Today, Call center services mostly rely on telephones to conduct 2-way communications. This has worked well till now but with the changing times, it’s getting hard for customer care representatives to meet up with the ever-growing expectations of customers. The reasons being:
I. Customers don’t want to provide their personal details every time they talk to a service rep esp. if they are existing customers with long buying history.
II. Telephonic conversations don’t convey the body language to the agents which is quite essential in speculating the mood of the customer esp. ones with complaints.
III. Unable to access past customer records on time, leaves agents to come up with a solution based on their own judgement which sometimes can be inaccurate.
And how the traditional call center agents are coping with these situations? Well, there are certain alternatives which are being used to solve the issues, but they seem to be pretty much disappointing in themselves.
And I must assure you, it is not for the lack of technology (we have plenty of those), our agents are failing in satisfying customers but the regular update of existing technology and lack of ‘change with the time’ mentality. Our traditional technology allows service reps to record and store customer data but unable to access it when the need arises which sometimes leads to frustration on one end and dissatisfaction on other.
But don’t worry, not all is lost. There is still hope left for this sector and this time, this hope has come in the form of-
AI or Artificial Intelligence which, in simple words, is the intelligence displayed by machines. By machines, I mean devices with the capability to perceive its surrounding environment and take appropriate action toward some goal.
This term may appear new, but believe me, you have already encountered AI in one form or another, not sure how? Remember Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri? Yes, those chatbots you are so fond of talking to, they work on AI and that’s just the beginning.
Almost every sector today is incorporating AI to provide its customers with a unique experience be it ordering pizza, suggestions on makeup kit or even serving as a personal assistant.
The above examples show just a tiny image of how Artificial Intelligence is making its stronghold in customer service and benefitting the call centers in India and elsewhere. Let’s find out more how AI is reshaping the current customer relationship management.
1) AI becomes smarter by exposure and can lower customer abandonment rate in the purchasing cycle by analysing behavioural patterns and predicting any issues long before the customer experiences it
2) Traditional call centers are operated by humans and humans have certain limitations which machines simply don’t. AI empowered devices can offer round-the-clock service to its customers without fatigue, irritation or any other emotions displayed by humans.
3) AI can personalize the whole experience for the customers in ways no human can do by processing and analysing thousands of gigabytes of data input by customers earlier to provide product recommendations, to redesigning the webpage to meet the customers taste and that too in real time.
4) Cost-effectiveness is another one of big benefits of AI since purchasing necessary equipment and installing software is one-time investment compared to maintaining regular employees on weekly or monthly payrolls.
5) Let’s face it, humans esp. millennials avoid interactions involving other humans and prefer bots instead, for the simple reason that bots don’t judge people. Gartner also supports this theory by claiming that by 2020, 85% of all customer service interactions will be empowered by chatbots.
6) While interacting with a machine empowered by AI, customers can be guaranteed quality service as unlike humans, machines don’t argue with a customer or display emotions uncalled for, they don’t even turn up late to work with a hangover.
7) In 2016 alone, active members on Facebook messenger rose to 1.9 billion worldwide, similar is the case with other social media platforms. It is no wonder companies nowadays are investing more on messaging apps based on AI to interact with customers than on traditional call centers.
8) Another main reason why AI should be incorporated in call centers is because of its ability to process data in comparatively much less time and thus drastically reducing the response time (because we all hate waiting).
9) Have you considered how much time and money goes in hiring and training call center staff along with keeping them update on a regular basis? With AI-empowered machines, you only have to train them once (installing applications) and they can take care of everything leaving you with a peaceful mind.
In the upcoming years, the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our lives will be huge. Bots like Siri and Alexa will only become more and more sophisticated and our experience more and more unique. AI is not here to replace humans but to assist them by keeping simple tasks for themselves and letting humans handle the more complex ones.