Life is pretty chaotic at an outdated call center, employing old approaches and tech. Customers get stuck in the queue for centuries. They listen to the same boring track on the IVR system intertwined with promotional messages and the promise that “Your call is important to us.” Agents deal with the same mind-numbing requests, and after a short stint, flee the company for greener pastures. The stress is crippling and runs wild.
A normal day at a call center with automation is infinite times less stressful. Self-service options and automated interaction solutions like AI conversational apps quickly resolve less-challenging Tier 0 and Tier 1 requests. Human agents apply their knowledge, skills, and empathy to resolve the remaining challenging requests. They retool and reskill to help out the company in other areas — boosting their job security.
Our focus today is on call center automation with automated virtual agents and how you can start leveraging the technology for your organization:
What Is an Automated Calling Service?
Automated calling service is a broad term used to describe the use of computer technology in customer service to carry out tasks routinely performed by human support agents.
A popular application is the use of workflow call center automation software to help with call logging, automatic routing, calling back, call queuing, or call recording & transcription.
Another application is Integrated Voice Response (IVR) systems. They intercept customer calls and provide information with pre-recorded messages. While the tech sounds practical and useful, people hate the inflexible nature of IVRs: listening to irrelevant menu options, being kept away from live agents, long menus, not having their issue listed, etc.
The new generation of call center automation solutions overcome the limitations of IVRs by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver human-like experiences that promote better customer satisfaction. In the end, users have their issues resolved quickly and accurately in a way that makes them feel understood. H2: How Does an Automated Calling Service Work? Automated virtual agents are robotic process automation call center solutions. That means that they emulate the actions performed by live human agents. So, the service works pretty much the same way a normal call center works. The customer picks up the phone and dials your support number — and the conversational AI support agent picks up the phone with no delays.
Intelligent virtual support agents may also initiate the call in applications such as order confirmation.
The conversation generally sounds life-like, and without prior notification that the customer is speaking to an AI, they may not be able to tell the difference. While some chatbots follow pre-programmed responses and logic trees, conversations with virtual agents may branch out in several directions, as the conversational designer can program various digressions.
A conversation may even begin with “How can I help you today,” unlike an IVR that will play a menu of help options. Giving the intelligent virtual agent access to the CRM, sales order systems, and marketing tools may allow for a highly-personalized experience. Businesses can even automate Tier 1 support requests, and in some applications, more advanced Tier 2 tasks.
Incorporating machine learning can even allow the AI to get smarter at resolving user queries, gradually improving the experience. AI can also have the option to route the call to a live support agent as it may be impossible to program all support scenarios.
Are Automated Calling Services Worth the Cost?
The drive towards automation in customer service is being driven by the goals of increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Automated calling services and other call center automation trends such as chatbots and active listening further these core goals. For instance, an automated virtual agent can work 24/7, 365 days a year without a sick day. It’s quite inexpensive to develop an intelligent agent, and with solutions such as Dasha, even persons without coding experience can program a conversational AI app. Other business benefits of automated calling services include:
They Enhance Your Agents’ Jobs
Call center automation solutions can help combat the high industry turnover seen in the customer service industry of as much as 30 to 45 percent. Many things are to blame. MyWorkChoice attributes the attrition rate to low pay and employees feeling ill-equipped for the job. Other sources point to customer service burnout, resulting from agents burdened with a huge volume of requests, many of which may be mundane and easily automatable. All these problems may be addressed by leveraging call center automation with AI conversational apps.
Business Benefits from an Optimized Call Center
Businesses have more to gain from an optimized call center. With the ability to operate 24/7, the business will not miss revenue or sales opportunities. Your customer support spending may reduce as AI promotes greater resource utilization. For instance, the call center can scale to handle customers from multiple geographic locations without the need to hire more support agents.
Automation of a call center can improve all lagging customer service KPIs. Handle times may be considerably reduced as the conversational AI app may perform certain actions instantaneously, such as retrieving the customer’s billing address or account status.
The evolution of NLP now means that automated agents can better understand human speech, which is useful in applications such as capturing account numbers with greater accuracy while making no mistakes.
How to Optimize Call Center with the Help of Automated Virtual Agents
Implementing call automation at a call center is not overly complicated. And it doesn’t necessarily mean firing all employees or introducing the system abruptly to the detriment of customers. It’s a gradual process that begins with analyzing requests and processes that can be automated without an impact on the customer experience.
Consider everyday requests that don’t need any human creativity or ingenuity to solve, such as service upgrades & downgrades, account inquiries, or informational requests.
Everyone should be on board, and gradual implementation is key. You may test automated call center solutions with a few customers and employees whilst collecting feedback and improving.
It may be necessary to offer training, ease fears, and explain how the new technology will improve the workplace.
Building the AI support agent
You’ll need to create your automated call center agent, and choosing a platform for your developers will be key.
Dasha is a conversational AI-as-a-service platform that provides an easier and faster way to build conversational apps for all applications. Developers use DashaScript to design complex conversational workflows with the ability to add digressions for more realistic conversations.
While the platform is developer-oriented, anyone can build conversational apps. See it for yourself in the newly-launched test Playground.