insights into how customers and employees are feeling, supervisors can intervene and offer timely support.
AI call center solutions like Cogito’s also improve company CX, providing customers with more personalized, timely, and empathy-forward service. Satisfied customers help grow businesses, boost retention, and increase revenue amongst existing customer bases.
With Cogito’s human-led AI which provides real-time guidance, empathy cues, employee performance analytics, personalized coaching for agents, all call center stakeholders can feel more confident, satisfied, and ultimately more loyal to the brands they support.