Why Every Contact Center Manager Should Consider Voice-Driven AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides an unprecedented opportunity to revolutionize the call center experience for the 59% of your customers who prefer telephone communication. We’re not talking about the time-consuming interactive voice response (IVR) of the past that provided a less-than-optimal customer experience.
The AI-powered voice assistants of today offer a seamless experience, reaching a virtual assistant, in seconds, that can answer customer intentions with just a few words. Contact center managers who embrace and implement this technology reap the rewards of increased efficiency, reduced costs, and a customer experience that fosters loyalty. All of which increase profitability.
Conversational AI technology over the phone goes beyond chatbots to leverage the power of voice and offer a more personal experience. In this article, we’ll explore why you should implement voice-driven AI in your call center, and provide tips for contact center managers when implementing this technology.
What is Conversational AI?
If you’re using old IVR technology in your contact centers, you know its limitations and how frustrating it can be for your customers – press 1, press 2, and press * to go back to the main menu. Conversational AI helps them out of what seems to be an endless cycle of button pressing and voice prompts to connect them immediately with a virtual agent.
Conversational AI utilizes Natural Language Processing (NLP) that can recognize and respond intelligently to human speech. It better understands customer intent and utilizes machine learning (ML) technology to generate an intelligent response. ML is a powerful tool. It uses algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and then apply that learning to provide relevant answers.
Every voice conversation makes the technology more sophisticated and better at answering customer questions. Customers receive fast, accurate responses, reduced misrouting, and reduced wait times. Plus, customers don’t get annoyed by having to repeat themselves.
Why implement Conversational IVR?
Conversational IVR breaks the mold of the traditional contact center, which focuses on efficiency at the expense of customer service. Adding AI creates a more ideal experience for the business and the customer, creating further efficiency while providing the personalized experience customers now demand.
Increase operational efficiency and productivity
An AI-powered Conversational IVR does more than talk with customers. It can verify new accounts, take payment information, provide technical support, automate routine tasks with human assistance, and more. This means a lighter load and less stress for your agents, resulting in less worker attrition, as well as requiring fewer workers in your call center.
Higher first-call resolution
Virtual agents can service customers immediately and quickly, resolving their problems without ever having to go to a live agent. It helps increase containment rates (The percentage of customer calls that are successfully handled by an IVR system without the need for human intervention). This means fewer live agents are required, and they can focus on more complex customer issues.
When human intervention is required, intelligent routing means customers are matched to agents quickly, reducing wait times. Because the customer interacts with the agent best equipped to solve their problem, you are more likely to resolve the issue during the first call.
Get the deep customer insights you need
Why do customers contact you? What are their top drivers? An AI-assisted IVR captures customer data and intents so that our “team behind the scenes” can analyze thats customer input to decipher why customers contact you. That’s why it’s so important to work with a provider who can view this data and use their years of experience to optimize it with your goals in mind. Specific insights can shape products, services, and content in response to customers’ needs and interests.
With voice-driven AI, you get more for less. The more time a customer spends on the phone, the more money it costs your company. By having a virtual agent handle the inquiry, the customer may never have to be routed to a live agent. If the inquiry is too complex for the virtual agent, then it would be routed to the right agent, ready with all the necessary details. Improved routing, along with the basic and context information gathered by your IVR, helps agents better resolve calls routed to them. Realize substantial savings through deflecting calls to self-service channels such as a knowledge base. Handle peak-hour traffic more efficiently. And offer after-hours support with a much smaller team. One study found that using AI can result in 20% to 30% cost savings.
Prioritize customer calls
Have a big-ticket customer? Skill-based routing lets you program your IVR to route calls to the most qualified agents. If there is no available agent, that call will be placed first in the queue to ensure that an important customer doesn’t have a long wait time.
Convert more leads
Your IVR can score and pre-qualify callers based on intent and customer history, routing qualified prospects to your sales team for quicker conversion.
Enhance the customer experience
Since AI IVR can better understand customer queries, it can offer accurate, relevant, and personalized information. Unlike the IVR of old, a modern IVR system provides a more natural experience, leading customers to believe they are being heard as individualsan individual rather than receiving canned generic responses. In addition to improved call routing, you’ll enable speedier self-service options, which can improve your customer satisfaction score by 10% or more.
Improve agent productivity and morale
Routing simple and common questions to a knowledge base or a virtual agent means a reduced caseload for your agent, which frees them to focus on more complex cases. This makes them feel more productive, less bored, and more valued, reducing churn.
Meet targets more effectively by reducing call abandonment rates and time spent while improving first-call resolution, call completion rate, and customer satisfaction scores.
An AI IVR can empower contact center managers to build a highly efficient customer-oriented contact center, but implementation can have its challenges like any other technology.
Tips for implementing AI IVR in your contact center
While implementing an AI-powered IVR can seem intimidating, it’s no different than any other IT project.
- Determine priorities and use cases. This might include customer questions and complaints, requests, product and inventory inquiries, order and return tracking, automated surveys, account information, compliance and fraud detection, and work order automation. We actually do all that work for you. So you know what opportunities you have to build and properly design conversations for your virtual agents.
- Collaborate. Contact centers deal with information for every business unit with varying priorities and business requirements. You can’t work in a silo – your contact center is not the only business unit that can benefit from Conversational AI. Collaborate with teams throughout the organization, including compliance, product, and marketing, to ensure you’re gathering the information they need to improve their performance
- Choose the right vendor. You want a best-in-class toolset from a vendor with that has decades of experience in the evolution of AI technology and offers a complete omnichannel solution in addition to AI IVR. Your vendor partner has to work collaboratively to deliver a great ROI.
AI IVR improves the customer experience from the first point of contact, collects valuable data, automates routine tasks, improves efficiency, and optimizes operations. AI has the power to transform your contact center. The future is now.
Don’t get left behind. Move forward with SmartAction
SmartAction offers the only omnichannel Conversational AI on the market. As your partner, we help you implement Conversational IVR that’s finely tuned to manage high call volume, leaving your agents to offer white glove treatment for more complex issues.
We are the number one rated virtual customer assistant platform, providing Conversational AI solutions at a third of the cost of a live agent, with a 30% increase in customer satisfaction scores. It’s time to crush the competition and reap the rewards of Conversational AI. It’s the future, today. Request a demo now.