Today’s modern contact center provides critical touchpoints for a variety of customer communications. Whether it’s phone calls, texts, webchats, email, or social media channels, contact centers have evolved beyond just customer service and technical support – today, they are a powerful sales channel as well.
As an integral component of an organization’s customer and sales strategy, agents must perform seamlessly with customers and internal stakeholders alike. However, contact centers are rife with challenges, including complex workflows, agent attrition, and the endless prioritization of customer needs.
But with challenges comes opportunity. This post provides an overview of how organizations can leverage AI and automation to better assist agents and tackle today’s most common contact center challenges.
Streamline complex customer interactions
With customer communication channels expanding well beyond simple phone calls, contact center operations have become increasingly complex, creating a number of potential problems for agents. Consider the findings of a recent survey of over 1,000 contact center agents in the US and UK:
- 52 percent of contact center staff believe their company isn’t doing enough to prevent burnout amongst their teams.
- 56 percent of agents report dealing with complex issues is the most challenging part of their role.
- 60 percent of agents agree their company doesn’t always provide the technologies needed to serve customers.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is currently one of the fastest-growing enterprise solutions and is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years. RPA automates routine, repetitive, and operational tasks, freeing up agents to focus their attention on more value-added customer interactions that require human-to-human intelligence and decision making.
As mentioned above, most organizations initially deploy RPA solutions to address “low hanging fruit” or repetitive tasks, but there’s also an opportunity to use RPA to streamline complex customer interactions. Triggering specific workflows, automatically populating CRM data, or surfacing training material based on customer phrasing, tone, or objectives, helps keep the agent focused on customer needs and drastically improves customer and employee experience.
Turn insights into action
Previously, analyzing customer interactions was very much a one-to-one affair, with supervisors listening to calls and facilitating after-action debriefs with agents. Although valuable, this approach isn’t scalable and didn’t necessarily translate to agent success.
Modern solutions provide advanced insights, monitoring, and scoring on all customer interactions, but tools that offer real-time agent assistance are the key to bridging the gap between insights and action. AI solutions like Cresta “listen” to previous customer conversations and indexes internal training material, then provide real-time alerts and suggestions so agents have access to critical and up-to-date information when they need it. This not only puts insights into action but provides leaders with an accurate and scalable support mechanism to improve agent performance over time.
Leverage existing CRM and CDP systems
Utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platforms (CDP) provides better visibility into customer journeys. It also enables agents to better anticipate customer needs and deliver personalized experiences.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies refocused their efforts from customer acquisition to retention. As 2021 plays out, organizations will need to use AI-based solutions to connect disparate systems and empower agents with customer insights if they’re to achieve their customer retention goals.
Eliminate tedious redundancies
Nothing pummels agent morale more than routine and repetitive busy work. Managers should seek to mitigate the most redundant, time-consuming, and costly manual front- and back-end tasks with RPA and Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) solutions. But leaders can also take this one step further.
Cresta provides real-time guidance to agents by identifying customer issues and surfacing solutions that have worked for top-performing agents in the past. This not only saves agents time and energy but shortens resolution time for calls and chats.
Customer contact centers have the potential to become sustainable competitive advantages in an ever-crowded, competitive marketplace. Integrating smart solutions like Cresta’s real-time expertise AI allows contact center agents to focus on their highest, most valuable priorities, and empower them to maximize each and every customer interaction in real-time.
Learn more with a personalized demo today.