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AI Is Here and It’s Rewriting the Way Call Centres Work

AI Is Here and It’s Rewriting the Way Call Centres Work

Learn about the six ways AI can be used in call centres to optimise employee efficiency and drive customer satisfaction.

These days, AI seems to be everywhere and in everything — from our cars and refrigerators, to our food delivery services, sleep measurement apps, even our toothbrushes. It’s been called the holy grail of computing. But what exactly is AI?

Put simply, it’s a piece of code which derives its intelligence from existing data to solve problems and make complex decisions easier and faster. That makes it extremely useful in automating repetitive business tasks, uncovering opportunities for growth, engaging with customers at scale, and saving costs.

These benefits are very evident in the call centre scenario.

Make every service experience memorable with AI

Gone are the days when customer support was perceived as a cost centre. Today, business leaders recognise good customer service as a way to differentiate their organisation, boost customer trust, and catalyse business growth. In fact, 78% of service agents say their company views them as brand ambassadors.

But to live up to these expectations, agents have to be empowered with the right tools. This is especially true in a COVID-19 world where the majority of service professionals (75%) say that managing case volume has become more challenging. Not only are they dealing with a rise in cases, but they’re also facing more complex cases with anxious customers who are harder to satisfy.

Here’s where AI-powered tools can help. They enable agents to be more productive, find answers quickly, deliver smarter recommendations, and make better-informed decisions. AI chatbots can also help customers self-resolve issues faster.

6 ways AI can add value to your service organisation

Here’s a look at how AI tools like Service Cloud Einstein can be used in call centres to optimise both employee efficiency and customer satisfaction:

  • Auto-triaging cases: As case volumes go up, AI can help your call centres do more with less by quickly triaging and routing cases. For instance, Einstein Case Classification automatically predicts and pre-fills case fields based on historical data. This saves agents valuable time and effort. Meanwhile, Einstein Case Routing uses machine learning to direct cases to the right queue in real time — so, customers don’t have to be kept waiting.
  • Recommending responses: Einstein Article Recommendations helps your agents find the right answers to customer cases quickly by surfacing the most relevant knowledge articles within the agent console itself. Einstein Reply Recommendations goes a step further by empowering agents with responses to common questions during chat and messaging conversations. This lowers case resolution time, while enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Enabling customers to self-serve: Most customers (65%) prefer self-service for simple matters. So, it’s no surprise that AI-powered chatbots like Einstein Bots are becoming increasingly popular. They can immediately engage with customers to answer common FAQs, check the status of a claim, or provide personalised advice.
  • Using voice as digital medium: A solution like Service Cloud Voice can help transcribe the customer’s voice in real time, and route it to the AI engine in Salesforce to suggest the next best actions instantly. Let’s say a customer is on a live call with an agent, saying they’re unable to change the temperature on a recently purchased geyser. Based on their inputs, AI can automatically surface a trouble-shooting workflow. This makes it easy for the agent to choose the best course of action, and reduce the turnaround time.
  • Cross-selling and up-selling: Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to build trust and loyalty. The challenge for agents is to know what to offer customers at what time. AI-powered tools like Einstein Next Best Action can help by automatically recommending products, offers, discounts, or actions that are most likely to boost customer satisfaction. Say, the customer has purchased a travel package. The next best action might be to offer them a good travel insurance plan, or connect them to a local transport service partner. This way, you maximise the impact of your customer interaction.
  • Uncovering actionable insights: Not too long ago, businesses could only analyse a fraction of customer calls — that too, manually. But with AI tools like Service Analytics, you can analyse customer interactions at scale, and derive practical insights on customer churn, CSAT scores, and contact centre performance. These insights delivered in real time can help you proactively adjust and optimise service to deliver the best possible customer experiences.

4 things to think about before adopting AI

4 things to think about before adopting AI

Everyone wants a piece of the AI pie. But first, identify what exactly you want AI to do in your call centre. Then, determine whether or not the solution you select actually has those capabilities. If you aren’t clear about your objectives, then your agents will only end up with one more tool that isn’t really useful.

Some things to consider before you embark on your AI journey:

  • Data quality: AI models are only as good as the quality of data on which they’re built. So, pay attention to the completeness, accuracy, bias, consistency, and labelling of your data.
  • Employee learning curve: Ensure that your AI-enabled tools are intuitive, easy to use, and seamlessly embedded in your CRM. If employees have to struggle to use AI, then it won’t matter how powerful the tool is — it won’t yield optimal returns.
  • Out-of-the-box technology: Look for AI tools that are already robust, comprehensive, and flexible enough that they don’t have to be customised heavily. Too many customisations could result in costly technical debt.
  • Effort investment: You want an AI solution that can be rolled out swiftly and with minimal effort. Complex and lengthy implementation cycles will simply bog down the business.

Salesforce’s AI offering, Service Cloud Einstein is specially designed to meet these criteria. It can be implemented quickly with minimum customisation and rapid employee adoption. The best part is that Einstein is built right into Service Cloud, your service channels, and your CRM data — which makes it super-easy to roll-out and use. Agents don’t have to toggle between multiple tools when talking to customers. With all AI capabilities they need on a single screen, agents can coordinate service requests much more smoothly, and deliver connected service experiences that your customers love.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of AI’s potential. As the technology grows more sophisticated, it will undoubtedly unlock new opportunities to improve both customer and agent experiences, as well as revenue growth.

Find out more about our AI offering, Service Cloud Einstein.

This post was originally published on the Salesforce IN blog.

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