6 ways to increase contact center productivity with AI and automation

Celia Cerdeira

By Celia Cerdeira

0 min read

A contact center agent analyzes productivity and performance data

Like a smart security system that automatically locks the door at a certain hour of the day, an energy monitoring system that reduces energy consumption based on your previous usage history, or even smart plugs that allow you to control the microwave and the oven with the sound of your voice—what sounded like science fiction just a few years ago is now part of our lives. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are changing the way we live and simplifying our routine tasks, enabling us to pay attention to what really matters.

What does this mean for the contact center? Automating contact center tasks is about saving agents’ time and effort and allowing them to focus on the customer. With agents spending less time on routine tasks, they can provide customers with better service and create deep relationships that foster retention and loyalty.



Six tips to improve contact center productivity.

Below, you can find examples of how contact center automation increases agent productivity and enhances both the agent and the customer experience.



1. Provide contextual, relevant information to agents.

There is no bigger productivity-zapper than constantly having to search through multiple systems, calling in a manager, or asking a colleague to find an answer to a common question. To avoid this, companies can use an AI-powered knowledge base, combined with virtual agent assistants, to give agents contextual and relevant information that helps them solve customer queries quicker and easier.

For example, if a customer calls with a troubleshooting question, the agent can type the problem description in the knowledge base and instantly be directed to the product documentation. Also, if the knowledge base is on the company’s website and accessible to customers, agents can try to direct them during the call, so they’re able to search there first the next time they have a question, decreasing the number of calls.

Agent assist technology helps agents handle customers in real time by giving recommendations on what they should say during conversations with customers. It can analyze the context of the conversation, predict customer needs, and suggest appropriate responses, improving the quality of customer service.

Talkdesk Agent Assist can guide agents through complex processes and provide instant access to relevant information, reducing the time agents spend searching for answers. It automatically captures important interaction details and updates customer records. This allows agents to focus more on the customer and less on administrative tasks, resulting in more efficient and personalized customer service.



2. Automate repetitive, manual tasks.

Automating repetitive tasks frees agents to handle complex customer issues, significantly reduces errors,  and ensures that the information in your business tools is always up-to-date. Streamline contact center operations and enhance agent productivity and team performance with contact center software that offers automated tasks such as:

  • Call logging and recording after a call ends.
  • Updating customer information on CRM.
  • Proactively sending customer order update messages.

Automatic summary offers an accurate summary of each customer interaction, capturing the key points and outcomes. These summaries can then be quickly reviewed by agents, managers, or other team members, significantly reducing the time spent manually documenting interactions.

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3. Leverage self-service channels.

One of the best ways to improve contact center productivity is to divert callers to other channels. While some customers will still want to talk with a human agent, a majority of customers (especially younger generations) prefer to solve simple queries on their own. Calling customer support is often associated with long waiting times and call queues, and customers feel it will be easier and faster if they look for the answer themselves. Implementing self-service options (email, chat, SMS, or virtual agents) will decrease the call volume and increase agent productivity. Agents can interact with more than one customer simultaneously and respond to chats and emails during idle time, maximizing productivity.



4. Increase first contact resolution rate.

First contact resolution (FCR) means adequately addressing customer issues the first time they get in touch with customer service. FCR has a large impact on agent and team productivity as customers won’t call back about the same issue.

FCR is negatively influenced by the lack of access to customer information and systems data. This occurs when software isn’t integrated when agents don’t have access to the customer’s history (i.e., support tickets, items purchased, cases, and call logs), and when agents don’t have access to accurate information about the product/service). If this happens, agents are less likely to resolve the customer’s issue on the first contact and more likely to have to transfer the call or call back the customer.



5. Optimize workforce management and planning.

Call volume fluctuations impact contact center productivity. You can’t know with 100% accuracy how many calls the contact centers will receive at a given time of day, week, or month. But you can predict, based on historical data, market insights, and other available information, how many agents you will need to handle the expected volume of interactions.

Having the right number of agents for incoming queries is not only essential to meet customer expectations, but also to ensure agents remain engaged and happy. 

Workforce management tools help optimize staff scheduling, reducing the time spent assigning agents to shifts and making it easier for supervisors, managers, and team leaders to manage the daily workload on the contact center by ensuring that the right agents, with the right skills and training, are on available when you need them.

Talkdesk QM Assist is one tool that significantly contributes to improving contact center productivity. It uses machine learning algorithms to evaluate agent interactions helping supervisors identify areas for improvement and training needs. This can optimize operations and enhance agent performance.

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6. Route calls to the most appropriate agents/departments.

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems are automated business phone system features that gather callers’ information by giving them a few options in a menu and route the call to the most appropriate agent or department.

IVRs had a bad reputation for years, with customer frustration and service leaders admitting that some IVR systems hurt the customer experience. This was due to unclear phone menus and disconnected flows that would lead customers to be caught in a never-ending loop of options. However, the new generation of AI-powered virtual assistants brought a new life to the industry, allowing companies to implement new technologies such as voice assistants, and biometric authentication that enhance the customer experience while navigating the menu.

From the traditional “press one for sales” to more modern menu options (such as requesting a callback or getting a self-service update), IVR systems can now provide customers with a more pleasant experience,  positively impacting contact center performance metrics.



Increase contact center productivity with Talkdesk. 

From AI-powered agent assistance to automating repetitive tasks, efficient call routing, and leveraging self-service channels, these strategies can streamline and improve contact center operations. 

For organizations looking to implement these strategies effectively, Talkdesk offers a comprehensive solution. Cutting-edge tools such as Agent Assist, automatic summary, and QM Assist streamline operations, enhance agent performance, and ultimately deliver exceptional customer service. This allows businesses to achieve contact center productivity excellence, benefiting both their agents and customers. Request a demo today to see how Talkdesk can drastically improve your team’s productivity.

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FAQs.



What is productivity in a contact center?

Contact center productivity is a measure of how well the contact center uses agents and resources to handle customer interactions. Contact center productivity metrics are based on several factors, including the speed at which calls or inquiries are resolved, the ability to manage high call volumes, and the overall optimization of agent and system performance to provide excellent customer service.



Why is productivity important in a contact center?

Agent productivity in a contact center directly impacts the customer experience and operational costs. Efficient operations lead to faster issue resolution, reduced wait times, and improved customer satisfaction. High productivity also means agents can handle more inquiries, reducing the need for additional staffing and keeping costs in check.



What role does technology play in enhancing contact center productivity?

Technology provides the ideal contact center productivity formula, allowing automation of routine tasks, streamlining call routing, and providing agents with valuable tools and information. For instance, AI-powered solutions like Talkdesk Agent Assist and Automatic Summary offer recommendations, automate call logging, and provide real-time summaries of interactions. These technologies empower agents, reduce errors, and free them to focus on more complex issues.


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Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

Célia Cerdeira has more than 20 years experience in the contact center industry. She imagines, designs, and brings to life the right content for awesome customer journeys. When she's not writing, you can find her chilling on the beach enjoying a freshly squeezed juice and reading a novel by some of her favorite authors.