Unlocking the Power of Contact Center Intelligent Automation

In the previous blog, Content Guru introduced the Customer Data Platform. This was the second of the Four Pillars of CX: your four-step guide to the future of the cloud contact center. By embracing the Four Pillars, you take measurable steps toward competitive, future-proof CX. In this follow-up blog, we discuss the third of the four pillars, contact center intelligent automation.

So what is contact center intelligent automation? In brief, this refers to a mixture of process automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that drives measurable improvements for your contact center.

In this blog, you will learn how contact center intelligent automation:

  • Can be used to intelligently route customers to the best available outcome.

  • Can support conversational chatbots, which take the pressure off your agents.

  • Allow for AI-powered analytics, providing essential contact center insights.

  • And much more.

For a more detailed discussion of the Four Key Pillars of Customer Experience, download Content Guru’s comprehensive guide here.

Contact Center AI Makes Customer Routing Easy

Outstanding customer experiences begin at the moment of first contact. Your customers expect a smooth interaction; to be routed to someone who can resolve their query efficiently, without undue effort. Contact center Intelligent Automation makes this possible.

Accurate contact routing is a persistent challenge, and too often places the burden on customers. The familiar litany, press one for…, is a dreaded cliché, and one the next-generation contact center will leave behind. Contact center AI will render it obsolete.

Through a blend of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech-to-Text Transcription, and Data-Backed Automation, the next-generation contact center makes contact routing simple:

  • Entering into the IVR, the customer is asked to state their needs.

  • Their response is transcribed accurately.

  • This transcript is subjected to real-time NLP analysis – keywords are identified and sentiment (positive or negative) is assessed.

  • Customer data and interaction history support the routing decision – if this isn’t a customer’s first time reaching out, the success (or failure) of a past interaction will be essential context.

  • A routing decision is made. If the inquiry is simple, the customer can be directed to self-service. If not, they can be routed to the most appropriate agent based on channel mix, skillset, or even agent personality.

What’s more, contact center AI achieves all this in a matter of seconds. All the customer needs to do is state their needs, and they’ll find themselves routed to the best available outcome, with minimal effort.

Self-Service with Contact Center Intelligent Automation

Once a customer routing decision is made, two options are possible. Either the customer is put in direct contact with an agent or is shepherded toward self-service options. Customer contact volumes will only continue to rise in the future. In 2022, 61% of CX leaders reported an increase in customer contacts and an increase in contacts per customer. A future-proof contact center requires Intelligent Automation.

Self-service takes the pressure off your agents, but to many customers, feels like failure. Chatbots have a reputation for being unhelpful; they are seen as distraction tactics that keep customers running in circles. Customers want experiences that feel human and lead to results. How can contact center AI provide this?

  • Conversational chatbots leverage NLP, sentiment analysis, and generative AI to respond naturally to customer messages. These aren’t the basic, FAQ-style chatbots of the past, but are instead highly adaptive, drawing on generative AI to craft informative responses. These are chatbots your customers will look forward to interacting with; able to adopt unique ‘personas’ in response to the customer’s tone and personality.  

  • Technology-agnostic contact center intelligent automation integrates with third-party AI services, keeping your CX at the cutting edge, even as AI technology continues to advance.

  • Contact center AI draws on customer data and interaction history to respond appropriately to the customer in any situation.

  • Intelligent self-service frees your agents to focus on only the most complex tasks, saving time and reducing agent attrition.

To overcome customer hesitation, you need contact center intelligent automation that reduces customer effort, rather than increases it. Self-service would become a viable option for customers; a real alternative to agent assistance. Customers have their queries resolved quickly, with no need to wait in a queue for a human agent to become available. Both Customer and Agent Experience are improved; customers get a satisfying experience, and agents a lighter workload.

To create usable self-service options, you need an understanding of customer needs and pain points. To get this understanding, you need the highest level of contact center analytics.

CX Analytics through Contact Center Intelligent Automation

When it comes to measuring customer success, most CX leaders turn to surveying. This method has serious problems; it depends on the customer to respond, meaning that surveys only capture a small portion of the overall ‘Voice of the Customer’ (VoC). With contact center AI, you can do better.

Natural Language Processing allows AI to automatically assess customer sentiment and tone. Contact center intelligent automation can detect periods of dead air to identify inefficiencies in your CX ecosystem, and when combined with an interaction history, can build a 360-degree picture of every interaction. 

This allows you to gain insight into agent performance, down to the individual level. You can assess which agents are performing well and which are struggling, and coordinate training to address those deficiencies. Rather than sampling a small percentage of interactions, now 100% of interactions can be assessed in a fraction of the time. Supervisors save hours of time, agents receive feedback faster, and non-compliance is avoided through real-time script suggestions.

Contact center AI assesses how the customer reacts during the interaction. This allows for an unprecedented level of responsiveness.

  • An AI assistant can build on these insights to provide real-time script suggestions to agents.

  • These script suggestions can ensure that compliance statements are read.

  • Agent feedback can be generated immediately following an interaction, tailored specifically to their needs. This improves the agent experience, by supporting agents to deliver the best customer experience they can, every time.

Contact center intelligent automation leads to reliable, instant feedback. Agents are empowered, improving customer experiences in turn.

Contact Center AI Made Easy

Contact center Intelligent Automation is at the core of the next-generation contact center. From intelligent customer routing to agent experience and analytics, AI will revolutionize every function of the contact center.

To keep up, you need technology-agnostic contact center AI. This allows you to incorporate new and existing technologies into your CX ecosystem as soon as they become available. AI applications are tailored to the needs of your business, and designed to drive real value for your organization.

Contact center Intelligent Automation is the second of the Four Pillars of CX. To learn more about the Four Pillars of Customer Experience, and methods for implementing them in your cloud contact center, download the full whitepaper here.