The call center business has witnessed major changes in the past many years, and cloud technology has brought in some drastic transformations. Running a highly efficient call center with remote agents has become possible because of cloud technology.
However, new technologies surface up from time to time that influences the ongoing process towards much better results. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one such technology that is making today’s call centers more intelligent and unbelievably interactive.
One can say that it’s a completely new era that is shaping up the new ways for customer support with highly productive results and it has become possible without any human intervention because of AI.
AI has the ability to replace the most number of activities that an agent performs but when it comes to employee engagement and delivering a good customer experience a human touch is unavoidable.
However, the growth of AI in the call enter business in continuous. Let’s look into it with more insights:
Why Artificial Intelligence?
Today various digital channels have become mainstream media through which most of the business communications happen. And there is one main reason that is helping these channels to become smarter is the availability of data.
Data, if deduced to some insights, provide some productive results. The intelligence in AI is because of this deduced data and the algorithm that gives it a decision making capability.
Call centers are deploying AI technology to improve the overall productivity and performance of the agents. For example, AI-based voice technology is being widely adopted, and they are giving results constantly. Industries like aviation, hospitality, and logistics are using AI to interact with customers, substantially.
With the help of voice applications, AI is influencing the operations related to sales and services, and it is also improving the communications between brands and customers.
Role of Emotional Intelligence
In the traditional call centers, the ability and skills of agents decided that how emphatically the agents handled the customer issues. One can not compromise with the emotional intelligence that plays a vital role in the field of customer interactions.
Emotional intelligence in the call center environment is measured by the capacity to be aware and express right sensibilities while handling communication with the customers. Agents can be trained wherein an AI device can be fed with more insightful data and algorithm.
Now, it has become possible for technology to sense behavioral signals and emotions and help the customer with proper guidance. The overall impact of the communication is also measured, and the feedback is saved into the system.
For example, an AI equipped system that recognizes the voice signals of the customers notifies the agents at various points. So, the system understands the customer mindset and gives notifications to the agents such as when the customer is tensed and needs an empathetic answer. The agent can further tweak his response accordingly. AI can cover even such minute details today.
The system also notifies the agent if he is speaking too fast or very slow at his response or appears to be low in energy. The software also can guide the agents for their behavior.
Finding the Right Agent for Customers
Ever since the Natural Language Processing (NLP) came into existence, it became highly efficient to route the call to the right agent. A system equipped with NLP finds the right agent, just the customer has to speak certain terms over the phone to get routed to the right agent.
For example, a customer speaking some particular financial terms like “accounting”, “banking” or “IPO” would be directed to the agent aware in this field. In the same way, other terms spoken by the customers would direct the customers to respective agents with the particular knowledge.
Today, the system can recognize even longer terms, or a sentence to find the right department or agent. NLP is a very good example of AI because it doesn’t need human intervention to improve the customer support process in the call centers.
Today, speech analysis is able to recognize various factors of the customer’s speech such as their tone, vocabulary or pauses to gauge the emotion and satisfaction level.
A study about call centers suggests that people from the different age groups have different choices for the agents they want to get in touch with. A highly sophisticated NLP system can even detect the age of the customer and further direct him to the right agent.
Is AI Replacing Agents?
In a way, an AI equipped system makes the scenario more result oriented, but this is also true it can also make mistakes while decision making through its algorithm. So, AI is just a complementary to the human skills but not a complete solution.
A survey done by Accenture suggests that 61% of the business leaders are expecting a collaboration of AI with the existing system in the next three years. More than 54% have said that human-machine collaboration is essential to achieve their business goals.
These results clearly suggest that the presence of AI is influencing the current scenario and people are looking forward to it but developing a fully equipped AI based customer support system is still distant.