Some of the most innovative AI tools such as chatbots can revolutionise your contact centre, but where do you start? Stay focused, educate agents and make technology the strategic enabler. Thomas Rødseth at Puzzel shares his 3-point plan for kickstarting your own AI revolution…
When used effectively, Artificial Intelligence (AI) through tools such as Chatbots and Agent Assistants have the power to completely transform your brand’s customer experience (CX). However, there’s a wealth of often confusing information available on the new technology, which could be proving to be a barrier to using these resources to put an effective strategy in place. Recent research conducted by Microsoft reveals that over half of business leaders (51%) in the UK say their organisation does not have any kind of AI strategy in place.[i] Meanwhile, Gartner warns that any customer-facing brand that is not already making moves to deploy a conversational AI platform “runs the risk of being left behind by the competition.”[ii]
In Puzzel’s own experience, innovative AI tools such as chatbots are already carving out a great opportunity for contact centres to boost agent productivity and increase customer satisfaction in one go. So, just how do you cut through the noise and make AI a key part of your contact centre? A pragmatic approach is vital – here’s our 3-point plan to help get you started:
3 steps to AI success
Start with your customer – Whether you’re looking to cut wait times, lower support costs or simply provide a better customer experience, it’s important to identify clear goals and build your strategy based on your customer requirements. Ask yourself: What is AI’s role in this business? Define where AI should sit, and at what point in the customer journey should an enquiry be directed to a human customer service agent?
Start small and think about focusing on some of the pain points which have a high impact on the customer, but pose a low risk, to achieve several quick wins. Most importantly, don’t press the button too soon – test before you go live. How can you test effectively? Pretend to be a customer yourself and try out your own AI experience. Conversations should be totally seamless even when there is a hand-over between virtual and live agents. If you don’t notice any obvious transition, you’ve done your job properly!
Educate and empower your agents – help them to understand the benefits of AI to simplify everyday tasks and interactions. Use AI tools, such as Puzzel’s own Agent Assist, as virtual personal assistants for agents. AI solutions can sift through unlimited amounts of information so that agents don’t have to, freeing up their time to concentrate their efforts on the customer. Agents are able to access intelligence to respond to agent enquiries and support staff in real-time, enabling agents to improve the customer experience and increase their own job satisfaction.
Make machine learning the strategic enabler – the more virtual assistants and chatbots are used, the better they get. The latest application of chatbots, for example, maximises AI learning from the contact centre and other parts of the business to provide agents with the real-time knowledge they need, along with suggested solutions, to solve customer queries swiftly and efficiently. Media archives made up of transcribed voice conversations and previous Chat interactions are a perfect place to begin creating your own living library of machine learning.
Make AI an intrinsic part of your CX strategy. Done well, AI bridges the digital and human worlds by ensuring live agents have all the information they need, at the time of hand-over, to deliver a complete and satisfying customer interaction. AI offers practically unlimited capabilities by assessing customer conversations to improve service levels. For example, by anticipating customer needs and introducing products based on previous purchase history.
Now is the time to act. Learn from others, involve the right partners, set clear goals, stay focused, educate agents and choose technology that is easy to use, flexible, future-proof and best meets the needs of your business.
To find out how your organisation can successfully automate customer relationships, download Puzzel’s latest white paper entitled “5 Essential Steps to Enhancing Interactions with AI” at www.puzzel.com
Thomas Rødseth is Chief Technical Officer of Puzzel
Puzzel is a leading cloud-based contact center software provider and was a pioneer in offering integrated customer engagement as an easily-deployed service. Today, the company combines omni-channel technology with artificial intelligence capabilities to provide comprehensive, end-to-end customer interaction solutions in an age of digitization. Puzzel was recognized as a Challenger in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Contact Center as a Service in Western Europe for the fifth consecutive year, reflecting its rapid growth, functional breadth, standards compliance, and commitment to customer service and support. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices in six European markets including the U.K., Puzzel serves more than 900 customers across 40 countries.
For more information, please visit www.puzzel.com
[i] Microsoft – ‘Maximising the AI Opportunity’ report published in October 2018
[ii] Gartner Inc – ‘Market Guide for Virtual Customer Assistants” published on 11th July 2019