Integrated automation: How AI is reshaping customer interactions in contact centres

Howard Williams, Commercial Director of Parker Software explains how customer service teams can enjoy efficient, consistent customer service while maintaining the human touch, by embracing AI…

Artificial Intelligence and automation will continue to develop across the contact centre industry and it will be crucial in shaping customer engagement strategies. However, AI tools should not be viewed as a replacement for humans in a contact centre environment. AI should be viewed as another valuable team member- one that is available 24/7, multilingual and designed to support its human counterparts.

Whether it is paying for products, arranging a delivery or getting a response to a query- consumers expect fast and effective customer service as standard. Every second that a customer has to wait for a response from a support team is another second closer to switching to a faster competitor.

Human customer service representatives can only cope with so many enquires at any one time- this is where automation comes in. Automation tools lessen the pressure on contact centres and gives support staff times to focus on relationship-building with customers. Tasks such as writing emails or creating tickets can be taken care of through the use of automation, freeing-up time for support staff to troubleshoot issues for customers and find solutions that benefit them in the long run.

Integration automation 24/7

Contact centre teams that use automated customer service tools can empower themselves by integrating automation tools into their workflows. Automated tools can simplify or complete tasks, saving time and improving customer service. Automated customer service software runs 24/7, completing time-consuming, yet critical operations in a timely fashion. 24/7 automation means that contact centre support staff are not required to work late into the night or spend time on tedious tasks such as data entry.

Automation can handle the heaviest of data processing needs- with no limits placed on how many messages you need to process per day. Automation is designed to retrieve contact centre data, process that data, and respond to it based on your workflow rules. Inbound customer messages and changes in monitored systems can be completed using automation. These tools can be integrated across your contact centre stack to parse, process and push new data. Triggers then kick into motions to send relevant responses or perform the right follow-up action.

Contact centres can use automated tools to issue SMS comms, send triggered outbound SMS and emails to customers and staff, extract text from images or scanned documentation, track, collate, and act on customer feedback, sync your IT systems and share data internally as well as sending, receiving and storing messages in 40+ languages with auto-translation. Automation can also calculate sentiment analysis scores from mailboxes, field complaints and tickets, make outbound telephone calls and bridge triggered connect calls.

Reshaping customer interactions

Contact centres are considered the frontline of customer service for many businesses. Automation technology, such as chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI), can manage incoming service requests during the company’s off-hours ensuring that consistent customer service is maintained. Contact centres are increasingly employing ChatGPT to enhance their operations. By incorporating ChatGPT into their operations, contact centres are re-shaping how their business handles customer interactions.

  • Enhanced efficiency: Automations tools such as ChatGPT, can handle multiple customer queries simultaneously, drastically reducing waiting times and improving customer satisfaction. This is particularly beneficial during peak times when contact centres might be overwhelmed with customer enquiries.
  • 24/7 availability, 365 days of the year: Many organisations might not be able to fully staff their contact centres 24/7. Automation can provide round-the-clock customer support, ensuring that no customer query goes unanswered, regardless of the time zone or the hour.
  • Cost-Effective: Implementing automation tools like ChatGPT in contact centres cuts down on manual, time-consuming tasks. This allows team members to focus on delivering exceptional customer service while reducing operational costs. This also allows contact centres to free-up their human workforce for escalation or other calls that need additional attention. The AI model doesn’t require salaries, benefits, or physical workspace, making it a cost-effective, consumer-centric solution for contact centres.
  • Consistency: ChatGPT helps ensure that every customer gets the same level of service with consistent responses. This eliminates the risk of human error or inconsistencies that can occur with human team members.
  • Personalised Interactions: Despite being AI, tools such as ChatGPT can personalise interactions based on the data it is given to create a satisfying customer experience.

Using AI as a tool, not a replacement

AI tools should not be viewed as a replacement for humans in a contact centre environment. AI should be viewed as another valuable team member- one that is available 24/7, multilingual and designed to support its human counterparts.

AI solutions are incredibly effective at automating a contact centre’s most frequently asked questions, achieving high automation rates across all channels. Similarly, collecting customer feedback can be a time-consuming and clunky task. Customer service automation can be used to collate feedback, recognise trends and identify the pain points that customers are bringing up the most.

The main goal of any contact centre customer service team is to put the customer first. Many customer service teams are concerned that the use of AI will mean losing the ability to create human connections with customers. However, by embracing AI customer service teams can enjoy the best of both worlds- efficient, consistent customer service while maintaining the human touch.

AI allows customer service teams to stay focused by removing repetitive tasks and placing customer feedback front and centre. AI frees-up time for customer service teams to handle urgent cases, highlighting just how satisfied customers are at every single stage. AI solutions, like ChatGPT, can greatly enhance customer experience whilst also boosting customer service teams’ experiences as well, giving them time to build and maintain strong customer relationships.

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