Customer service is not a job for the faint of heart. Reps often deal with customers who are stressed, frustrated, and generally not the nicest versions of themselves. Still, the job requires reps to be good-natured and helpful, and having the right tools in place to keep them efficient and well-informed can help agents give the best customer service possible.
That's just one advantage of artificial intelligence (AI). By using artificial intelligence in the workplace, customer service reps get the information and productivity tools they need to provide a better customer experience and, just as importantly, to have a better work experience.
Businesses have spent the past decade investing in technology and strategies to enhance the customer experience, but companies are increasingly placing greater emphasis on the employee experience as well. After all, unhappy employees can quickly lead to both unhappy customers and costly attrition.
The last thing business leaders want is to keep replacing staff due to excessive workloads and poor employee morale. One solution for how to improve employee engagement: A cloud contact center with AI capabilities.
5 Benefits of Having Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace
The benefits of AI on the employee experience are numerous. The technology provides call center employees with:
1. Easy Access to Information
In their personal lives, customer service reps have access to the latest devices and sophisticated apps with intuitive interfaces. They can find answers to nearly any question with a simple Google search or a quick chat with Siri, and they want the same functionality at work — not outdated technology, sluggish apps, and disconnected legacy systems that require toggling back and forth to answer customer questions.
With a cloud contact center that leverages a sophisticated unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solution, customer service agents can get all the information they need in one place. Better yet, AI algorithms can learn to put all that information into context, providing reps with even more relevant insights into products, services, and individual customers and ultimately increasing the efficiency of the call.
2. Improved Call Routing
When customers have to repeat their inquiries to four different people before finding a customer service agent who can help, they tend to get angry or annoyed.
Voicebot APIs (and their AI-powered chatbot counterparts) can help minimize customer and employee frustration by ensuring customer service reps only get callers they're equipped to help. Rather than sending customers through seemingly endless menus of departments and options, the voicebot asks a few questions to determine what the customer needs. It can then handle simple inquiries itself or use skills-based routing APIs to pass the caller along to the best-suited human rep.
3. Real-time Analysis
Some questions are harder to answer than others, and these often require a specialist. But even a specialist can have difficulty discerning a customer's needs or emotions, and misunderstandings can lead to ineffective, time-consuming calls.
An AI integration with real-time sentiment analysis can help improve customer engagement and internal collaboration through speech analytics. The AI listens in, transcribes the call, and analyzes the customer's tone of voice and frequently used words. Leverage patterns and data that are otherwise indiscernible to create predictive models for complex human behavior.
By integrating AI into the contact center, companies can increase efficiency, streamline customer engagement, and improve employee experience, creating a more effective channel of communication that streamlines procedures.
4. Better Training
Most customer service reps want career development and opportunities for advancement. At the very least, they want to be good enough at their jobs to avoid getting fired (or getting yelled at by customers).
AI integrations like sentiment analysis use dynamic speech analytics to evaluate and better understand interactions between staff and customers — what went right and what went wrong. Leaders can use that information to better train staff, individually or as a group, creating best practices that help reps get better results. This can lead to making reps better able to handle difficult situations in the future and increasing both their confidence and job satisfaction.
5. Greater Mobility and Flexibility
One benefit of a contact center powered by cloud is that it can be virtual. Reps don't have to be in the same building or even the same state. They can access the UCaaS — and its AI-based features — from any location and any internet-connected device.
That means businesses can hire remote workers or just let responsible employees occasionally work from home. Considering flexibility is almost as important as salary to many employees and job-seekers, it can make a big difference in both hiring and retention.
By integrating AI into the contact center, companies can increase efficiency, streamline customer engagement, and improve employee experience, creating a more effective channel of communication that streamlines procedures — and making everyone happier in the process.