Artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted the way that many organizations conduct business, including call centers. AI tools enable call center agents to provide a better experience for today’s customers.
AI call center capabilities assist human agents with tools such as virtual agents, smart shortcuts, interactive voice response (IVR), and much more. Agents who feel supported and confident are more likely to provide a positive customer experience. While AI can’t replace live call center agents, it enhances customer service by streamlining monotonous tasks and offering shortcuts during customer interactions.
In fact, we conducted a report about “The future of AI in the contact center” and found that artificial intelligence will continue to enable human agents to do better work. 79% of our CX professional respondents believe that AI will serve as an “assistant” by providing more support to human agents, rather than replacing them. You can read the full report here.
What can an AI call center do for agent performance?
Artificial intelligence tools benefit call center agents in several ways. They can perform helpful tasks within contact centers such as routing interactions, handling common inquiries, providing automation and shortcuts, and forecasting call volume. Plus, they enhance your call center’s ability to scale within a remote environment. These AI-powered features facilitate better customer satisfaction by providing your customers with more efficient service, tailored to their needs.
Artificial intelligence makes it easier to manage call center operations. For example, AI-powered intelligent forecasts and automated scheduling can make it easier to understand how many agents need to be available at a given time. Plus, AI tools enable contact centers to implement omnichannel support, along with collecting valuable analytics. With these deep insights into workplace practices and needs, call centers can ultimately provide a better experience for their customers.
The Talkdesk Workforce Management™ tool uses artificial intelligence and includes features such as:
- Intelligent forecasts that allow call centers to accurately anticipate customer demand based on historical and real-time data.
- Automated scheduling for generating optimized schedules with details about each agent’s skill set and availability.
- Analytics and insights are displayed in custom dashboards and reports. These analytics make it easier for call centers to perform analysis and decision-making.
- Omnichannel support with AI-powered forecasts and schedules. These auto-generated insights provide strong support for your omnichannel workflows.
- Adherence monitoring to accurately monitor agent behavior and see how it compares to their scheduled activities.
- Smart agent requests workflow for managing agent requests. This tool uses a conversational chatbot to facilitate a streamlined workflow that automatically updates schedules for approved changes.
You can take a self-guided tour of Workforce Management to learn more.
Conversational AI powered interactive voice response (IVR).
Interactive voice response (IVR) that leverages conversational AI is one of the best-known types of AI contact center tools. It helps agents by providing automation for the most common and routine queries. When an agent is needed, the IVR leverages intelligent routing to deliver callers to the best possible department and/or agent. IVR puts self-service call segmentation into practice by allowing callers to authenticate themselves and determine their intent. This makes agents’ lives easier by segmenting the callers before they even reach live agents. Call center routing ultimately helps by sending the callers to the right department and providing initial details about the nature of their inquiries, without agent intervention.
The Talkdesk IVR platform includes some helpful tools, like:
- Virtual Agent Voice: A virtual voice assistant that leverages conversational AI in every IVR conversation.
- Automatic call distributor (ACD) for facilitating back-end transfers into the right department and/or to the correct agent.
- Skills-based routing for ranking callers by the complexity or specificity of their requests, then assigning agents that have the right skill set to handle each particular type of caller.
- Ring groups for grouping agents into teams that can take on certain inquiries.—Billing could be an example of a ring group. If an agent can handle more than one category of inquiries, they could be assigned to multiple ring groups.
- Intelligent reconnect for reconnecting a caller back to the same agent who they had been speaking with if a disconnection happens.
Artificial intelligence also provides tools for assisting agents throughout their day-to-day jobs. For example, Talkdesk Agent Assist™ pulls up the next best actions, quick links to the company knowledge base, and shortcuts, all during a real-time conversation between an agent and customer. Artificial intelligence also helps agents manage customer support on the back-end by providing automation and integrations for daily operations.
Start your self-guided tour of Talkdesk Agent Assist today.
AI call center technology can also provide virtual agents for handling common queries. By taking care of basic questions from customers, virtual agents free up the human agents to focus on more complex inquiries. They also work directly with human agents by escalating more complex cases to your call center team.
Virtual agents can also be trained to better assist your organization’s customer base. Talkdesk Virtual Agent™ includes human-in-the-loop technology so your most experienced human agents can share their knowledge with the virtual agent.
Helping agents embrace an AI call center.
Artificial intelligence might sound like a great idea for your organization, but it can only succeed if your agents are on board. Here are a few ways for contact center leaders to encourage their agents to use AI tools on a daily basis and get excited about this technology:
No matter how intuitive an artificial intelligence tool might seem, agents still require training to start using AI tools efficiently. For example, how to handle the transition from virtual agent to human agent? And what does it look like for agents to take customer calls after the customer has used IVR to reach their ring group? All of these process-related questions need to be addressed and explained during proper training.
Contact center leaders need to be ready to address any concerns that their agents might have. The media has painted a poor picture of artificial intelligence, so contact center agents might bring up concerns of being replaced by bots or being under constant surveillance. Neither of these worries will come to fruition, but it’s important to know how to explain this to your agents in a clear, empathetic way.
Managers need to explain to agents how AI can make their lives easier, not harder. They should also provide tangible evidence on how these new tools will improve contact center operations. The learning curve when adopting any new technology is seldom easy. But, if managers can clearly explain why they’ve decided to use this tech in the first place and tell agents what’s in it for them, the transition will be easier to handle.
Final thoughts about AI for call centers.
AI call centers are the future of the CX industry. Artificial intelligence is more widespread and sophisticated than ever. Today’s contact centers are more complex to manage and structure because so many agents work remotely. Most importantly, customer satisfaction in our fast-paced world depends on your call center’s ability to keep up with demands efficiently and flexibly.
What is AI in a call center?
Artificial intelligence tools can make call center operations more efficient and streamlined. For example, AI can perform common call center tasks, such as routing interactions with interactive voice response (IVR) and automatic call distribution (ACD), handling basic inquiries with virtual agents, and forecasting call volume. These tools facilitate an excellent experience for the call center’s customers.
Can AI replace call center agents?
Call center AI is intended to assist call center agents, rather than replace them. It gives agents the support and efficiency that they need to provide the best possible service to customers. Artificial intelligence helps call center agents by streamlining repetitive tasks, providing better back-end collaboration and organization between agents, and offering shortcuts during customer interactions.
How AI is revamping the call center?
Artificial intelligence is revamping the call center by giving agents innovative tools that were not previously available. AI makes it possible for call centers to forecast how much customer support they will need from their agents on a given day. It can even take this forecast, along with the agents’ skill sets and availability, to create a schedule automatically. As another example, AI can facilitate call routing and real-time shortcuts, to ensure that each customer gets the right resources for their specific needs.
What are the 5 components of AI?
The 5 components of AI are learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, and language understanding. Call center AI employs these traits to provide better customer service. For instance, call center AI can interact with customers and use natural language processing (NLP) to understand the sentiment and context of each call. In addition, it can learn and problem solve after being trained by technology, such as human-in-the-loop, which gives a call center’s best agents the ability to share their knowledge with the AI engine.