What is an AI Call Center and how do you use one?
Most large businesses have a call center also called contact center where they handle incoming customer queries; it’s a practical necessity, but oftentimes an expensive and inefficient one. You can make your customer support and call center operations better by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
But how does this work? And what are the benefits of a call center with AI?
How AI Is Used in a Call Center
Let’s start by taking a look at how AI is typically used in a call center.
- Predictive call routing. Some types of artificial intelligence are designed for predictive call routing, directing customers to the right department or the right person. Based on their responses to a series of prompts, the AI can judge the customer’s current problem, current needs, and even their current disposition. In a minute or two, the AI can then successfully route the person to wherever they need to go.
- Interactive voice response (IVR). You’ve likely experienced an interactive voice response (IVR) on the phone in some capacity. This is an AI-powered function designed to collect information consistently and efficiently. The voice will likely prompt you to provide certain details about yourself and your situation, such as your name, account number, and a brief description of your problem. These details can be used analytically, but more immediately, they’re going to be forwarded to a customer service agent in case you need further assistance.
- Chatbots and conversational AI. Modern AI is so sophisticated that it can have genuine, full conversations with people. Many modern call centers have taken advantage of this, using AI as a full human substitute. Chatbots aren’t capable of matching humans in terms of linguistic sophistication or problem-solving, but they’re getting closer every day.
- Recommendations and guidance. Certain call centers may be able to use AI and machine learning to provide recommendations and guidance to people calling in. If you have a specific problem, or if you have a question about a product, the AI may be able to walk you through troubleshooting steps or guide you to more resources to answer your questions.
- Emotional intelligence (EQ) patterns. Emotional intelligence is usually a topic reserved for human interaction, but it’s beginning to become more relevant for AI-powered chatbots. Certain chatbots can now detect when a person is experiencing heightened emotional conditions, using a collection of many different variables like speech recognition and cultural context to determine when a person is feeling irritated or upset. For example, long pauses, raising the voice, or using foul language may be an indication that someone is growing frustrated – and an indication that they need to be transferred to someone else.
- Supplementary help for human agents. AI enables us to also provide supplementary help for human agents. Even with a mostly automated call center, it’s important to have at least a few human agents on standby; the jobs of these people are much easier with the help of information gathering and support tools.
- Analytics. AI does a great job of gathering and recording information. Diving deep into these findings can help you better understand your customers, better analyze your customer service strategy, and eventually improve the customer experiences.
The Benefits of Call Center Automation with AI
What are the benefits of incorporating this technology into your call center?
- Cost savings. One of the most common motivations for utilizing the power of AI is cost savings. If you can use a single chatbot instead of hiring three new call center agents, you’ll immediately save money on the salary of three people. Over time, almost any sufficiently adept AI system will pay for itself.
- Faster responses. Most call centers run by humans only operate at certain hours and during certain days. But AI chatbots never need to sleep or take time off. These chatbots are always available, providing immediate responses to any customer with a question or concern. Faster, more immediate responses lead to more satisfying customer interactions.
- Faster resolutions. Because AI call center tools work quickly and consistently, they tend to produce faster resolutions. People get answers to their questions and solutions to their problems in a matter of minutes in most cases. Again, this increases customer satisfaction.
- Consistent service provision. Human beings have good days and bad days. They sometimes struggle to remember their training. They often struggle to remain on the script. AI tools, by contrast, are much more consistent with their service provision.
- Higher employee morale. Customer service burnout is a serious issue since customer service is a highly demanding job. When your call center agents have more tools available to help them, and when they face less pressure from incoming customer calls, they have much higher morale. This, in turn, leads to higher productivity and higher retention.
- Greater insights. Any call center director or customer service expert can tell you that the more you know about your customers, the better the service you can provide to them. Analytics and new insights are indispensable in this field – and AI helps you gain them.
How to Set Up an AI Call Center
Follow these tips if you want to set up an AI call center properly.
- Choose the right tools. Not all AI call center solutions are created equally. Shop around and find the best fit for your organization.
- Set up workflows. Document and streamline your customer workflows before incorporating new AI agents.
- Set up your knowledge base. An AI system is only as good as the knowledge/information it’s provided. Make sure your knowledge base is simple, intuitive, and thorough.
- Train the AI. Give the AI as much information and training time as possible to refine its abilities.
- Keep human agents on standby. Even the best AI call center tools are eventually going to need backup. Keep your best human agents on standby – especially during your initial rollout.
Setting up an AI call center is easier than ever before, thanks to tools like Aisera. With Aisera’s AI call center software, you’ll have all the resources and tools you need to (almost) completely automate your call center. Want to see how? Request a demo today!