Contact center technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few decades – none more so than artificially intelligent devices. From optimized, fully automated processes to smarter, and more personalized services, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform the customer services of every organization. With so much to offer however, it can be difficult to know where to start. Implementing AI in the heat of the moment, rather than as part of a carefully considered plan, can be perilous. Here are five things to think about for an effective contact center AI strategy that lasts.
All customers want one thing – convenience. That is to say, a smooth, stress-free journey when contacting your organization’s customer services. AI can provide this convenience, but it’s crucial to fully understand your customers’ needs and preferences before adding more AI into the customer experience.
Start this process by reviewing your demographics. What age groups use your services? Which channels does each demographic use? When are customers contacting you the most? Are some customers more important than others?
After a meticulous assessment of your customers, you can begin to pin-point the places where AI assistance will improve their experience, not add more strain.
According to Keith Dawson, Vice President & Research Director of Customer Experience at Ventana Research:
“By 2022, three-quarters of organizations will have explicitly introduced more than one artificial intelligence or machine learning application into their contact center service processes for predictive routing, chatbots and agent assistance.”
Nonetheless, before introducing new AI capabilities and redesigning services around the latest technologies, ask yourself:
What is the current impact of AI on your customers, your contact center, and your organization’s objectives?
Ultimately, if you’re not seeing the desired outcomes with your current AI, it’s time for a reassessment. Determine where and how your existing services and processes can be improved, instead of replaced, with AI. This will allow you to avoid scrapping existing investments, and keep expenditure to a minimum.
On top of improving customer journeys through AI-enhanced omni-channel experiences, AI can also improve the experiences of your workforce. Positive employee experiences are key to a productive workforce, and to increasing your contact center’s efficiency. Therefore, it’s important to examine how to implement AI that boosts workforce motivation and satisfaction.
Could AI lessen the burden on your agents? If so, are there interactions that are best suited for AI? Would AI enable your agents to utilize their skills, and resolve queries, more effectively?
In short, it’s all about finding the right balance between AI and your human resources, one that fits your unique customer base. Then you can deliver convenience, yet still retain a human touch to your customer service.
AI has countless uses within the contact center. For example, automating repetitive, low-skill tasks and processes, intelligent routing, and analyzing big data, to name a few. After weighing up the needs of your customers, workforce, and organization, you should know what AI tools would work best. Yet with countless applications of AI, choosing a solution that will integrate seamlessly with all the features you want can be difficult. Which provider can easily blend these into your solution?
Cloud contact center vendors that offer integrated options can quickly provide a bridge between the functionality that you have, and the AI capabilities that you need. A provider that has strong integration abilities will prevent data siloes in your omni-channel experience, which will drive customer satisfaction and thus revenue.
Inevitably, the objectives of your organization and the demands of your customers will change over time. What’s more, AI is ever-evolving, and becoming more powerful with each generation. To accommodate these unavoidable truths, you need to have foundations that will provide room for your customer service to grow in the future.
The best way to do this is to implement evergreen cloud contact center integration technology, which can seamlessly adapt to new developments as they emerge. An agile solution with native, or integration-friendly, AI functionality will allow you to switch up your services quickly and easily, without cutting harshly into your bottom line.
 Ventana Research, www.ventanaresearch.com/focus/customerexperience/contactcenter